How To Locate a Criminal Police Record

Whether you are a businessman or a home maker, one of the problems that you may encounter is assessing the criminal background of your potential employee or even the potential babysitter to whom you will entrust your child. You may want to do a background check for this person - if you have several people for whom you'd like to do checks, then you might need more detailed information than you'll find in this article.

If you are living in a city where people are growing less and less acquainted with the other residents in the neighborhood, finding trustworthy employees for your business or home can be even tougher. In the United States, however, there are national laws that mandate free access of the public to criminal records. Through this, you are granted the right to check whether a particular individual has a criminal record. These are the ways to help you locate a criminal police record.

  • Federal database. Federal record has one of the most comprehensive listings of people who have committed crimes, have been arrested, charged, or even convicted of a felony. This federal database record is the first choice that you should look into. The problem with the federal record, however, is that they have yet to create an accessible online database where you will only need to type in the name of the individual to determine their criminal reports. In most states, legislation has to be passed by the local government to implement the national law and create a local database.
  • Local courthouse records. Another way for you to locate the criminal police record for your employment record is to visit the local courthouse and police stations. They will have logs of all charged, arrested, and convicted individuals. Depending on the archiving of these courthouses and police records, the database can even span several decades up to the last century. Not all police and court facilities, however, have these comprehensive programs. Another problem with the local court house and police station records is that they only have records of criminal activity in their particular jurisdiction. This means that an employee that has only moved in recently may not have any criminal records in the local databases, but may have records in other states.
  • Free database. You can also turn to free services provided by free criminal record databases on the web. These detective software are fashioned like search engines, and you will simply have to write in the name and some personal information on the individual that you are trying to research on, such as his date of birth and state of birth. The free database will then show you the listing of people who have the same details. If your individual is not present in the list, this could mean that he has no criminal records. Keep in mind, however, that these free database records are usually poorly updated and are not always very accurate. You need to double check with the actual state units that have convicted or charged the individual. Poor updates also mean that a recent criminal record may not show up on the database.
  • Paid database. Paid services that make use of detective software as well as a more comprehensive database that is regularly updated is a more certain way to go. While these paid services can be more expensive, they do come with pay per search options or yearlong subscriptions. You can opt for the year long subscriptions as a way to cut costs especially if you are a major company with plenty of job hiring activity.

Remember: each city and state has different policies when it comes to locating criminal records - but these are public records.  You should be able to learn how to find anyone's criminal history with just a little research.  You can also take relevant courses online - whether in criminal justice, legal procedures, or another related course - to aid you in your search.  Whatever means you use to locate an individual’s police record, keep in mind that it is better for you to be safe than sorry.


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