How to check someone's criminal background for free

Written by emilia lamberto
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How to check someone's criminal background for free
Completing a criminal background search on someone can be done for free online (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

People run criminal background checks for any number of reasons -- vetting a potential employee, investigating a neighbour or co-worker, or just double-checking whether a significant other is telling the truth about the past. Completing a criminal background search on someone can be done for free online within a few minutes.

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Things you need

  • Name of the person whose background you want to check

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  1. 1

    Visit the Criminal Searches website (see link in References).

  2. 2

    Enter the person's first and last name in the appropriate boxes. Do not include a middle initial in the "First Name" box. Include the state where you want to search, or you can leave the state blank if you're unsure. Click "Search."

  3. 3

    If any matches are found, there will be a code indicating the type of offence the person committed: "Bv" for behavioural, "Bu" for business, "D" for drug- or alcohol-related, "S" for sex-related, "T" for theft or robbery, "V" for violent, and "O" for traffic or other violations. Under "Criminal Offense," you will see the specific kind of crime.

  4. 4

    Click on "View Details" to learn more about the offences. Available information includes case number, offence type, offence code, description, date reported and the disposition of the case.

  5. 5

    If the initial search returned no results, narrow down your search. Click on "Advanced Search." This will allow you to add a middle initial, city and Postcode. You can also search by county, the year of birth or an age range.

  1. 1

    Visit the Public Records Online Directory (see link in References) to search public records by state.

  2. 2

    Select a state where the person you are looking for has lived.

  3. 3

    Select the county from the menu on the top left portion of the page.

  4. 4

    Select the website that you would like to visit. Once on that site, look for a link that says "Public Records." Go there, and enter the information of the person you're searching for. If there is no such information available for a county, contact law enforcement there to see whether you can access public records online.

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