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How to Find Criminal Records

The Internet contains a multitude of resources that allow access to criminal records. Information about criminals, sex offenders, parolees, and court hearings is public knowledge. Hence, numerous websites are dedicated to providing visitors with helpful information. In most cases, a criminal record search is conducted by family members or friends trying to locate information on a loved one. On the other hand, criminal record searches are also useful for employers and parents looking to hire a babysitter or nanny. Because online criminal record searches provide accurate information on criminals nationwide, uncovering someone’s criminal past is simple. Consider the following tips for searching criminal records using the Internet.

U.S. Department of State: The official website for the Department of States provides an abundance of resources to help you search criminal records on a nationwide and state level. Criminals walk the streets on a daily basis. While many have served jail time and undergone rehabilitation, a large percentage of criminals will become repeat offenders. The Department of State’s website provides a link to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in which users can find a criminal record for any U.S citizen. Even if a criminal remains on the loose, the website will offer insightful information on America’s Most Wanted, Fugitives, and so forth. To begin your search, visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1201.html. In addition to searching someone’s criminal record, this site is useful for obtaining information about one’s own criminal history. Subjects can request arrest records, fingerprint cards, and so forth.

Pardon Attorney: In some instances, a person may be arrested for a crime, but never charged. Criminals receive pardons for various reasons. However, there is a way to search the names of pardon recipients. Visit the U.S Department of Justice’s website at http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/pardon_foia.htm. Next, select the link for “clemency recipients.” Choose a specific timeframe. Search results will provide the full name, and an offense detail for person’s who have received pardon from a crime committed.

American Probation and Parole Association: Not all persons who commit crimes receive jail time. Depending on the crime, a first time offender may receive probation, in which he or she must maintain good behavior for a designated period. Violation of probation could result in jail time. On the other hand, some criminals serve a short sentence, and receive early release from a parole board. Criminals placed on parole or probation are free to walk the street. Hence, their criminal status may be unknown. Before hiring an employee, it is common for employers to search criminal records, and probation or parolee records. To begin a search with the American Probation and Parole Association, visit http://www.appa-net.org/default.htm. For information on each state’s board, follow the link for “probation and parole directory.” Next, choose the appropriate state. This website will include detail information such as the parole’s board address, official webpage, telephone number, etc. Contact the local board and request a search. If unable to find local board information, contact the headquarters at:

American Probation & Parole Association
PO Box 11910
Lexington, KY 40578-1910
Phone: 859-244-8203

Criminal Justice Information: This website is extremely useful for locating information on state inmates, parolees, death row inmates, and so forth. To begin your search, visit http://www.spiesonline.net/criminaljustice.shtml. The following webpage includes criminal search information for each individual state. For example, the listing for Arizona contains links to the Attorney General’s office, Department of Law, and the state’s Criminal Justice Department. Simply choose the appropriate state and helpful links. Many states provide search tools such as an inmate locator, sex offender database, current warrants, most wanted list, fugitives, and so forth. Simply enter a name, and search results will provide the criminal’s color photograph, offenses, sentence date, release date, etc.


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