State Criminal Records
Statewide criminal record searches are available in most states, and Justifacts performs searches in the states that have this information available to the public. Typically, these records are maintained in a state repository, which is run by the State Police or by the Department of Public Safety of a particular state. Each state has its own requirements for the availability of state criminal records and concerning what type of information is released. As a result, some states provide extensive criminal record information, while others are more limited.
Access RestrictionsThe ability to obtain a state criminal search varies widely from state to state. Access runs the gamut from mail requests, in-person requests, online access and, more recently, electronic fingerprinting. Some states require specialized forms that require notarization, while others require nothing more than the name to search, along with other personal identifiers. Additionally, some states restrict access to entities specifically authorized by state law. Many of these states are moving to electronic fingerprinting, which is generally handled directly through specific state agencies at authorized fingerprint locations. Some states even require results to be sent directly to the state agency for review prior to releasing the result to an employer.
Data LimitationsSince state criminal record repositories obtain the records from the counties, arresting agencies and other sources within the state and are dependent upon those agencies to forward case information in a timely and complete manner. Due to this reliance upon county agencies to forward information, state repository records may not be as current as records would be at the county level.
Turnaround Time ConcernsAs a result of requirements such as notarized forms and mailed requests, obtaining state criminal records information requires patience. In general, it takes longer for records to be obtained from the state systems than it does to obtain records from a particular county. Consequently, a state criminal record search is often used to find further information pertaining to an offense that may have been committed in a county that has not already been searched. Justifacts usually recommends conducting county court record searches in addition to a statewide search for the most comprehensive and timely results. For more information on our county court records services please visit our county court records page.
Unified Court Search – Our State Record Search AlternativeWhile access restrictions, data limitations and lengthy turnaround time can influence the decision to obtain a state search, Justifacts offers alternatives for those employers not statutorily required to obtain a state search. Justifacts provides a Unified Court Search in many states, which can afford more current information without the challenges presented by state repositories.
To learn more about our State Criminal Records services: Request Information