What are Criminal Public Records?
A criminal record is a record of an individual's criminal history. The criminal record typically includes a compilation of local, state, and federal criminal information.
What do you find on criminal records?
Apart from criminal history information, the criminal record also includes the individual’s Name and known aliases, Date of birth, Address, Photograph, and Fingerprints. The law enforcement department or other government agency responsible for the record can include more than just misdemeanor or felony convictions. On a criminal record, you can also find Past arrests, Warrants, Current pending charges, Dismissed charges, and Acquitted charges.
How do you use a Criminal Record?
Multiple agencies and organizations use criminal records to run background checks on individuals, for a variety of reasons, such as:
Some businesses need to run background checks on their prospective employees: government agencies, Medical professionals and Companies or organizations where workers handle large amounts of money. Private companies are allowed to use their discretion to decide whether they want to run a background check.
2. Admission to schools
Universities and colleges for law and medical professions check an individual applicant's criminal record.
3. Renting Property
4. Military service.
5. Security clearance.
6. Purchasing firearms
Felons cannot buy their guns. Depending on the situation, some criminals can have their gun rights restored after applying.
7. Adopting or fostering children.
8. Applying for a variety of licenses, such as asking for a CDL.
9. Registering as a voter
Not every state allows residents who have felonies to vote; however, some states are restoring voting privileges after the person has met all penalty requirements like completing jail time, following parole, or probation period.
10. Work that is related to getting visas, immigration, and traveling to another country.
11. Compiling possible suspects for a criminal investigation.
When a person is convicted of a crime, it becomes public record. Sometimes searching for a person's criminal history is as easy as visiting the courthouse or checking another public database. However, depending on an individual's situation, you might have to request access officially.
To see a copy of public records, you must first obtain the case number. Here are three ways to attain the case number:
1. Use the criminal case index search and look for a case number by using the defendant's name and date of birth, or the person's name along with the month and year the case was filed.
2. Go to the Clerk’s Office where the lawsuit was filed. The information will help you identify Courthouses where the criminal cases are presented. At the courthouse, you can look for the illegal index online.
3. Write a mail or take it to the Clerk’s Office asking them to search for the record on your behalf. Your letter must have the person’s name, date of birth and years you want to be searched.
You can also search for options on the Freedom of Information Act website. The FOIA states that You are likely to gain more information if you have the person's consent or if you can prove that the person is deceased. If it is deemed as an invasion of a person's privacy, you can be denied information.
What information does a background check give you?
A background check can give you all the information about a person’s current as well as past addresses, an individual's marital or divorced status, Bankruptcy filing history, Felony status or severe driving offenses. A criminal record check includes information about specific arrests, convictions, penalties (such as prison time, probation, and parole). It also has information about marks as well as traits that can identify a person like, Race, Tattoos, Hair and eye color, Height and weight.