If you want to obtain a copy of your criminal record, it may take a little legwork. Unfortunately, there is no central database where all criminal records are kept. The location of your criminal record will depend on your crime, location and jurisdiction. Criminal records are kept in federal, state and local systems. You will need to identify the type of courts where you were tried and convicted.
Why Should You Obtain A Copy Of Your Criminal Record?
In many cases, once you have committed a crime, it will be a permanent mark on your record. This will stay with you for a lifetime. In the future, if you decide to apply for a job, you may need to explain why you served jail time. Having your criminal record will make that process easier as you can refer to aa copy of your criminal record for dates and specific details regarding previous infractions.
In addition, some professional licenses or volunteer positions may require you to list your criminal record during the application process. You will need the exact data to make sure that you can complete these type of applications.
Felonies And FBI Criminal Records
The FBI is one of the main locations where your criminal record will be stored if you committed a felony. In most cases, if you committed a severe crime and received a felony, you were fingerprinted. The FBI is one of the best places to start your criminal record search if you committed a felony.
Your first step is to request your FBI records. You can do this by going online to the FBI records website at https://www.fbi.gov/services/records-management/foipa/requesting-fbi-records. This will give you two options for requesting your criminal record from the FBI. The first option is to submit your request by using the eFoipa portal. Otherwise, you’ll need to use an FOIA Request Letter. The FBI provides a sample letter and form that includes instructions.
In some cases, you will need to use an approved FBI Channeling Agency. They serve as a conduit between you and the FBI. They act on your behalf when you want to receive criminal history record information.
Criminal Records At State And Local Jurisdictions
While felony convictions are handled at the FBI level, misdemeanors are handed out at state and local levels. If you committed a minor infraction or a misdemeanor, you will have to contact the jurisdiction where the crime took place.
To locate your criminal record at the state or local level, you can begin by contacting the state police department. You should also search for the Department of Justice in the state where the crime took place. You can do this by going on the internet and searching for “state” and the keywords “Department of Justice.” In regards to the search for the state police department, you would search for “state” and the keywords “police department.”
You may also need to locate your criminal record at the county level. In this case, you would search for “name of County” and the keywords “criminal records.”
Once you’ve located the forms needed to obtain your criminal record, it will usually take between two weeks to a month to receive them.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!