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How To Obtain Criminal Records
The Different Repositories

When it comes to looking up criminal records, there are a number of ways to do so, including doing it by yourself or enlisting the help of professional agencies. If you choose to go solo, than youíll be responsible for finding all of the criminal records on your own. This is a good option when you know where to look but not a good idea if you need to perform multiple searches and arenít sure where to look. Hiring someone to work for you will make a criminal background check fast, easy and effective since the professionals know where to look and how to access the required information.

The Local Search Option

The local search is useful for someone who is looking up criminal records on a person in the same county because the only thing theyíll need to do is go to the county courthouse and look up all the information. At the courthouse there will be a computer where people can look up all the records and there is sometimes a desk attendant who will help you if youíre having trouble finding anything. If youíre unable to find everything youíre looking for at the courthouse, you can also visit the state repository, but thereís a much different process for looking up records here. The repository has more restrictions and regulations than the courthouse and if the person youíre researching is from a different county, youíll need to find out which county they are from. Different counties have different ways of doing things, so you should keep this in mind. Some counties might only have records available by phone or require an appointment. Before visiting a county to find records, itís important to understand their regulations so youíre not wasting any time.

The Difference Between State and County Searches

Compared to a county search, a state search will reveal more general information because states depend on their counties to receive and maintain all this information. If there is a problem, it usually takes some time for the state to realize it. As a result, the state often does not have the proper information on file, which is why state searches arenít very useful. States rely more on their counties than their counties rely on them. However, there are times when a county search isnít that helpful and youíll find that a more broad and general state search is the best option. It all depends on the situation at hand and what information is given to you by the state and county.

Public Records and the Internet

When searching from criminal records without the help of a professional, the Internet wonít be much help. Though itís a useful tool to find the locations of courthouses and state repositories, the Internet is not the place to find the actual criminal records because they arenít put online for the public to read. The only way to gain access to criminal records online is through a vendor. Therefore, itís much easier for a person to go to a repository and get them in person. If youíll be constantly looking up criminal records, itís worth using a vendor because you wonít mind spending the money. If this is the case, itís very easy to use online vendors and services and youíll save a lot of time because you won need to research where you can get the records in person.


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