Instant Criminal Reports

Criminal Background Check

Conduct a thorough criminal search or a free criminal background check by searching criminal history, court records, find current past addresses, check prison, jail inmate records, and department of corrections records. Also check professional licenses and other credentials.

Nationwide Legal Resources for Criminal Checks

Select a State to Start Searching for Free Criminal Records

How do you run a criminal check in order to find the criminal history of an individual?

Before hiring potential employees or leasing or renting an apartment usually a background check is done. This has become a standard processand many companies provide background check services online. A criminal background check or a criminal record search is a basic report on prospective tenants or employees. Usually one has to sign on a form which gives authority to their prospective employer to run a criminal background check.

Past and present addresses are required by the employer who will be running a criminal check or employee screening this is required because in order to perform an accurate check on the criminal history you need to know where a person has lived for a certain period of time. Criminal search at the county level or an online criminal record check proivde a comprehensive background check for criminal records. These checks are done in minutes. Local sheriff departments can make a state check but a majority of checks are done by the State Department of Corrections or State Bureau of Investigations.

Nowadays, the cases of theft, fraud and embezzlement on the job require employers to be more cautious.


Searching Court Records

Background checks, especially if you’re looking into a potential employee, can be expensive. The companies that run them charge ridiculous amounts of money to obtain information that is otherwise available for free. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you navigate the world of court and criminal record research.

Keep in Mind

All information regarding arrests and court proceedings, unless otherwise specified, is public domain. The primary exception to this rule is when the defendant in the case is a minor, because all case information concerning juveniles is sealed.

While all the information is available, it may or may not be accessible online. You may have to contact or even visit the local department of records for the district in question to obtain the information.

Step 1: Gather Information, Part 1

Your first and arguably most important step is to gather as much information as possible about the person you are researching. Name, age, date of birth, social security number (if applicable), and any known aliases would be a good place to start.

Step 2: Gather Information, Part 2

The next step will require you to ask about any prior convictions. Most job applications ask this question anyway, but if there are any convictions listed, obtain from the applicant county information, case numbers, the date the case was filed, and the name he or she was using at the time.

Step 3: Check the Internet

More and more districts are hosting their criminal, arrest, and court records online for ease of access, so the first place you should check is the county website. A quick search there will tell you whether or not the information you seek is held on the website If it isn’t, seek out the contact information for the department of records and contact them directly.

Step 4: Contact the Department of Records

First, determine where each county keeps their court case and criminal records Some will have a single storage location where all the information for a county is consolidated, while others will keep their information in the courthouse or attached offices where the case was originally filed. Once you have determined where the information is being kept, talk to one of the clerks. Depending on the local rules, you may have to visit the office, or the clerk may be able to mail, fax, or email the requested information to you.

Step 5: Consolidate the information

The last step is to consolidate all of the information you have gathered into a usable criminal record check.

Keep in mind that this will not include any information on employment history, credit, or any of the other categories that professional criminal checks look at. It will also not include any sealed or juvenile records. This will just give you a look at your potential employee’s criminal history. If that is all you need, then there is no reason to pay the exorbitant amounts of money that backgrounds check services charges.

Just remember that all of this information is freely available, you just need to know where to look.


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