Criminal records can turn up some surprising results about the people around you. But some of the most surprising results might be about yourself.
Many people use affordable search services like Check Criminal Record to check their own criminal records, thinking that nothing will pop up. To their enormous surprise, they find that they have a criminal record – even if they have never been convicted of a crime in their lives!
There are a few reasons for this. The first and most likely reason is criminal identity theft.
Criminal Identity Theft
Criminal identity theft occurs when someone uses your identification, name, or contact information to a law enforcement officer during an investigation or after being arrested.
In some cases, the imposter has fraudulently been using your identity for years. In other cases, they may have stolen your wallet or simply just found your lost driver’s license on the ground one day and then decided to use it instead of giving the cops their real name.
The most likely culprit for criminal identity theft is your own family, friends, and social circle. Someone might use a sibling’s name and information when speaking to a police officer, for example. If the police officer is handing out a speeding ticket or some other violation, then that person will be able to drive away with a promise to appear in court. However, that record appears in your name – so the imposter is never held responsible when they don’t show up to court.
With that in mind, you might have a bench warrant or arrest warrant out for you. You might go through a routine traffic stop, only to end up getting arrested because someone else fraudulently used your identity.
These cases are relatively rare, but they still happen every day all across America.
In some cases, we’ve seen customers find criminal activity dating back years under their name – despite the fact that they’ve never even spoken to a police officer.
Even Dropped Charges Can Appear on a Criminal Record Check
Criminal identity theft isn’t the only reason why strange charges may appear on your criminal record. Sometimes, criminal record checks can turn up charges that were dropped. You might have successfully handled charges and had them dismissed, only to have them pop up years later on a criminal record history report. This doesn’t always occur, and it can vary between states and counties, but it’s still seen occasionally.
Traffic and Parking Charges Can Appear When Searching Criminal Records
Take a close look at the charges that appeared on your criminal record search report: they might not be as severe as they first appeared. Traffic violations and parking “crimes” may appear on your criminal record, for example. Obviously, when things like this show up on your criminal record, it won’t be as big of a deal to employers or others searching your background information as more severe charges.
How to Deal with Criminal Identity Theft
If you’ve been victimized by criminal identity theft, then your first job is to contact the arresting or citing law enforcement agency, which is the police organization that originally arrested the imposter who used your identity. They’ve probably dealt with cases of misidentification before.
In many cases, the person who used your identity can be caught and brought to justice, while your record remains cleared of all charges.
Check Your Own Criminal Record Today
How many potential job offers could you have missed out on if there was a criminal record you didn’t even know you had? How many times have you been denied tenancy because of some unknown showing up on a criminal history search report? It never hurts to check. Consider checking your criminal record today to give yourself valuable peace of mind.