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.
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.