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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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Accessing Ohio Criminal Records

Ohio criminal records can be accessed by the common people of the state. The criminal records of the state are an index of the criminals who have been sentenced to a prison term or have served one. The records list the criminals under several categories based on the crimes that they have committed. 

If you want to check whether an individual has a criminal past, you can search for information at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction website at It features a form where the details of the offender need to be filled in. This includes personal information like name and their complete residential address including the county of residence. In case the crime was committed in a separate county, those details also need to be furnished.

Criteria for an Ohio Criminal Records Search

Name Search: you cannot make a search without filling in the correct name. In fact, the databases are arranged on the basis of the names of the offenders. You can make your search more precise by filling in the exact name of the criminal. 

County Search: You need to provide the name of the county to which the offender belongs in the category titled Residential County. This search will be confined to those offenders who are listed under the categories APA Supervision and Violators at Large. The former features all including those who are under probation and parole. Criminals who have been tagged under Violators at Large are the ones who have managed to escape even when they were under APA Supervision. 

Parole Board Hearing Search: You can also conduct a search on the basis of Parole Board hearing dates. The search will lead to a comprehensive list of all the hearings coming up on the scheduled date. If you are aware of the offender number it will help you to narrow your search more effectively. If you are aware of the hearing date, then you can enter it and get a list of offenders awaiting a hearing. The information needs to be entered in a specific format, which is the year followed by the month. 

Offender Number Search: Offenders in Ohio are given an individual number. If you are aware of that number it can make the search process much easier. The offender numbers have different prefixes like W, R and A.  ‘W’ is used as a prefix for all female offenders while male offenders are identified with the prefixes “A” and “R”.  The male offenders can be identified with their 6-digit numbers while the female offenders have a 5-digit number assigned to them. 

How to Obtain Ohio Criminal Records

The need for an Ohio criminal records search is felt mostly by employers who need to run a quick background check before recruiting a complete stranger. This also holds true for those looking to obtain professional licenses.  Ohio criminal records are available from the courts' website. You can access information on both active and inactive cases of the Ohio Supreme Court from The website features information on cases that have been filed after January 1985. You can access information about a particular court case by entering the Supreme Court Case Number. More specific information, like the name of the attorney, name of the parties involved in the case and prior case information will yield better search results.

A request for an Ohio public criminal records search can be made to the Civilian Identification Department of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. The office remains open for five days of the week from Monday-Friday from 8 in the morning to 4:30 in the evening. You can also make a call to their toll free number, (877) 224-0043.

A copy of the background check for the purpose of employment, licensing or any service related to children and the elderly can be obtained upon submitting an application to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. It should contain specific information like name, date of birth, Social Security number, residential address and the name of the agency that has been authorized to conduct the search. The results of the background check are valid for a year from the processing of the fingerprint card. A processing fee of $8 is charged for a single copy of the background check. The applicant can keep the original document while the employer can have a photocopy. You can download the copy from

Sex Offender Information in Ohio

Criminal records in Ohio can also be searched for a list of sex offenders. The information is available through the Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification, or eSORN. It contains all details of registered sex offenders in the state. The database is updated on a regular basis in order to make it more user friendly. It is connected to the offices of the sheriffs of all the 88 counties in the state along with the 32 correctional unit records offices functioning under the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. This online facility makes it possible to share all information related to sex offenders for the convenience of the law enforcement authorities as well as the general public. You can sign up for automated messages or alerts on the system and you will be informed as soon as a sex offender moves into your neighborhood.

The sex offenders in the state are supposed to register with the county sheriff, furnishing all relevant information including personal details, photographs and the exact nature of the crime for which they were convicted.  The information is then submitted to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. As per Ohio Revised Code 2950.034, sex offenders cannot live within a radius of 1000 feet of a daycare facility, preschools and schools.

Ohio criminal records can be searched for information related to offenders who have been incarcerated or are under the supervision of the Department of Corrections. Any inquiries related to these records can be mailed to

More Ohio County Criminal Records Information:

Ohio County Criminal Records



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