Looking into someone’s criminal background is no longer a matter for the courts or law enforcement agencies only. In fact, such records are available to everyone right now. People use them for a series of different reasons – from pure curiosity to actual necessity. But what exactly should you know about this industry? More importantly, how could you do it?
- 1 Free Criminal Background Check
- 2 Included in the Report
- 3 Usage
- 4 Accessing Your Criminal History
- 5 Record Expungement
- 6 FOIA
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Conclusion
Free Criminal Background Check
A criminal records search is basically a deep insight into someone’s public criminal activities. Whether they have been convicted or they have unspent convictions, all these details are usually public. Sometimes, they are available for free. Other times, you would have to pay.
A criminal records search today is different from what it used to be like a few decades ago. Today, you will find out way more information – even private details that may not necessarily be of much interest to you. However, the more you know, the better it serves your reasons.
Included in the Report
Different criminal record search providers come with different details. For example, some companies will perform basic searches for you and will, therefore, include basics only – addresses, names or working history. Some others go further than that and may even find pictures, social media profiles, marriage history or schooling education.We create hundreds of background checks every day that’s why we are the best in this field .
Choose the right provider or service based on the information you actually require and don’t miss any feature !
Name and Known Aliases
Date of Birth
Most commonly, criminal records searches are performed for employment purposes. It obviously depends on the job as well. However, most jobs imply at least a bit of responsibility. For this reason, plenty of employers want to know exactly who they take in.
The necessity of a search becomes even more obvious if the job implies lots of responsibility – such as dealing with children, handling large amounts of money, communicating to important customers or working with firearms. No one wants a sex offender as a nanny for their children, just like no one wants someone convicted for dilapidation to handle money in a financial institution.
While this is not necessarily a general rule, certain schools may demand background check for both pupils and employees. It makes all the sense in the world when it comes to the staff, but what about students? A prestigious university is less likely to accept someone with multiple convictions for theft into its campus or classes.
It sounds harsh because people can change, but no one wants to risk hundreds of students’ lives or wellbeing for the potential improvement of one single student.
If you have rented a property through an agency, you have probably been checked already. However, it depends on several reasons – what you plan to rent, how much it costs and how prestigious the real estate agency is. If you want to rent a big building for a business but you have filed for bankruptcy twice already and you barely have money to pay the deposit, how do you expect to be accepted?
Residential property rental follows some similar rules, especially in large complexes or apartment buildings where hundreds of other people might be at risk because of one individual.
There is nothing stricter than the admission to military service. You will be checked, double checked and triple checked. Any minor issue from your past might ban you from joining the army, unless it is a parking ticket. Violence, attacks, weapons – all these things will most likely prevent you from joining the service.
Unlike other industries, the military service is tougher because the management has access to information that random providers do not. Therefore, they might know things about you that no other organization does. If you have something to hide, chances are it will come out publicly before you even realize it.That’s why we recommend a free criminal background check prior joining the military service !
Many jobs are secured to the level they require for their operations to go on smoothly. For example, security in a shop may not be as strict as security in a nightclub. On the same note, security in a club is by far milder than security in a military area. Different levels of security will not change the point though – there is security everywhere and you will need clearance for a series of things.
Obviously, managers will find it inconvenient to hire people who have been convicted for actions that are directly related to the jobs they apply for – such as bank security and bank robbery.
Firearms represent a debatable topic. They are widely accepted in many countries and they are supposed to be used with self defense purposes only. Unfortunately, you see what happens – every once in a while, mass shooting occurs in the news because of some lunatic.
People with such negative convictions (even if they have never killed anyone, but caused an offense only) are not normally allowed near firearms again. For this reason, it is imperative for business owners to conduct a proper search before sealing a sale.
In terms of criminal records searches, law enforcement is similar to the military service. Those with certain convictions cannot join a law enforcement agency because they are not deemed to be safe due to their previous behavior. The employer has all the right in the world to double and triple check everything prior to making an employment offer.
Unlike regular people or companies, law enforcement agencies have some extra benefits. They can search deeper and can find details that everyday providers do not have access to. It makes sense if you think about it – you do not want the local police officer to be someone convicted for murder or robbing a bank, do you?
Adopting or Fostering Children
There are multiple criteria to be checked before giving someone or a family a child – be it for fostering or full time adoption. The agent must make sure the respective place is suitable for a child. At the same time, the adopter or fosterer should be a role model, rather than someone with three convictions for domestic violence and a few DUI arrests.
For this reason, agents and supervisors must perform deep criminal records searches before even going on with the initial procedures.
Accessing Your Criminal History
Personal records can be held by multiple agencies. Moreover, some agencies might have details that others do not. It depends on what kind of databases they have access to. From this point of view, government agencies have access to the most detailed information about someone. They can easily find out how many times they were married, what school they went to and where they lived after they finished college about 20 years ago.
For this reason, having access to such details is challenging, yet some criminal records search providers still manage to get some insights.
Non-government agencies are obviously less comprehensive than government agencies. They may not know everyone about someone in particular, but the results may still amaze you. It is easy to tell why. Most of them were founded by people with connections in this field – some of them previously employed by the government.
They do know how to go around things and find information about one person or another, but they also have handy connections to help them if any problems arise. With these aspects in mind, their databases are quite detailed.
General public records can be found by pretty much anyone. Even you can get some, yet you need some connections. Plus, there are certain procedures to be followed and getting used to them might take forever. This is why most people fail at it, but end up contacting a criminal records search service instead.Using our website you can get your free public records in no time .
Such information is usually available from courts and other public information institutions. Sometimes, you can get information for free, but this is not a general rule. Most of the times, you will have to pay a fee in order to access such details. This is why many services cannot offer free records, as they have to pay for them.But using our website you can get your free public records fast and online , try us and you will not regret it !
Request Your Record
Pretty much any criminal records search service allows you to request your record. It is your right to know what is there about you, yet you might be treated like any other customer, so you might need to pay a fee. You can request it from local courthouses or government agencies too.
When it comes to private non-government services, you can even request to have your records removed from their databases. It is, however, important to know that removing yourself from a private service’s database will not remove you from public records, as those depend on courts and government agencies.
In today’s legal system, record expungement is a procedure that might get someone’s record removed from public and private databases. It cannot be done with a simple request, but it implies going through a lawsuit. It is an option for first time criminals – and not all of them. If successful, the records associated with the lawsuit will be sealed and made unavailable to the public.
Record expungement is basically record removal. It is not a right or a procedure, so its success depends on multiple factors. All in all, a specialized lawyer is mandatory for such a lawsuit.
Record expungement is just one of the numerous procedures that can clear someone off. There are more options out there and each of them can be given based on specific details. To those with no experience or education in the legal field, these different syntaxes are used interchangeably, yet there are vital differences between them.
From this point of view, record expungement might be similar to sealed records, not to mention pardons. The certificate of actual innocence is also common, especially as more and more mistakes become obvious with the advancement of technology and forensic medicine.
Sealed records are self-explanatory. Records are sealed and kept for further references under certain circumstances – such as recurring crimes. Sealed records will still exist both physically and on one’s background. On the other hand, record expungement implies deleting them.
While often used interchangeably, pardons and record expungement results do have a key difference. When someone wins an expungement, records are erased like nothing happened – simple as that. When they win a pardon, records are not cleared. Instead, the pardon works like forgiveness. It is also referred to as executive clemency.
Certificate of Actual Innocence
A certificate of actual innocence is sometimes awarded to people who have been wrongfully convicted. Record expungement implies erasing someone’s negative records. They are guilty and they have been convicted, but the record is removed. On the other hand, there are also situations when people are wrongfully arrested and convicted. When the truth comes out, they are entitled to huge compensations for having their lives destroyed and they also receive certificates of actual innocence. Such a certificate means the person was innocent and should have not been arrested in the first place.
Eligibility for Record Expungement
The eligibility for record expungement depends on a series of different factors, such as:
• The time passed since the conviction.
• Further events in the criminal record, such as recurring crimes and repetitive offences.
• Severity of the situation wherefore the record expungement is required.
• Severity of the situation wherefore the conviction occurred.
To make things easy to understand, one is less likely to get a record expungement for a sex offense or repetitive crimes. It is also worth noting that different states have different laws, so what works in some states may not work everywhere else. The same rule applies to different countries.
How to Expunge Criminal Records
The process – just like the eligibility – might vary from one place to another. Unless you study criminal law or you have a degree in it, chances are you will not be able to do it yourself, so it pays off hiring a criminal attorney.
No matter where you try to obtain record expungement, there are a few steps that apply pretty much everywhere.
• Determining eligibility for this procedure, so some places will require a separate application just for the eligibility.
• Getting all the paperwork in place, especially about the criminal record. Other related documents might be needed for your court case.
• Filing all the paperwork and paying the required fees. In some places, you will need a petition for this procedure. Once all these are done, some courts will set a date for the initial hearing. Some other courts require you to contact them and request it yourself.
Given the legal requirements and comprehensive work, a criminal attorney will increase your chances to obtain record expungement. Moreover, an attorney will save you some headache. In some places, you may not even be able to represent yourself in front of a judge without an attorney, only because your lack of education will cause the court to lose time while your chances are close to none.
What Is FOIA
FOIA stands for the Freedom of Information Act. Simply put, it offers access to information and details held by the authorities. There are a few different ways to obtain such information. First, authorities are forced by the law to make specific information public. This information is related to their activities and will also include records about specific people involved with the law.
Second, people are also entitled to ask for specific details from the authorities. Obviously, the law can be quite tough, so particular information is less likely to be disclosed. Some things are just more important than others.
Information in the Report
Unlike a criminal records search, the FOIA report is not as detailed when it comes to certain individuals. Most commonly, these reports are based on particular metrics. Such information will normally include the annual reports – general statistics, facts and activities from each agency in particular. This information is usually public and does not require anyone to request it.
On another note, quarterly reports are also common and include similar details based on the essential statistics of each agency. Just like the annual reports, the quarterly reporting procedure is updated automatically without any requests at all.
How to Make a Request
You can make an FOIA request if the details you want are not public. Simply get in touch with the local FOIA office of the agency. There are no forms to complete or special requirements. Instead, you have to do it in writing and mention the records you want to get, as well as the reasons wherefore you need them.
Years ago, you had to send such requests by posts. These days, many agencies can accept them by email over the Internet. Fax requests are also accepted – simply find out what kind of contacts your local federal agency has.
Costs to make an FOIA request vary according to a few factors. Normally, it depends on your pay scale. However, there are some general fees too. Unless you have a waiver, the basic fee is $25. You are less likely to pay less than that, but you might end up paying more.
If the cost for your FOIA request is higher, you will be notified upfront, so you can decide whether or not you want to move on with the request. Duplication costs may also apply for certain documents if they are initially denied. If you have made FOIA requests before and you still owe money, you will have to clear your debt upfront.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a felony show up after 7 years?
Normally, the felony will not show up after seven years since the convict was released from prison. If an employer wants to perform a detailed check and trace criminal records back to more than seven years, the felony will still show up.
Is a misdemeanor a criminal conviction?
In the USA, a misdemeanor is a crime that implies less than a year in prison. Any other crime is referred to as a felony. Some countries have cleared these differences, so the words can be used interchangeably.
What is an employment verification check?
A potential employee’s work history will reveal details about their stability, as well as the commitment to a job. While candidates bring resumes, employers can match details from a resume to details from a background check.
Are police reports available to the public?
While part of the same general field, police reports are not under the court system. They can be used in courts, but this is pretty much it. From this point of view, incidents and arrests are less likely to be displayed in criminal records search results. They are usually kept in police departments instead.
What do job background checks check for?
Some of the details included in a background check include work history, past employers and time spent in various jobs, education, driving licenses and suspensions, criminal records and credit history. Each employer has different criteria when it comes to the employment process though.
As a short final conclusion, there are multiple ways to find out more about one person or another, as well as different ways to clean a personal record.