Criminal histories are maintained by law enforcement agencies in all levels of government. Local police departments, sheriffs' offices, and specialty police agencies may maintain their own internal databases. On the state level, state police, troopers, highway patrol, correctional agencies, and other law enforcement agencies also maintain separate databases. Law enforcement agencies often share this information with other similar enforcement agencies and this information is usually made available to the public.[100]
With an international background check, the employer can get international criminal records, education, and employment verification. Depending on the information employers need, they may pay for one, two, or all three. Costs vary by service provider, but GoodHire’s pricing for international checks ranges from $14.99 to $59.99, depending on the country.
U.S. citizens may be asked to present a “certificate of good conduct” or “lack of a criminal record” for a variety of reasons for use abroad, including adoption, school attendance, employment, etc. U.S. law enforcement authorities may not be familiar with such a procedure since it is not commonly requested in the United States. There are a variety of options available to U.S. citizens seeking to obtain proof of their lack of a criminal record.
There is a difference between background checks and criminal history reports. Background checks can include every legal action by an individual, such as getting married or divorced and filing bankruptcy. If there has been an action involving a court, then there is an activity record on file. Criminal records are usually termed as a criminal history and will list any interaction with law officials from the very beginning of an investigation. Even a police report can list specific names. However, these records are not necessarily reported instances and will not show up on a criminal history report unless an arrest was processed. Arrest records are considered criminal reports and will be included in any criminal history unless the record has been sealed from public availability by a judge. 
There are multiple avenues in which an individual can obtain a criminal record check in Finland including applying online, by fax, post or email. An individual can also apply in person to the Legal Register Centre (Oikeusrekisterikeskus), which is the department responsible for the criminal record. The certificate, issued in English, French, German, Spanish and Swedish costs approximately €12 to €15. The certificate can be expected to be received within approximately seven working days, taking into account postage time.[36]
Criminal records are not purged regardless of time or seriousness of the case.[49] However, under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance (HK Laws. Chap 297), a criminal record is considered 'spent' if it was the first criminal offence, sentenced to less than 3 months in jail or fined less than $10,000 and a period of 3 years has elapsed since conviction and no new conviction is registered against the said person.[50] Spent records are recorded as such with the exception to:
If a Latvian individual needs a certificate of their criminal history, they can electronically request this through www.latvija.lv. They may need this record of their criminal history to submit to employers, study overseas or enter into marriage. This record can only be obtained in person at the Ministry of Interior Information Centre or it can be received through registered mail. Therefore, information about an offender's criminal history is not accessible to all members of the public.[64]

Due to the sensitivity of the information contained in consumer reports and certain records, there are a variety of important laws regulating the dissemination and legal use of this information. Most notably, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates the use of consumer reports (which it defines as information collected and reported by third party agencies) as it pertains to adverse decisions, notification to the applicant, and destruction and safekeeping of records.
There are several types of criminal record searches available to employers, some more accurate and up to date than others. These "third party" background checking agencies cannot guarantee the accuracy of their information, thus many of them have incomplete records or inaccurate records. The only way to conduct an accurate background check is to go directly through the state. Most times using the state of choice is much cheaper than using a "third party" agency. Many websites offer the "instant" background check, which will search a compilation of databases containing public information for a fee. These "instant" searches originate from a variety of sources, from statewide court and corrections records to law enforcement records which usually stem from county or metro law enforcement offices. There are also other database-type criminal searches, such as statewide repositories and the national crime file. A commonly used criminal search by employers who outsource is the county criminal search.

While not officially a criminal history repository, the National Driver Register (NDR), operated by the Department of Transportation, maintains information on drivers regarding suspended licenses. The NDR maintains a database of information posted by individual states as mandated by federal law. All drivers who have had their licenses suspended for any reason (including suspensions resulting from several successive minor traffic violations: Massachusetts suspends for three separate speeding tickets over a six-month period) have that information posted by state Registry of Motor Vehicles offices to the NDR.
Crime statistics and crime locations are prepared for the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Administration to assist in personnel placement and prevention strategies. The Crime Analysis Division also prepares data in presentation form for the CCSM (Crime Control Strategy Meeting). CCSM is a meeting with all criminal commanders so that all Commanders communicate with one another to formulate strategies to address crime in East Baton Rouge Parish.

In Germany, a criminal record certificate (Führungszeugnis) is issued by the Federal Office of Justice (Germany) [de] (Bundesamt für Justiz). Germany has a criminal record system holding all the information regarding past offences and sentences. The information is maintained by the Federal Central Criminal Register (Bundeszentralregister), which is in turn subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Justice.[47] The registry is updated daily and holds information on approximately 6.3 million individuals.

A tort is one of the most common types of lawsuit for seeking money. It’s filed by plaintiffs who claim to have experienced pain and suffering or a loss of compensation caused by the defendant. For example, if you’re hit by a driver, your insurance company might only cover your medical bills, so you sue the driver to compensate against the loss of income. The intention of seeking a financial judgment makes it the most common lawsuit filed.


In the United States, you can file a lawsuit for just about any reason, which has resulted in a high percentage of frivolous lawsuits. As such, finding a civil lawsuit on a background check report can be a red flag for a number of reasons, especially if the lawsuit was filed by the person. That said, it may also mean nothing. However, it’s worth noting the different kinds of civil lawsuits.
Information supplied depends on the level of disclosure required. Low-level disclosures only reveal unspent convictions (convictions which have not yet been expunged under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974), while enhanced disclosures normally include all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. An enhanced criminal record certificate may contain relevant information that need not relate solely to criminal matters.[99]
In Sweden, the police has a record of convictions ("Belastningsregistret"). It does not contain arrests, and its information is not available for general public, even regarding serious crimes. Individuals can ask for a copy of their own record once per year, or against a fee anytime. For employment involving children or for security guards etc., a check will be made against the criminal record. Regular employers more and more often require applicants to get a record copy themselves and give the employer. The number of requests for own copies increased from 40,000 to 199,000 between 2003 and 2012.

Portland Public Schools recognizes the diversity and worth of all individuals and groups and their roles in society. It is the policy of the Portland Public Schools Board of Education that there will be no discrimination or harassment of individuals or groups on the grounds of age, color, creed, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation in any educational programs, activities or employment.


Captain Denise Boudreaux serves as the supervisor for the Crime Analysis Division and for the Criminal/Traffic Records Division. She has been employed with the Sheriff's Office for the past 12 years. Prior to her current position she served as Administrative Assistant to the Commander at Kleinpeter Substation for seven years and then moved to Crime Analysis. The Criminal/Traffic Records Division enters document information on a data input computer terminal system to process and distribute reports to various law enforcement agencies and the general public according to office policy. In addition, the division checks, sorts, corrects forms, records and documents all files. The Crime Analysis Division is responsible for coding, counting and reporting UCR Statistics (Uniform Crime Reporting) to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations). UCR is the combination of all reporting agencies crime in the United States and will be published by the FBI yearly nationwide on the crime rates in the US.
In Hong Kong, criminal records are maintained by the Hong Kong Police Force. Unlike other countries listed on this article, Hong Kong authorities do not allow for access to criminal records by employers or school purposes. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong has the sole power to pardon offences committed in Hong Kong under section 12 of article 48 Basic Law of Hong Kong. "The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall exercise the following powers and functions... To pardon persons convicted of criminal offences or commute their penalties".

The legal system is complex. Free Public Arrest Records are broken down into specific categories. Driving, Theft, Assault, Arrest, Inmate, Immigration, Sex Offender Records are some examples. All of these are public records and are open to public access and review. Investigative work or background checks normally include criminal records in one way or another. Hence, it would be good for police work, neighborhood watch or perhaps for social background checks.
A National Criminal Background Check includes county court and sex offender registries; state Administrative Office of Courts, Department of Correction, Department of Public Safety, federal Office of Foreign Asset Control/Terrorist Database (OFAC), FBI Most Wanted, US Marshals, DEA, ATF, US Secret Service and America’s Most Wanted records revealing felony, misdemeanor, sex offender, inmate, probation, and other state and county criminal offense records nationwide.
Removal of Offences from the Record Judgements against an individual are not published on a Bulletin 3 certificate once the rehabilitation period has passed (depending on the severity of the conviction either three years for misdemeanours or five years for felony crimes, after the sentence was completed).[43] The records of the convictions will remain on the system but will not show on the request of a record. In the case of minors and children, these are removed from the Bulletin 3 once the individual concerned has reached 18 years and/or three years from the date the crime was committed.[43]
Most background screening providers use third-party vendors to pull and aggregate criminal record data from courthouses. However, Sterling does things differently. With CourtDirect™ – our proprietary fulfillment technology – we have automated direct digital access to 2,300+ US county jurisdictions (or 85% of Sterling’s court records). And we don’t stop there. When automation isn’t available, we have our team of court runners. Court records are collected 39% faster by our court runners than third-party vendors. That’s the power of owning and controlling our channels.
In the United States, any person, including a private investigator, criminal research or background check company, may go to a county courthouse and search an index of criminal records by name and date of birth or have a county clerk search for records on an individual. Such a search may produce information about criminal and non-criminal charges that do not otherwise appear on a state criminal history abstract.
Each individual who has an entry in the Interstate Identification Index has a unique "FBI number" that is used to identify a specific individual. It compensates for the fact that an individual may provide several false names, or aliases, to a law enforcement agency when he or she is booked. An individual may also lie about his or her date of birth or social security number as well, making an independent, unique identification key necessary.
In accordance with Latvian law, most criminal records are terminated after several years. The amount of time for this to occur is dependent on the nature and scope of the legal sanction for that crime. These cancelled records are still held in Information Centre records, and are readily available if the individual involved authorises the disclosure of the entire record.[65]
Individuals can request An Excerpt from the Penal Register[32] for personal access only. Applications can be made from Czech Republic embassies, and also by prospective employers for people who have been a resident or citizen of the Czech Republic.[32] Data on corporate criminal records are accessible by the general public.[33] Length of time that individuals are on the criminal record system. Criminal convictions remain on record for an indefinite period.[32] Under certain conditions, the Court will expunge convictions after 15 years in an exceptional sentence, 10 years if there conviction of the sentence does not exceed 5 years, 5 years if the sentence of imprisonment does not exceed one year.[34]

The federal gun background check process isn’t required, however, for sales within state lines by an unlicensed seller, including private-party transactions. Thirty-two states allow gun transfers between unlicensed individuals without a background check and the remaining 18 states and DC place restrictions on private gun sales, requiring a federally licensed dealer (FFL) to run a background check before a transfer can be completed.


Mandated by the Brady Bill, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is used by the FBI to screen potential firearms buyers. Citizens who are currently ineligible to own a firearm under current laws may have the opportunity to have their firearms rights restored. Eligibility largely depends on state laws. In addition to searching the NCIC databases, NICS maintains its own index to search for additional disqualifiers from gun ownership. Private companies are not allowed access to this system for background checks.
Most background screening providers use third-party vendors to pull and aggregate criminal record data from courthouses. However, Sterling does things differently. With CourtDirect™ – our proprietary fulfillment technology – we have automated direct digital access to 2,300+ US county jurisdictions (or 85% of Sterling’s court records). And we don’t stop there. When automation isn’t available, we have our team of court runners. Court records are collected 39% faster by our court runners than third-party vendors. That’s the power of owning and controlling our channels.
Criminal records in the United States contain records of arrests, criminal charges and the disposition of those charges. Criminal records are compiled and updated on local, state, and federal levels by government agencies, most often law enforcement agencies. Their primary purpose is to present a comprehensive criminal history for a specific individual.

In Belgium, there is a national central criminal record system which records, keeps and modifies data related to penal decisions. The criminal record system is maintained by the Federal Public Service Justice.[5] The criminal records held within the central system contain the following data: criminal record number; name, surname and given name; date and place of birth; gender; residence; profession; nationality; court; number of judges; degree of jurisdiction; reference, number and date of judgement; date of transmission to central criminal record; sentence pronounced, place and date of the criminal acts.[6] The central system contains records of
^ "Bellwether Settlement For $5.9 Million Given Preliminary Approval For FCRA Class Action Involving Criminal History Information : Workplace Class Action Litigation : Lawyers & Attorneys for Labor & Employment Law Litigation, Counseling, Employee Relations : Seyfarth Shaw LLP". Workplaceclassaction.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
×