State Criminal Records
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Accessing Background Checks & Criminal Records
The Federal Bureau of Investigations provides the public with access to Identification records, commonly referred to as Criminal History Records. These files usually contain fingerprint records associated with arrests, naturalization, federal employment and even military service.
At the state level there are identification bureaus that also provide this information upon request. In most cases individuals are encouraged to contact their state office before escalating to the FBI in order to avoid longer turnaround times. For individual state bureau contact information, visit the individual state pages below.
Who Can Access FBI Criminal Background Checks
There is a short list of reasons people can request FBI Identification records. Individuals may request a copy of their own criminal background to challenge any inaccurate information reflected in the file. Otherwise, an individual can only apply for their background check under very specific circumstances such as providing an international adoption agency with background information or satisfying employment requirements for working abroad.
How To Apply For a Free Background Check
Step 1: Fill out a copy of the Federal Background Check Request Form.
Step 2: Visit a fingerprint site and your local police station to fill out a standard fingerprint form.
Prints for all 10 fingers must be provided on an original card, copies are not accepted.
Step 3: Mail your request and fingerprint card to the address below. Include a payment of $18 to cover the processing fee. Payment can be submitted via money order or certified check payable to the Treasury of the United States.
FBI CJIS Division - Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306
There are many times when you might have a background check performed on you or when you will need to conduct a background check on someone else. Most commonly, background checks are performed for job candidates, particularly in fields that are considered positions of trust or high security. Typically, a background check will include information such as employment verification, credit rating, and any criminal history.
There are numerous types of background checks, including employment references, education verification, verification of identity and address, credit history, and criminal history. There are some laws surrounding background checks and privacy rights. The main one is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which regulates the use of consumer reports when being used for adverse decisions and requires notification of the applicant. For example, if your background check turns up a fact that prevents you from being hired by an employer, the employer must send you a pre-adverse action disclosure, the FCRA's summary of rights, and a notification of adverse action letter. As a consumer, you also have the right to decide who accesses your credit report and must provide consent.
Much of the information included in criminal background checks is considered public records and can be accessed online and through records companies. You can choose to pay a small fee to access these records yourself.
Crime statistics are utilized to quantitatively measure crime in societies. However, they may not always be accurate, since often they only include the crime that was actually caught. Different measures are used to estimate crime, including surveys, insurance records, and police records. Most official statistics are compiled from law enforcement agencies, but may not be entirely accurate since some crimes go unreported.
Statistics are most commonly collected on the offences, the offenders, and the victims. Reported incidents tend to be more accurate on less frequent but more highly reported crimes — such as homicide and armed robbery. Since laws vary from one jurisdiction to another, crime statistics may be difficult to compare.
In the US, the Uniform Crime Reports is performed by the FBI, and the National Crime Victimization Survey is conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Recording practices vary from one law enforcement agency to the next. For instance, traffic offenses that are caught and ticketed are often reported as part of the statistics, but unproven statistics given in a general survey of the public usually will not.
Counting rules will vary; however, most follow some basic guidelines. First, there must be proof of an offense; second, multiple reports about the same offense are generally counted as one offense; third, if multiple offenses occur at once, only the most serious is counted. Illegal activities that have no punishment, such as suicide, may not be counted as an offense, though assisted suicide or suicidal attempts are.
Much of the information from criminal reports is considered public record and can be accessed by the public through record offices.