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Criminal Records Checks and How They Work

Studies have shown that nearly one in every three Americans has a criminal record. These records vary from misdemeanors to more serious crimes, and they are a part of the public records system in the country. When employees perform background checks, one thing they look for is a criminal record. So, what exactly are criminal records and can they affect your chances of getting a job? Find out right here.

What are Criminal Records?

Criminal records, also known as police records and rap sheets, contain a detailed account of the criminal acts people committed. When a person commits a crime, it is entered to their records, and these records are updated on a local, state, and federal level. Law enforcement agencies, such as sheriffs' offices, police departments, and specialty police agencies, keep criminal records.

To keep specified information about people's criminal past, criminal records include the following information:

  • Name – full name of the person, including first name, middle name, and last name
  • Aliases – any pseudo names the person is using
  • Date of birth – the exacts date of birth of the person
  • Physical description – a detailed physical description of the offender, like their eye and hair color, height, built, and more
  • Current address – the address the offender is currently residing in
  • Outstanding arrest warrants
  • Mugshots – photos of the person who has been arrested
  • Fingerprints – fingerprints of the offender
  • Type of crime – the type of crime the person committed
  • Information about prior arrests – prior arrests, their dates, and prior convictions, if there are any
Criminal Records

Where are Criminal Records Kept?

The criminal records system in the US is very organized, and there are statewide repositories that maintain such records. To prevent mistakes with criminal records, people can ask to correct errors that may have occurred with their records. There are state provisions that dictate how the errors will be fixed, and to make the corrections, people can get access to their criminal records.

Employee Background Check and Criminal Records

US employees are required to perform background checks on the people they considering hiring. The purpose of these checks is to make sure other employees, customers, and employers are safe at all times. Employers who perform background checks on prospective employees cannot disqualify them based on their criminal records. The purpose is to be aware of the criminal past of job candidates.

Employee background checks are intended to reveal more than just criminal records. Their purpose is to discover if job applicants provided accurate details about themselves. To do so, employers must get a signed consent form from job applicants stating they agree to have their background checked.

Once the forms are signed, they are sent to an impartial third-party company that checks the candidates resumes. These checks validate if people gave their right name if they told the truth about their previous work experience and if they provided accurate data about their education. Once the check results are ready, they are passed on to the employer who requested them.

What are Criminal Records

Do Criminal Records Affect Your Chances of Getting a Job?

Background checks have caused a lot of controversy over the years. On the one hand, people are required to undergo such checks for certain jobs, and on the other hand, employers cannot disqualify candidates based on criminal background checks.

According to the law, employers cannot refuse to hire a person who has a police record. So, in the legal sense of things, a background check does not affect your chances of getting a job. If you suspect that a certain employer refuses to hire you because of your criminal past, you can contest the decisions.

Performing a Criminal Background Check

As mentioned before, if you find out that there are errors in your criminal records, you can file a request to mend them. Before you do so, you need to find out what your criminal record contains. To perform a search like this, you do not need to hire a third-party company. Instead, you can use GoLookUp's criminal records search or background check directory.

When using these search methods, you will be required to provide your first name, last name, and state of residence. Once you provide these details, the search directory on GoLookUp will search for information about you. At the end of the quick search, that lasts several minutes, you will get an accurate report that contains all the public records data relating to you. If you type in " how to background check myself free" into search engines such as Google, you will find websites that perform free background checks. Unfortunately, free websites cannot provide you with a full background check. Why? Because they do not charge user fees, and as a result, they do not have access to all the public records you need. So, you are advised not to check how to background check myself free, and instead, use a professional website that can provide you with full access to public records relating to you.  


How is the search performed? GoLookUp has access to public records in each state, and its search engine scans millions of public records within minutes. The result is a report that contains all the data that employers can find about you. If you find any mistakes in your criminal record, you can request to correct them whenever you desire.

The access to your records is accessible because of the existence of public records. Thanks to personal records being made available, you can access them and find information about you and other people.

Employers are required to perform thorough background checks about the people they interview. As part of the process, employers search for criminal records that relate to the people they interview. Criminal records should not keep you from getting a job, and you can stand up for your rights if you think an injustice was made. You can also ask to mend any mistakes that are listed in your public records. To find out if such mistakes exist, perform a background check on yourself with GoLookUp, and see a report that includes all the information an employer may see.  

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Search for anyone in the United States! 100% Confidential! Updated on October 17, 2021
Sensitive Information!