A criminal records check involves an examination of a person’s legal criminal history. This contains information for every criminal charge, conviction, and sentence that the person was involved in. A criminal record check is usually needed anytime the person’s background is a factor, such as during employment hiring or other processes.

When Are Criminal Record Checks Needed?

Criminal record checks are usually requests in situations such as:

  • Applying for a job
  • Applying for a visa, passport, or other immigration documentation
  • Applying for a government position or role
  • Working for schools and other positions requiring interaction with children or minors
  • Seeking to buy a home or other housing
  • Situations involving child custody, visitation, and child support

Thus, criminal record checks are usually needed when the issue of security and safety comes into play. This is especially true for instances where the person has a history of violent crime.

Can I Have My Record Cleared?

Clearing or sealing a criminal record is sometimes an option. This is where the records are closed to the public and cannot be accessed by employers, home sellers, or other persons. These record clearing or sealing (sometimes called expungement) is only available for certain crimes, and may involve several requirements. For instance, the records can usually only be cleared several years after the charge, and only after the sentences are completely fulfilled.

Crimes committed by minors are usually recorded in the person’s record. However, they can usually be cleared or sealed when the person reaches the age of majority (usually 18 years old). This must be requested specifically, as record sealing is not an automatic process.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Criminal Record Issues?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a criminal record, you may need to hire a lawyer for help. A expungement lawyer can provide you with advice on how to ensure that your records are accurate, and up-to-date. Also, if you need to have your record cleared, your lawyer can help you with that process as well.