Find the right lawyer now

Searching Criminal Records

Find a Local Criminal Lawyer near You

I Need Help Searching Criminal Records

Searching criminal records may be necessary for various situations. For instance, a criminal record check may be needed when checking a person’s background for employment or housing purposes. They may also be necessary when applying for certain positions or roles in the community. Or, a person may simply want to search their records to learn more about their own criminal records.

Criminal records can usually be accessed through the local or county criminal record system. These are generally maintained through the court system in the area. There may be various restrictions on accessing criminal records, especially for records that have been sealed or made inaccessible to the general public.

What Information Can Be Searched in a Criminal Record?

For records that can be accessed, information such as the following can be obtained:

  • Information regarding previous charges
  • Dates, names of parties involved, and locations of charges
  • Sentencing information
  • Whether there are any pending charges
  • In some cases, information regarding outstanding arrest warrants

Is It Possible to Have a Criminal Record Cleared?

Sealing or clearing a criminal record can sometimes be an option for some persons. This makes it as though the criminal charges never occurred, and the public usually can’t access such information that has been deleted. This usually involves several different requirements, including:

  • The person has completed all sentences and probation/parole requirements from the charge(s).
  • The person has not engaged in any criminal activity since.
  • A certain amount of time has passed since the criminal charges were completed (usually anywhere from 5-10 years).

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Searching Criminal Records?

Criminal records can often be complex and may require the help of a criminal law attorney. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you need help searching, accessing, or clearing a criminal record. Your attorney can provide you with guidance regarding the criminal records laws in your state.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 12-22-2014 08:44 AM PST

Law Library Disclaimer
  • No fee to present your case
  • Choose from lawyers in your area
  • A 100% confidential service
What is LegalMatch?

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.