Top 5 Free Online Resources for Finding Arrest Records

Thanks to the internet, finding someone’s arrest record is easier than ever. There are plenty of online databases available to the public.

Yes, you can legally check someone’s arrest record. As long as you’re checking the record for personal reasons (and not to hire someone or enter into a contract), it should be legal.

Where can you get started? Keep reading to find the five best free online resources for performing a background check.

Resources For Finding Arrest Records

National Sex Offender Registry (NSOPW.gov)

The National Sex Offender Registry, found online at NSOPW.gov, is a website created by the United States Department of Justice. The website offers a free nationwide search for sex offenders registered anywhere in the United States.

You can search the registry with just a name. Enter a first name and last name and see all sex offenders registered under that name.

You can also search by location. If you want to check a neighbor’s address, for example, then you can enter that address into the registry.

All sex offender information is available to the public. Specific information, however, varies from state to state. Generally, you’ll be able to see a photo of the sex offender, the offender’s current or last known location, the type of crime committed, and the date the crime was committed.

The National Sex Offender Registry also links to the public registries for each state. In most states, you can view a map showing all sex offenders in your area.

Each State’s Department of Public Safety

Each state has its own Department of Public Safety (or an organization with a similar name). This organization typically has a division dedicated to tracking arrest records and criminal convictions.

In Texas, for example, criminal convictions are accessible through the Texas Department of Public Safety. The organization offers a simple online search database. You register for that database, then enter a name to view the arrest records and convictions of anyone, anywhere in the state.

Most states have similar systems. Specific search processes vary between states. Some states limit access to certain information – say, only arrest records from the last seven years.

The California Public Records Act and the California Constitution, for example, give Californians the right to access public information maintained by local and state government agencies, including arrest and conviction records collected through the Department of Justice. You can view specific information on how to access those records in California here through OAG.ca.gov.

Some states, meanwhile, do not provide public access to arrest records. They only allow access to certain qualified organizations or corporations.

Check the Department of Public Safety website for any state of residence for the person you’re trying to check. You can also check arrest records for any state the individual visited. Someone might have traveled from Nevada to California and been arrested, for example, in which case the arrest record will show up on a California Department of Public Safety database search but not a Nevada DPS database search.

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC.org)

The National Center for State Courts is an organization that offers easy access to private and public court records. If you want specific case information from specific courtrooms anywhere in the United States, then the NCSC website is a good place to start.

Visit the state public access links page here, then click on any state you want to check. You’ll be able to view any online records currently available for that state, including official government sources and unofficial databases.

People Search Websites and Social Media Websites

You don’t have to search a government database to find secret information about someone. Instead, you can turn to public, free websites for that information.

People search websites like WhitePages and People Search, for example, all provide information about millions of Americans. These websites collect public information – including addresses and phone numbers – and then allow anyone to search for it. You can search by phone number with a reverse search. Or, you can search by name for a standard search.

Using social media websites for background checks is self-explanatory. Check someone’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other profiles to discover all sorts of information they have volunteered online.

Check Criminal Record (CheckCriminalRecord.com)

If you are looking for a no-nonsense criminal record check service, then CheckCriminalRecord.com is a great all-in-one resource. You can avoid manually checking all of the online resources listed above. Instead, you can simply enter a name and get a complete background profile on any individual.

Checking someone’s criminal record should be easy. With CheckCriminalRecord.com, it’s never been easier.

Final Tips On Finding Criminal Arrest Records

Use any of the free online resources above to check any criminal record at no cost.

With more online databases available than ever before, it’s easy, free, and legal to uncover someone’s criminal record or arrest history background report online.

How To Find Someone’s Criminal Record

How To Find Someone's Criminal Record OnlineFinding someone’s criminal record isn’t as hard as you may think. Thanks to the internet, you can learn a lot about someone without ever leaving your office chair.

If you want to know more about the process of finding someone’s criminal record information, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our ultimate guide to finding anyone’s criminal record.

The National Driver Register (NDR) And The DMV

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps a record of every driver in the United States. It’s called the National Driver Register (NDR).

Anyone – yes, even you – can browse through those records to find someone with a registered driver’s license in the country.

The NDR is part of the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. You can look through the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) to find information about individuals whose drivers’ licenses have been revoked, suspended, canceled, or denied. Anyone who has been convicted of a serious traffic offense will also show up.

Driver License IdentityWhether your target has a compromised driving record or not, the NDR provides valuable information about someone. You can search through the NDR to find all of the following information about someone:

-Name

-Date of birth

-Gender

-Driver’s license number

-Reporting state

Basically, you get all of the same information you would see if you took a picture of someone’s driver’s license (aside from their physical characteristics).

Meanwhile, the DMV knows more about you than virtually any of the other government agencies. They keep track of a lot of personal information: from your criminal records to your marriage and divorce certificates.

The only thing that doesn’t pop up when you search for someone through the DMV is their “confidential information”, which includes home address, home telephone number, physical/mental information, social security number, and photograph. Aside from this, a surprising amount of personal information is readily accessible by anyone.

To get in touch with the DMV in your state and request someone’s record, visit this link: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Data/National+Driver+Register+(NDR)

That takes you to the NDR homepage. Just click on the “Contact information for State Departments of Motor Vehicles” link on the right-hand side of the page. You’ll automatically start to download a PDF document with your state’s DMV contact information.

From there, contact your state’s DMV (or the DMV in your target’s state) and request the record of anyone you want to learn more about.

Your Local Town Hall, City Hall, Or County Courthouse.

County CourthouseCriminal record check processes vary widely across the United States.
But one thing is common: you can always find information at your local town hall, city hall, or courthouse. These administrative organizations keep criminal records for all cases that have occurred within their administrative area. They’re trusted with keeping public records. Part of that responsibility is providing public records to the, well, public.

Using this method, you’re able to access anybody’s public record.

That doesn’t mean checking someone’s criminal record is easy with this method. You’ll often run into roadblocks. In North Carolina, you may encounter the Public Records Law, for example. in Maryland, they have the Public Information Act.

Certain states also make this process notoriously difficult. Florida, for example, may force you to deal with three different government laws, including the Statutory Public Records, Statutory Public Meetings, and Judicial Access Decisional Law.

Ultimately, your local town hall or county courthouse handles criminal record checks all the time. If you contact that organization, they’ll be able to tell you what you need to do, who you need to call, and how you need to proceed with your criminal record check.

Submitting A Request Through The FBI

The FBI provides criminal record checks – although they’re only available if you’re checking your own criminal record.

The FBI calls this your “Identity History Summary”, although it’s better known as your criminal record. It’s specifically defined as “a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions kept by the FBI and related to arrests.”

You can submit a criminal record check request here through the FBI.

Using The Freedom of Information Act To Learn More About Someone

The last and best way to check someone’s criminal record is to submit a request to the US government citing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

There’s a reason this act exists: it’s to promote transparency in the government. Agencies are hesitant to deny a FOIA request (unless you’ve stumbled upon something really secretive). Even if information may not appear to be accessible to the general public, you can often get past this barrier with a FOIA request.

Keep in mind that the FOIA also allows agencies to block a certain request. One of the most-likely reasons your request would be denied is if it’s an “unreasonable invasion of privacy”. In other cases, you’ll only receive a partial answer to your request.

Checking Someone’s Record May Not Be As Hard As You Think

Remember: criminal records are public records. You’re a member of the public. In most cases, the only thing preventing you from learning more about someone’s criminal record is a little hard work and a bit of time.

Which Parts of Your Personal Data Are Considered “Public Record”?

A surprising amount of personal data is considered to be part of the public record. You probably assumed that certain things – like marriage records – were public record. But have you ever stopped to think just how much someone can learn about you through public records?

Today, we’re getting to the bottom of things and explaining which parts of your personal data are considered to be public record.

What Is A Public Record?

Looking Through Public Records

A public record is generally described as public information that is fixed in any medium and is retrievable in usable form for future reference. Typically, this information is deemed important for retention by judicial, legislative, or local government officials – like local records committees or state records committees.

Public records date back as far as the early beginnings of civilization. Government officials in ancient Babylon kept records in cuneiform writing on clay tablets, for example. More recently, public records laws have expanded to include modern communication platforms – like emails.

In any country, public records are indispensable to the efficient and economical operation of government. Think of it as like the “memory” part of the government’s brain. Instead of having to ask someone “When were you arrested for DUI?” and then taking their word for it, the government can consult their own records and run an orderly society.

Okay, you get it. Now let’s get to the interesting stuff: what’s actually in the public record?

What’s In Your Public Record?

Public Record Archive StorageYour public record contains a surprising amount of personally identifiable information about you, including:

  • Your Name
  • Birth Date
  • Home and Mailing Addresses
  • License Number
  • Physical Description
  • Social Security Number
  • Failures to Appear in Court Records
  • Failures to Pay Traffic Fine Records
  • License Status (whether it’s valid, revoked, suspended, or expired, for example)
  • Major traffic convictions stretching back 7 years (and minor traffic convictions stretching back 3 years)
  • Voting Records
  • Birth Certificates
  • Marriage Certificate Records
  • Death Certificate Records
  • Property Records
  • Court Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Arrest Records
  • Postal Address Information

Most of the above information is held within just one government agency: the DMV. They know almost everything about you.

What’s Excluded From The Public Record?

Certain government records are exempt from disclosure under state and federal law. Most state records laws exempt specific types of records from public disclosure. Some of the things protected under these laws include:

  • Communications between attorneys and their government clients
  • State tax information
  • Trade secrets
  • Certain lawsuit settlements
  • Criminal investigation records
  • Records about industrial expansion

The above are not considered public records, so they won’t be revealed during a public records search.

Criminal Investigations Are Not Public Records

Another major section of records that are blocked off from the public are criminal investigation records.

Records of criminal investigations conducted by public law enforcement agencies – or any criminal intelligence information collected by those agencies – are not considered to be part of the public record.

However, certain information about crimes is always public record. For example, the time, date, location, and nature of a violation of the law are part of the public record, as is the identity of anyone involved in that incident (including their name, sex, age, address, employment, and the criminal charges they were alleged to have committed).

Certain Government Records Are Considered Confidential

The government has some information about you that it will not reveal to the public. That information includes all of the following:

  • Social welfare information, including Medicare records
  • Social Security information
  • Tax information
  • School records

This information will not be disclosed to the general public.

However, it may be disclosed to certain groups. For example, the government can release your tax information (both federal and state) if it’s part of a court proceeding where tax issues are relevant, if a government agency is trying to locate a parent who owes child support payments, if state financial aid programs have been requested, or if it’s for statistical use or tax administration purposes.

Who Can Get A Copy of Public Records?

You can legally request anyone’s public record. That’s why it’s a public record. Check Criminal Record makes it easy to check someone’s public record. Our online search service can be used for far more than just criminal records searches. We can also deliver information about marriage certificates, death certificates, property holdings, and more.

If it’s part of the public record, then you – or anyone else – can legally access it. However, when you work with a public records search organization like ourselves, searches tend to be more thorough.

Some people take advantage of public records to look up their own public records, while others think it’s entertaining to look up a celebrity’s record under their real name. Whatever you choose to do, Check Criminal Record is here to help.

Do You Really Know The Person You’re Dating?

Domestic Abuse Relationship - Dating A Criminal

We live in a world where you can get a date for tonight on Tinder without leaving your couch. But how well do you really know the new person you’re dating?

Whether you met on Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, Instagram, Match, or any one of the dozens of other social media / dating platforms available today, you probably don’t know everything about your new fling.

Sometimes, it’s nice to keep things casual. But if you want to get more serious, then you need to know who you’re dating. Remember: 60% of all violent crimes in America are committed by loved ones or acquaintances.

With that sobering thought in mind, let’s take a look at how you can easily learn more about the person you’re dating.

1) Google Their Name, Phone Number, Address, And All Other Personal Information

The first and easiest step is to use a search engine like Google to learn more about the person you’re seeing.

Yes, this can feel a bit stalker-ish. But hey, you’re doing it to protect yourself.

If you’re dating someone new, then you’re probably already Googled their name at least once. Google their name again and look at news stories mentioning their name. Make sure they’re using a real name that shows up in search results. Look at the images tab to find things that may not show up in the general search – you may be surprised what you find.

You should also be wary if they’re using a name that’s suspiciously common – like John Smith or James Miller (sorry to all the real John Smiths and James Millers out there). A common name isn’t enough to immediately make you suspicious of that person. However, if they have a common name and you can’t find any specific information about that person online, then you may want to take a closer look.

After Googling their name, Google their phone number. Typically, phone number searches won’t reveal anything but websites with lists of all phone numbers in a region. However, you can sometimes find an old business or other organizations with which your new friend is/was associated.

You’ve come this far on your stalking binge, so you might as well go all-in: Google every piece of personally identifiable information about the person – like their address, workplace, and anything else you find or can think of.

Even if you don’t turn up anything nefarious, you’ll at least know a lot more about your boyfriend/girlfriend the next time you get together!

2) Search For A Criminal Record

This might seem a bit intense for a new relationship, but it’s something thousands of men and women do every day.

Running a criminal record search on someone is perfectly legal. There’s nothing to stop you from doing it. Criminal records are public records, and that means someone like you is allowed to look at them.

Today, online services like CheckCriminalRecord.com have made finding someone’s criminal record incredibly straightforward. These criminal search services let you enter a name and find out everything you need to know about that person’s background.

You can check their background in a specific state and county. Or, you can scan the entire country for results.

All searches are performed anonymously and they leave no trace. One criminal records search can turn up information about someone’s criminal record. Or, even things like parking tickets, misdemeanors, and charges that were dropped can appear during a public records search.

We specialize in checking public records and criminal records for new boyfriends and girlfriends. In fact, thousands of people have used our service for precisely that reason.

To get started today, fill out the person’s first and last name using the online form on CheckCriminalRecord.com.

3) Casually Ask About Their Daily Schedule

Is the new person you’re dating really a lawyer at that big law office downtown? Or are they really just a janitor at a bar?

The next time you hang out, ask about their daily schedule. Maybe see if they can meet up to grab coffee on a lunch break, for example. Ask what they did today. You’d be surprised by how many people lie about their jobs. Some people are just insecure about their jobs, while others are hiding something more nefarious.

4) Gently Probe Their Positions On Key Issues

You may think somebody is “the one” – until you hear their stance on abortions, capital punishment, immigration, or some other contentious issue.
Now, it’s probably not a good idea to ask these kinds of heady questions on a first date. But over the next few dates, it’s important to casually probe about serious topics – after all, these are thing that make or break a relationship.

But you want to do it gently.

Instead of coming straight out and saying, “immigrants are the scourge of our nation”, for example, start with something a little softer like “Trump sure has some interesting ideas on immigration, hey?”

5) Talk To Them About It – There Could Have Been A Mistake Somewhere Along the Way

Ultimately, you could find a lot of bad information about someone while Googling or checking their criminal record – only to realize you’ve been looking at the wrong person the whole time.

In other cases, criminal records can be mistakenly placed under someone’s identity, potentially ruining their reputation for life.

If you’re concerned about the results you found, then talk to that person first before doing something drastic – like breaking up over one search result. In some cases, there’s a good explanation. In other cases, there may have been some error along the way.

And then there are some situations where the person was deliberately trying to hide something really bad from you. You never know until you check.