A criminal record is a sheet that has a person’s criminal records whether local, state or federal. It may include past criminal information of the person as well as pending charges and other information depending on where the person is based. Criminal records are not public records, are therefore – classified as restricted access to the public, and may only be access by certain people or agencies. In the US, request for criminal records or “Certificate of good conduct” is uncommon however if need be, US citizens may obtain one from different government agencies such as their local Police Department and FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services or FBI – CJIS division.
Why do you need to obtain one?
Request for criminal records depends on the following reason:
a. Employment purposes
b. Entrance to military services
c. Admittance to educational institution
d. Firearm licensing
e. Adoption or for child fostering
f. Registration of votes
g. Immigration purposes
Can it be made available to the Public?
Although criminal records are not open to the public, some information may be made public depending on the specific information needed. Sex crimes, for example are available to the public and some states in the US has their own sex offender registry that one can access online free. That said some information might still be withheld from the public depending on the classification of the crime committed.
Where to Look for Criminal Records?
If you are interested to obtain a copy for your own use or for any other reasons mentioned above, you can request your records through your local police agency or even through online directly from the government agency such as the Department of Public Safety, your Police Department and even from third-party sites.
There are two ways of that one can obtain their records from the FBI CJIS division, one of which is to submit a written request. The request should include the requestor’s personal information such as name, birthdate, money order cheque and a set of rolled ink fingerprint impression. Another way is to contact a third-party company to do the record check. The third-party individuals usually have a contract with the government to process the request making it easier for requestor to request for their records.
In certain instances, one would need authentication of the search results especially if one request it for international purposes. To request for authentication of the criminal records, one would need to indicate it in their request at the time of submission.