California Criminal Records Search

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How to Check for California Criminal Records

California criminal records are maintained by the Department of Justice however they are restricted to law enforcement agencies and other authorized personnel. You may legally request a copy of your own criminal records for a fee of $25. First, you must use their Live Scan Form and have your fingerprints taken. You must return the form and the fingerprints to any local police or sheriff’s office for processing. You can also use a third-party records service to obtain criminal records for someone in California.

California criminal records online

Federal Records vs. Court Criminal Records in California

Federal criminal records are kept and maintained by the FBI, and you must contact them for a copy of yours. Everything is handled through fingerprints. The courts, however, show all district court records and local criminal activity. The public has access to court records through the state website. When accessing court records, you might have to contact the court in your district or use their specific website. No one entity has all the files combined into one database. They are split among each agency separately.


How Long do Felony or Misdemeanor Charges Last?

Some felonies can stay on your criminal record for life. Others you can have expunged, but you must go through a lengthy legal/paperwork process to do so. The same goes for misdemeanors; they will be on your record for life if you do not apply to have them removed. You can go through the expungement process to have them removed as long as you qualify. California criminal background checks are supposed to show only the past seven years of criminal records.


Who Can Lookup your Criminal Background?

Only you have direct access to get a copy of your own criminal record. However, authorized government sources and law enforcement agency may also access your criminal records for the purposes of background checks and licensing or certification.


Why Check Someone’s Filed Criminal Charges?

Police reports show why someone filed criminal charges against someone else. When a crime is committed, you cannot file criminal charges without law enforcement involvement. If someone steals from you, you must first report it to the police and then file a report. You can then bring criminal charges against them.


Types of Criminal Records

Arrests, felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions, driving infractions, and sex offenses are the most common types of criminal records you will see on a person’s report. Additionally, incarcerations, fines, bail, and bond information may also be included in California criminal records.


How Are CA Criminal Records Created?

Criminal records are created whenever a law enforcement agency moves someone through the justice system. When the person is arrested, fingerprinted, arraigned, sentenced, and punished for their crimes, it is documented, and these documents become criminal records.