Arrest records are public records – Use them wisely
Yes you can access arrest records, public records and many other things very easily. You should take advantage of this fact if you ever have any dealing with anyone at all. This means pretty much every one of us of course. You can never be too careful about the people that you work with, go on dates with, work for you or even people that you meet casually. Any one of them might have a criminal record or an arrest warrant.
If you are hiring someone to work for you then this is definitely a time when you should be checking arrest records. You have a duty not only to yourself, but to your organization too. If you are about to get personally involved with someone then you owe it to yourself to check out this person’s background. You could save yourself a whole lot of trouble by finding out the truth up front.
An arrest record does not mean that someone is a criminal
Just because someone has been arrested, it doesn’t mean that they are bad people. You must remember that perfectly innocent people get arrest warrants and are arrested all the time. You don’t usually have much control over whether you get an arrest warrant or not so you must be careful not to jump to false conclusions.
On the other hand, everyone that has ever been convicted of a crime was first arrested. So the fact that someone has been arrested should give you sufficient cause to investigate further. It may have been nothing more than a mistake but it could easily be something more.
Searching for arrest records nationally
In theory you can do a nationwide search for arrest records by making requests in every court in the country. Unfortunately this is practically impossible due to the huge numbers of courts that you would have to apply to. So how can you look up someone’s arrest records?
If you can’t reasonably check every court in the land then what should you do? Well you have to take reasonable care when you do your searches and try as hard as you reasonably can to find the records.
The first thing that you can do is to check out an arrest records public database. This type of database can be found online and will offer you their accumulated arrest record data. Information that has been collected over many years from publicly available sources both online and offline. You can use a web site like this to do a nationwide warrant or record search. It may not be quite as up to date as the actual courts records will be but it does give you the ability to to check many areas at once very quickly.
Depending on what you find on the public records site you may want to do a more targeted search using the courts themselves. To do this you must find out all the places where the person has lived and worked over the past 7 years. Then you can apply in just those courts close to where the person spent most of their time.
It will never be possible to say with 100% confidence that someone does not have an arrest record but if you follow these guidelines you can be satisfied that you have taken all reasonable precautions.
Author: Steve Gee