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Under The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, any person has the right to request access to public records: criminal records, arrests & warrants, inmate records, vital records & more.

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Information Found in Criminal Court Records

Society has determined that almost any information is public domain and they have a right to know everything they can possibly find about someone else. One of the areas that is of great interest is someone’s criminal background and therefore the first place that people look is places where they can locate criminal court records. Bear in mind that most of the information is free and open to the public, so long as that information will not be used to harm the individual or cause him trouble with his employer.  Information found in these records includes the background of any individual, criminal court records concerning criminal convictions, sex offender records, driving records, arrest records, misdemeanors, felonies and any type of incarcerations or prison/jail records. 

Where Criminal Records are Kept

Most of the information that is provided in criminal court records is obtained from case and court proceedings that are maintained by a local or state court system. The information’s accuracy and veracity is determined by the care that is taken by the clerk's office whose responsibility it is to maintain the information. Sometimes, the information about a court proceeding is uploaded to a system that maintains the case information almost at the same time it is entered or filed in the case. At other times, there is a slight delay in receipt of information about a filing. 

Criminal court records allow access to information about almost anyone we may come in contact with, be it our neighbor, a co-worker or just a mere acquaintance. With the information found in criminal court records, we can find out about convictions anyone may have for criminal offenses committed in the past--thus allowing us to better protect our family, our homes and our money.

Information in Criminal Records

Criminal court records contain a wealth of information including the name of the accused, the locality where the offense happened, case numbers; other identifying information regarding the court action, any trial dates or dates of disposition, lists of charges that have been entered against the accused, and the current status of the case is also found in these records. Criminal court records may also contain decrees or orders that were entered by a judge presiding over the criminal proceeding, as well as any official transcripts of any court hearings held.

Types of Criminal Offenses and Cases

Criminal court records may range from minor infractions such as misdemeanors and traffic offenses to crimes that are more serious in nature. Most sex offenders are required to be listed on a national registry upon their release from prison and these records may be included among the criminal court records. Some localities may require that any person who is a convicted felon to register with the police so that their presence in the community will be known at all times. Criminal records may also have a list of these felons as well.

Information You May Find

Someone’s prior arrests, convictions, any civil or criminal judgments, personal contact information including most recent residential address and telephone number, and employment contact information can be found in a criminal court record. Other information is available through the Department of Motor Vehicles, any associations or club organizations they may be affiliated with, and in some instances, you may find photographs or recent images. Criminal court records will contain a wealth of information and can be a great source in order to ensure that the person you or your family are associated with is someone you are comfortable with based on the background search you have performed.



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