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Criminal Court Records Free – The Top Techniques For Gaining Free Access to Criminal Court Records

By: Buster McAlister

So you are set on getting access to free criminal court records, right? Well then know that some techniques are far better than others.

When it comes to free background searches you must rely on possibility that the information you are looking for has been published online in some form or another. While criminal court records are open to the public, none of the online free search engines such as Google, have any access to them. They rely on someone publishing the criminal record in a text file of some form, say in a news report for instance.

This means that the most accurate free method is to go to the source yourself. In this case the source is local the courthouse. And sadly this is a time consuming task. What you will need to do is to fill out an application in writing asking for admission to the public record database. This application is for two reasons first to guard the safety of their records by making sure that you have a legitimate reason for the search, and secondly to make sure you are not just using public records to stalk someone.

After a few days your application will be approved and you will go back to the courthouse and be given access to the file room. This is often a warehouse full of file cabinets or file boxes. You will need to sift thought the arrest records, and court documents. Be ready to spend some considerable time in this process, especially if the info you are seeking is older.

This is a wash rinse and repeat formula. You will need to continue this operation for each jurisdiction that the person has lived in or spent any substantial time in. This is because each jurisdiction only handles documents for their area. Therefore if the person you are checking up on lived in another town with a different jurisdiction, you will have to check there to be certain that you have not missed any offense or arrest.

If you are diligent, then getting a free criminal court records in this manner may get you the criminal history you are looking for. However if you are in a hurry and don’t have the spare time to dedicate to doing this method thoroughly then you could choose to use an online database that has sophisticated software to scan through all jurisdictions and to cross reference for accuracy in any state, province and even across national borders.


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The article presented here is the opinion of the author. The opinions expressed in this blog are the sole opinions of the author and do not, in any form, reflect the legal advice or opinions of Lavenstein Law LLC. Lavenstein Law LLC does not co-author, nor promote the opinions, ideas, or statements published in this forum. Any information supplied in this forum is for editorial purposes only and should not be accepted as legal counsel provided by Lavenstein Law LLC. If you seek professional legal counsel in matters of criminal law, contact Lavenstein Law LLC. Lavenstein Law LLC is a criminal defense law firm in Maryland.