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.

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?

Your 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

-Failures to Pay Traffic Fines

-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)

Public Record Archive Storage-Voting Records

-Birth Certificates

-Marriage Certificates

-Death Certificates

-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.