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The question therefore remains, “How do you get access to free criminal records? And how do you go about getting information throughout the United States?” The first part should be easy enough to answer. There are thousands of separate criminal indexes maintained at the county, parish, township, and city levels through the country and most of the information contained there are free, including such data as criminal records.
So the information is right there and ripe for the taking. But to conduct a nationwide search would require accessing each individual index, which further means that you’ll be spending a lot of time sorting through tons of data that you may or may not find a use for. This is obviously a difficult process, time consuming, and prohibitively expensive. This is where websites offering free criminal records databases come in. Below are a few links to websites that include online databases of free criminal records.
How Online Databases for Public Criminal Records Work
Due to the rising demand for greater accessibility to public criminal records, several websites offering just that have cropped up. The idea is to keep online databases of public criminal records that are taken from a general assortment of sources, not excluding public local registries. Most of these database sites charge a minimum fee for every piece of information that you access. Public criminal records are usually too broad a term and sites offering services that include this, separate records such as these into three, namely, criminal court records, criminal imprisonment, and records of a fine paid for a criminal offense. Some sites also categorize their public criminal records according to the type of offense and the geographical location as this helps narrow the search down.
The four Types of Public Criminal Records
During the past few years, a new type of pre-employment background check became available. It is called the National Criminal File or NCF. There are actually three NCF databases which spans the whole public criminal records registries of 38 to 50 states. As of today, NCF contains over 60 million to 133 million public criminal records in its three databases.
The National Criminal File contains four different kinds of records which can all be considered as “public criminal records.” First on the list are arrest records. These are public criminal records of law enforcement records of arrest. They second type is criminal court records which are public criminal records registered locally, by state or federal. Third are corrections reports. These are public criminal records involving imprisonment for a certain period of time. And the fourth and last type is the state criminal repository records. These are statewide records made up of arrest records, criminal court records, and correction records.
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