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Free Criminal Record Search

What are Criminal Records?

A Criminal Record is an official record that document a person's criminal history.  Specific types of records where people search to find criminal history include:

·         Arrest Records

·         Court Records (Charges, Offenses, Case Numbers, Sentences, and Dispositions)

·         Inmate Records

·         Motor Vehicle Records

·         Probation Records

·         Sex Offender Records

·         Traffic Records

·         Wanted Criminal Records

An individual's criminal record is typically used by potential employers, lenders, landlords, etc. to evaluate that person's integrity and reliability. 

Who Makes Criminal Records Available Online?

Criminal Records are compiled, maintained, and updated in all levels of government (Local, State, and Federal) by law enforcement agencies.  Many databases on the local and state level are made available to the public, aside from registries like the National Sex Offender Registry, data kept by Federal databases are often not made available to the public.  Criminal Records kept on the local level include town police departments or sheriff offices who keep their own internal Criminal Record databases and can sometimes be accessed through the Internet.  The state level includes the Department of Correctional Services, State Police, and statewide Sex Offender Registries.  Some states include Statewide Repositories that contain Criminal Records supplied from county and municipal courts.  Information from Statewide Repositories can sometimes be incomplete, as some states don't make reporting mandatory.  These are made accessible online in some states.  The Federal Government functions as the central repository for all agencies through databases like the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which is managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Information from this database is not made available to private companies for background checks, nor is the data freely available online, or anywhere to the public for research.  You may, however, with significant paperwork obtain a copy of your own NCIC information if you have reasonable cause to suspect an inaccuracy exists.  Several recent papers have analyzed the completeness and accuracy of NCIC data and shown some shortcomings.

Another significant Federal database is the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).   The NICS was mandated by the Brady Bill in 1993 and necessitates a background screen on any prospective firearm buyers through its database.  Like, the NCIC database, the NICS is not made available to the public, nor private companies, however there are a number of fraudulent websites and companies that claim to give members access, or the purchase option to conduct a "NCIC Background Check".   Legitimate online sources are available however...

I Need To Look Into Someone's Criminal History...

How Can I Perform A Free Criminal Record Search At Background Check Elite?

As you have read, Criminal Records are available online, and all three levels of government provide online access to various record types.  Background Check Elite has complied and organized all of these Criminal Records resources into the most complete, and largest free database available online.  Our staff recommends the following research methods...

In the left-hand search box, select "Criminal Records" for your SEARCH TYPE, followed by your desired LOCATION.  For your location, you should think about any potential state(s) where a person may have lived, or travelled.  You will also notice in the location drop down menu that after the list of states, we include the option to select "Federal".  This includes search results not limited to a particular state, such as the National Sex Offender Registry.  Keep in mind that Federal searches will not include state-specific resources, so you will likely want to search both.  After reviewing the resources available to you using the "Criminal Records" SEARCH TYPE, you will want to broaden the scope of your search using some, or all of these additional resource SEARCH TYPE(S): Arrest Records, Court Records, Inmate Records, Motor Vehicle Records, Probation Records, Public Records, Sex Offender Records, Skiptracing (to locate unknown whereabouts), Traffic Records, and Wanted Criminals.  Remember to include all known LOCATION(S) with each SEARCH TYPE.  Some users will need to access other records as well to complete their investigation.  If you find yourself pulling out their hair from "research overload", you can access instant, complete results in the right-hand search box.  From this box, you can perform a premium search by name to obtain instant criminal history reports, complete background checks, etc.