Different kinds of criminal records

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Among the many reasons for wanting to access criminal records for free, background checks during the hiring process is one. This way, the employers would be able to weed out any person who is more prone to committing an offense and make the work place a safer place to work at. The corporate firms are now investing a lot of money on firms who have access to the criminal records for performing these background checks. These firms not only use the public access to these records, but they also use other sources of information to complete the background check.

Not all the nationwide databases can be accessed by everyone and some of them are not up to date either. The only database that is big is the database of FBI. But even that does not have small misdemeanors recorded in it. Also the FBI database is not for free access to every citizen. In fact, you might end up paying penalty if you take information for non-criminal justice related purposes.

Apart from the database maintained by FBI, there are also other databases that provide a lot of information on criminal records, and are accessible to public for free. One such database is National Criminal File (NCF) that has input from nearly 38-50 states. The criminal records available in NCF range between 60-133 million. While this is a very big number, one needs to read the fine print carefully before using the free access to these criminal records on NCF.

The category of public access contains 4 different type of criminal records. The records from the state criminal repository, corrections records, records from criminal courts and arrest records are the four kinds. Any record of arrest which was done by the local agency of law enforcement is included in the arrest records. Whenever a person is captured, many states mandate that the agency makes a arrest report. This becomes a record of arrest and is further forwarded to the criminal courts. When the case is arraigned, the record becomes the criminal court record. The penalty can differ after the conviction is made. It could be anything including imprisonment for a short time in jail or in state prison. These records of the penalty constitute the records of corrections. All the above records are sent to the state repository once the proceedings are over and then it becomes state criminal repository records.

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