Criminal Defense Tips: How To Get A Copy Of Your Criminal Record

May 23, 2018


Criminal records, like so many other pieces of paper that we need to establish ourselves in this modern world, are a matter of public record. Which means, of course, that anyone who wants to know about your criminal record can find out about it simply by running a search for it in the proper databases or filling out the proper paperwork. Whether it's the manager at that new job you applied for, or a potential significant other who wants to know what she's getting into, your record is out there for them to find. Which is why it's a good idea for you to get a copy for yourself, so you know what it is other people are going to be seeing, and so you have it on hand for situations where it comes up.

Getting a Copy of Your Criminal Record is Easier Than You Think

The first thing you need to know is that there is no universal database when it comes to criminal records in the United States (or there isn't one yet, at least). In the federal system, you can go on the PACER locator (public access to court electronic records) system and do a search. This is free to do, however, you may have to pay to save the records or print them out. In California State system, several jurisdictions have online access where you can look up records. However, many of these counties only show limited information online or show information for more recent cases. Older cases are, typically, housed in the archive system. These files, often, need to be ordered from the archive court system.

To get a full record of crimes that appear on your background, you contact the FBI and submit an identity history summary request. Once this request is submitted, along with a set of your fingerprints and a processing fee, you'll receive a copy of your criminal record in five to six weeks. Sadly, there's no way to expedite that process, which is why it pays to start the process as soon as possible in the event you need to have copies of your records in hand. This process is pretty much the same with the California Department of Justice, which allows you to check what appears on your record through the State system.

Why Would You Need A Copy of Your Criminal Records?

Most people, once they've served their sentences, just want to put that past behind them. Unfortunately, though, criminal records warrant explaining before you can move on to new opportunities. Employers, in particular, may require that applicants with a criminal history provide full documentation of that history the same way they would require you to provide a copy of your driver's license when you apply. Checking the box on the application that states you have a criminal record opens the door to additional scrutiny, and you need to be ready to meet that scrutiny head-on.

No one wants to be defined by their criminal history, but it is important for you to acknowledge it if you're going to move past it. And part of that means you need to have the documents on hand, ready for perusal. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Category: Criminal Defense

Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.  Testimonials displayed on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter

Michael E. Mitchell, at the Mitchell Law Group, Inc., is one of the top DUI defense attorneys in Fresno, California. He has over a decade of experience handling DUI cases throughout the Central Valley, including in Clovis, Madera, Tulare, Visalia. He is a certified field sobriety instructor and practitioner under the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association. His advice and knowledge is, routinely, sought after by other attorneys practicing in the area of DUI defense. He is an expert in the area of DUI defense in both Federal, State, and on the Appellate level. If you're looking for the best DUI Lawyer in Fresno to handle your case, give us a call today to see how we can put our knowledge to work for you.