How to Check and Search for Criminal Records in Washington?
Public records in Washington state are open for inspection to the public and are completely free of cost. Some of these records are not public. Examples of sealed cases include adoption records, confidential name-change records, mental illness records, drug treatment commitment records, and paternity records. Although juvenile records are sealed in many states, they are considered public in Washington state.
Any person can access records of unsealed cases either by visiting the state or county government office. However, most of these records are available online.
To Check for a Criminal Record
Washington state has made its basic court records available online on http://dw.courts.wa.gov, the Washington Courts public website. This is a service extended to the public including individuals, attorneys, and courts to enable finding a legal case in the state court system. To find out the criminal record of a person, one can search using the name of the person, name of the case or the case number. You will have to acknowledge a disclaimer as you submit your search criteria.
On submitting the search request, a list of unsealed civil, traffic and criminal records is delivered. The information provided is limited. The Washington state court records only include a brief description of the case, the date the case was filed and the county where the case was filed.
For more detailed information, the concerned county court can be contacted and visited. Using the case number, the court will assist you in searching for their electronic database. Here, you can find details like court transcripts, judgments, and related documents. You can also verify the information and disposition of the case.
To Check Criminal History Records
The public can also access criminal history records by the application using Washington Access to Criminal History (WATCH). This is a Washington State background check and is administered by the Washington State Patrol.
Certified criminal justice agencies can seek out and receive unabridged criminal history records for criminal justice purposes. Access to records by the public is limited to conviction information and is for non-criminal justice purposes only. Accessible information is limited to arrests less than one-year-old with disposition pending and registered sex/ kidnapping officers.
Employers may inquire about convictions of potential applicants to a job. However, this inquiry must be restricted to job-related convictions and convictions that are less than 10 years old.
The database of Washington State Patrol for this purpose comprises records sent by courts and criminal justice agencies in the state of Washington only. This service operates on the payment of a fee of $11 for online applications. Applications online will return instant results.
Background check requests can be made by e-mail as well. E-mail requests may be based on the individual’s name and date of birth or a set of fingerprints. The completed Request for Conviction Criminal History Form with a fee of $32 is to be submitted for the former category. With respect to results based on fingerprints, a $58 fee is applicable. For an additional $10, the applicant can obtain a notarized letter that may be attached to the report on the results of the fingerprint-based check.
The above information relates to conducting criminal record searches in the state of Washington. The information in the sources and websites mentioned above is organized on a county-wide basis and a state basis. To conduct a search of criminal records on a national basis, one may have to run a nationwide examination. A nationwide scan in addition to a state-specific scan is a good approach when undertaking background checks.
Washington Online Criminal Records Search
An easy way to perform a criminal records search is to use an online directory that provides access to criminal records. So, you can perform an online Washington criminal records search whenever you desire thanks to public records search directories. To use this type of service, you need to provide the website you are using with one piece of information about a person whose criminal records you want to find. With that one piece of data, the website will then be able to scan public records that are registered to the name of the said person.
Once the scanning is complete (usually within several minutes) you will receive a report about the person in question that details their complete criminal history. There are several websites and directories for you to choose from, so you can pick the best service for you to perform an online Washington criminal records search.