Criminal Record Search

Background Checks June 13, 2023

A criminal record search is a process of obtaining information about a person’s criminal history. Naturally, this information can be obtained from a variety of sources, including:

The information in a criminal record search will vary

What’s included will depend on the source of the information. However, it typically includes information about arrests, convictions, and sentencing. Some reasons to conduct a criminal record search include:

Employment Screening

Employers often conduct criminal record searches on potential employees, especially for positions that involve handling money or working with children.

Tenant Screening

Landlords often conduct criminal record checks on potential tenants, especially for apartments in high-crime areas.

Childcare Licensing

Childcare providers are often required to obtain a criminal background check in order to be licensed.

Volunteer Screening

Some organizations conduct criminal background checks on volunteers, especially those who will be working with children or vulnerable adults.


In some cases, people applying for immigration benefits may be required to obtain a criminal background check.

The process of conducting a criminal record search varies

A criminal record check typically involves the following steps in identifying the person whose criminal record you want to search:

  1. Obtaining the necessary authorization to conduct the search, you will need the person’s consent to conduct the search.
  2. Contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency or private background check company.
  3. Providing the necessary information to the law enforcement agency or private background check company.
  4. Paying the required fees.
  5. Receiving the results of the search.

It is important to note that not all criminal records are public record. In some cases, information about a person’s criminal history may be sealed or expunged. This means that it may not be possible to obtain this information through a criminal record search.

If you are considering conducting a criminal record search, it is important to understand the laws in your jurisdiction. In some cases, there may be restrictions on who can conduct criminal record searches and what information can be obtained. It is also important to be aware of the potential consequences of obtaining a criminal record check. For example, it is unlawful to receive juvenile records and if you are denied a job or housing because of a criminal record, you may have legal recourse.

Who might use a criminal record check

  • Employers
  • Landlords
  • Child care providers
  • Volunteer organizations
  • Immigration authorities
  • Government agencies
  • Private investigators

Criminal record checks can be a valuable tool for protecting people and property. However, it is important to use them responsibly and ethically.