Criminal Records can be found by anyone at anytime
Obtaining Criminal Records
These days an individuals criminal record can be searched by anyone from anywhere and for any reason. Criminal records are being utilized by regular people just like you to become awear of the potential dangers of the people we come in contact with everyday. Technology has come along way, an individuals criminal activity is carefully recorded and archived every time he or she comes in contact with any law enforcement agency. In 2002 the United States alone had an estimated 11,877,218 crimes that were committed (The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems).
People are surprised to find out just how easy their Criminal records can be obtained with the right knowledge of where to go for information. Having a clear understanding of how the criminal justice system works and knowledge of the Internet can make searching for criminal records that much easier. There are three basic approaches for obtaining the criminal records of any individual – a nationwide search, a state search, and a county search. Deciding on which method is right for you will depend on your need for the information. Performing the best search can be a long task but is beneficial in the long run, but obviously, each method will tell different degrees of information and some may cost you an out of pocket expense.
Searching for nationwide records will usually include a Federal database of people that have committed and been convicted of Federal crimes. There are Federal databases that can be searched for criminal activity from 1982 to the present. Individuals that are on probation or parole will also be included in this database. You can also find when the individual was incarcerated, what type of crime the individual was accused of committing and if and when he or she was convicted.
Searching for statewide records will only reveal criminal activity for the state specified at the start of you search. Each state will have their own database for criminal activity by an individual. The year that each database was started will vary from state to state. The information available will include the criminal activity of individuals that resulted in an arrest and or incarceration. Usually, the information will include probation or parole information as well as the terms of that probation or parole.
County records will include the criminal activity information for individuals that resulted in an arrest and any county jail time an individual has been sentenced to. Serving any time in Prison will usually only be found when doing a state or federal search. The information that is made public will depend mainly on the county where the arrest took place, as well as the severity of the crime.
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) is a federally funded resource offering justice, substance abuse, and victim assistance information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.
- National Crime Information Center (NCIC) - FBI Information Systems
The key to doing great research is knowing which method will retrieve the most information. One method of obtaining these types of records is to first contact each of the agencies involved. You will want to contact each agency separately when filing any petitions or motions to have copies of the records released to you; this can sometimes be time consuming. I have found that he most useful method is to utilize the Internet. The Internet has an endless amount of information, you just need to know where and how to look. Finding the right information isn't as easy as you would think, but ask the right questions and you will get the answers you are searching for. For starters go for the obvious, type in the full name of the individual you want information on. Sometimes you may have to pay a small amount of money out of pocket to obtain these criminal records; however this all depends on your knowledge of how to search the Internet.
Another popular Internet search used is the national sex registry. This database is a nationwide collection of all those who have been charged with any type of sex crime. Being a criminal sex offender means that your personal information is available to anyone thanks to the creation of Megan’s Law. "Megan's Law allows you to search the database by a sex offender's specific name. Through a Megan's Law search you can obtain the ZIP Code and city/county listings, a detailed personal profile full of information on each registrant. By conducting a search in the national sex registry you are able to search around your neighborhood or anywhere throughout the state in which you are currently living can determine the specific location of any of those registrants on whom the law allows us to display a home address. " (http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov) This important registry includes all persons required to register as a sex offender, no matter how minor the charge may be. If an individual is convicted of any form of inappropriate sexual activity towards another person would be required to register.
Many people either do not have the time or the know how to conduct their own research. Many are choosing to utilize the large number of popular web sites available online that offer their services of providing criminal records. By combining all the relevant information needed to get the records with ease. Since obtaining these records can be time consuming, confusing, and often inaccurate, finding the right method for you is important.
Each of the databases – the Federal, the state, and the county – has their benefits. Which is best? The answer will depend greatly on your specific needs. However, using a first-class criminal background querying web site will allow you to get all of the information you need to make the right choice in exploring the criminal background of the people closest to you and your loved ones. After all, aren’t those you love worth the information you will obtain at any cost?
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