In January 2014, Swedish criminal records became available online with the launch of a new website Lexbase. People were able to search criminal records of their friends, colleagues and neighbours, showing the location of convicted criminals in the past 5 years in their neighbourhood by plotting red dots on the map. The user is able to then pay a fee to get more information about the crime committed.[95] Lexbase has become the subject of intense criticism from Swedish media, government and the general public, given its alleged infringement on the right to privacy and increased social alienation of offenders.[96]
Since the onset of the financial crisis of 2007–2010, the level of fraud has almost doubled and some experts have predicted that it will escalate further.[9] Background-checking firm Powerchex has claimed the number of applicants lying on their applications has been increasing since the summer of 2007 when the financial crisis began.[10] In 2009, Powerchex claimed that nearly one in 5 applicants has a major lie or discrepancy on his or her application.[11]
However, according to Criminal Watch Dog, you can get a felony removed from a background check, but only if you apply for the record to be expunged. Even a pardoned crime isn’t removed from your criminal record, despite what people often think. Rather, a pardoned crime is just noted as having been forgiven by a person in executive power, like the Governor or President.
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.
In Chile, citizens can request their own criminal records at the Civil Registrations office or the Registro Civil.[24] According to the Article 19 N°16 of the Constitution of Chile, an employer cannot discriminate based on anything else but personal capabilities to perform at the job offered.[25] One can eliminate one's criminal records by a voluntary checkup, providing your signature two years for first offenses, or five years for more. A person must be complaint of the requisites provided by the law No. 409.[26]
Portugal's criminal record system is an electronic database manned and maintained by Portugal's Direcção Geral da Administração da Justiça (General Direction for the Administration of Justice, DGAJ).[73] The system contains the records of Portuguese citizens that reside in Portugal, Portuguese nationals that live abroad and any foreign citizens that reside within Portugal.[73] Disclosure of an individual's criminal record is allowed at the request of the individual; themselves, or a third party with written consent of the individual. For example, an employer may request to see their possible employee's criminal record with their consent. However, the application must be made in person.[73] The certificate regarding criminal records in Portugal is called a "certificado do registo criminal" (certificate of criminal registration) which conveys whether an individual has a criminal record. An extension of this is a more detailed certificate regarding an individual's criminal activities which provides evidence for an individual to be employed in a job where they have access to large sums of cash, need high security clearance or supervise children.[73] This particular certificate is granted in a similar way to Australia's Working With Children Check, which supplies an employer with information regarding any previous criminal activity and ensures that convicted criminals are not employed in the same areas where they may have previously committed crimes.[73][85] Applications for the certificates can be made through several channels, there is a central repository for criminal records located in Lisbon, alongside a vast selection of regional courts and their administration services throughout Portugal that can provide individuals with certificates and for Portuguese nationals residing overseas, applications can be made through embassies and consulates.[73] However, none of the channels through which the certificates are available provide translation services, and therefore the certificate produced is always written in Portuguese, even when produced by an embassy in a non-Portuguese-speaking state.[73]

There can be no denying that our society has become crime-ridden. For the past several years, millions of Americans have been caught up in some sort of crime violation. They could be in jail, lock-up, detention, probation, parole, rehabilitation or undergoing legal proceedings of criminal charges. Despite all-out and all-front efforts, this worsening trend persists.

Pre-employment screening refers to the process of investigating the backgrounds of potential employees and is commonly used to verify the accuracy of an applicant's claims as well as to discover any possible criminal history, workers compensation claims, or employer sanctions. For example, CBC News of Canada reported that fraud in the workplace cost Canadian Businesses over $3.2 Billion in 2011.[6]
In Denmark, child sex abuse information is contained in two registers, the National Patient Register and the Criminal Register. The National Patient Register contains all hospital contacts including inpatient, outpatient and emergency department contacts. The Danish National Criminal Register of child sex abuse contains data relating to cases reported to the Danish police. Any sexual relationship with an individual below the age of 15 is prohibited by law as the Danish age of sexual consent is 15. Cases involving child sexual abuse are classified into three different categories according to the type of the offence involved. These groups include incest, sexual offences (physical or attempted physical sexual assault) and indecent exposure.[38]
To cancel a conviction record the following requirements under Penal Code 47 (art.136.2) must be met: 1) A period of time after having served the sentence must have elapsed (6 months, 2 years, 3 years or 5 years depending on the sentence); 2) no further crime has been committed in the interim; 3) civil compensation has been paid or the person has been declared without money. To cancel a criminal record, the individual either makes a free of charge formal request to the Ministry of Justice or the Central Criminal Records Registry cancels the record itself.[92]
Intelius is a leading provider of public data about people and their connections to others. Intelius does not provide consumer reports and is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This site should not be used to determine an individual’s eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing or any other purpose covered by the FCRA. Please visit GoodHire for all your employment screening needs.

Finnish criminal record checks can come in different forms by way of different types of certificates. An Extract from the Criminal Record can be applied for only by individuals. Commonly issued for those whom have regular contact with children, it contains information that is relevant to the specific type of employment. Another type of certificate which is issued for visa, work or permit applications is the Criminal Record Extract for a Visa Application. The final type of certificate is the Security Clearance Check whereby companies within the UK who have a branch office in Finland can apply for security clearance checks on prospective employees. Three levels of check are provided (limited, basic and extended). Individuals cannot apply for this certificate and certain conditions must first be met by employers before applying to the Finnish Police, including obtaining the written consent from the individual before application.[35]
Those seeking employment in the government relating in a field of national security, law enforcement, or other field of safety or security may look into a persons background not disclosed in applications. Those who fail a polygraph test may not be selected. In the United States laws regarding the use are under the Employee Polygraph Protection Act.
The full and detailed records of a one's criminal past can be available to a certain range of individuals and authorities, under the terms 'general use' and 'judicial use'. Under Article 575, general use dictates criminal records will and can be supplied for prospective members of the Bar, future notaries and chartered accountants as they are a prerequisite for registration.[46]
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]
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.

All states have official "statewide repositories" of criminal history information that include information contributed by the various county and municipal courts and law enforcement agencies within the state.[101] State repositories are usually accurate, but all states have provisions for the correction of errors that occur in the reporting and recording of criminal history information. Individuals may normally obtain their own records from the state, but to obtain the records of another person, a private individual will normally need to obtain a release from the subject of the record search.[102]

France has a sex offenders registry but unlike systems such as the United States, does not allow the public to access information regarding the information of cases and individuals who have been convicted of sex crimes, nor does France require the community to be notified of the presence of a sex offender in their neighbourhood as is obligatory in some other countries.[44]
There has been a growing movement on the web to use advertising-based models to subsidize these checks. These companies display targeted ads next to the reports delivered to landlords or employers. Some of the reports provided by these pay sites are only expanded versions of a basic people search providing a 20-year history of addresses, phone numbers, marriages and divorces, businesses owned and property ownership. Usually, these sites will also provide a nationwide criminal report for an added charge.

The categories of criminal conviction contained within the Extract from the Criminal Record includes those involving offences against children, sexual offences, violent offences and narcotics offences. Any other convictions not relating to these categories will not be included on the certificate. The Criminal Record Extract for a Visa Applications contains information pertaining to custodial or suspended sentences, community service, fines, juvenile punishments, and overseas decisions against Finnish citizens or permanent residents.[35]

The information on this site reflects the circumstances of an arrest and the information available at that time. It has no connection to the findings of guilt or innocence or the acquittal or dismissal of a criminal charge. It does not reflect the final disposition of any criminal charges. For information about the final disposition of arrests go to www.leeclerk.org.

Private nuisance lawsuits are between two private citizens, where one believes the other is interfering with the enjoyment of property or quality of life. For example, if your neighbor doesn’t take care of his yard and the weeds and bushes are a nuisance, you can file a private nuisance lawsuit to get a court judgement requiring him to take care of his yard.  
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.
Arrest Records are documents that contain an individual's arrest history. They are maintained by a number of government agencies at the federal, state, and local level, including local police departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and courts. Arrest Records contain an individual's arrests, arrest searches, inquiries, warrants, reports, logs, and mug shots.
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.
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.

In the United Kingdom, checks on a person's criminal record are undertaken by the Disclosure and Barring Service (in England and Wales), Disclosure Scotland (Scotland and basic Disclosure for all the UK) and Access Northern Ireland, all of which have partial access to the Police National Computer (PNC) which holds the definitive record. The ACPO criminal records office was founded in 2006, and it has the role of managing criminal record information and improving links between criminal records and biometric information.[97] These records are not publicly accessible and cannot be viewed without the subject's consent, although in some cases an employer might make such consent a condition of employment, especially if the employee is to work with children or other vulnerable people. The child sex offenders disclosure scheme allows parents and guardians to ask the police if someone with access to a child has a record for child sexual offences.[98]


Arrests that do not lead to an official finding of guilt, i.e. a conviction or the acceptance of a caution, are not considered part of a person's criminal record and are not typically disclosed as part of the process. However, an enhanced disclosure may include such additional information, which is supplied at the chief police officer's discretion. Enhanced disclosures are typically used to screen applicants for positions such as police officer, social worker, teacher which involve contact with vulnerable groups and children.
As background check services turn into subscription services, the temptation for businesses to use the information for employment screening is extremely high. After all, anyone willing to pay around $30 to $50 per month can anonymously view unlimited background reports for as many applicants as they want. And there is little accountability or policing of how you use the information since it's all considered public record.
Free criminal records are all over the internet, but they are not created all equal. There are many sites that offer free information, including government and public offices and there are many sites too that offer fee-based checks. The general guideline is if time, convenience and professional quality is of the essence, go with the paid version. But before hopping onto any one of those, you may want to consider taking reference from some of the review sites. Their selections are generally accurate and well-substantiated. The rest is up to you.

Formally, an arrest only refers to those times when an individual is seized and taken into custody. However, depending on each individual law enforcement agency’s own reporting requirements, their arrest records may contain additional information. In addition to a report of actual arrests, you may find information in an arrest record relating to a person being questioned, detained, investigated, charged with a crime, indicted, or facing trial.
All the information included in the background reports sold by these services is public information. You could, if you had the time and patience, find the information on your own. This is the value background check services provide – they do the legwork for you by using web-scraping software to mine public data or by purchasing information in bulk from companies, like Facebook and Twitter, who require users to agree to terms allowing the company to sell their information. Once the services have the public information, they collate it into a report for easy reading. 

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".


It is important to note that the information provided by the Interstate Information Index may come from the agency who "booked" the individual and not necessarily the agency who arrested the individual. Therefore, there may be discrepancies between the arrest date, location, and arresting agency listed in the database and the actual date, location, and agency who made the arrest. The Interstate Information Index may also contain incarceration information as well, listing each time an inmate is transferred from one correctional institution to another as a separate "arrest." The Interstate Information Index is only as accurate as the information reported to it by individual agencies, and frequently lacks comprehensive information on the dispositions of the various arrests it lists. It is best used as a guide on where to find more comprehensive information on the individual.
However, Nick Clements argues in "Should Identity Theft Really Scare You?" that you shouldn’t necessarily lose sleep about it. While identity theft is on the rise, the vast majority of the cases are reported as account takeovers – instances where someone uses your financial information to make purchases or gains entry into and takes over an account. These are, according to Clements, nothing to worry about. Since this kind of identity theft is common enough, banks and financial institutions are very good at making things right, so long as you report the fraud as soon as possible. In fact, 96 percent of people who experienced identity theft never had to pay a dime.
A criminal record or police record is a record of a person's criminal history. The information included in a criminal record and the existence of a criminal record varies between countries and even between jurisdictions within a country. In most cases it lists all non-expunged criminal offences and may also include traffic offences such as speeding and drunk driving. In some countries the record is limited to actual convictions (where the individual has pleaded guilty or been declared guilty by a qualified court), while in others it also includes arrests, charges dismissed, charges pending and charges of which the individual has been acquitted.
Since the onset of the financial crisis of 2007–2010, the level of fraud has almost doubled and some experts have predicted that it will escalate further.[9] Background-checking firm Powerchex has claimed the number of applicants lying on their applications has been increasing since the summer of 2007 when the financial crisis began.[10] In 2009, Powerchex claimed that nearly one in 5 applicants has a major lie or discrepancy on his or her application.[11]
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