The Michigan State Police retain records of criminal convictions in the state. The records are public files that others could access for legitimate reasons, like performing a criminal background check. The following information can help you to better understand how the Michigan State Police’s criminal records division operates.
What Are Criminal Records?
The criminal histories are public records and subject to the Freedom of Information Act in Michigan. Criminal records include all convictions for felonies and high-level misdemeanors. The records also include prior felony charges, any pending misdemeanor or felony charges, and a fingerprint record. The records generally are provided as three-year, five-year and lifetime records.
How Are Criminal Records Used?
Criminal records are used by a variety of individuals and organizations for legitimate reasons. Anyone can obtain a copy of his or her criminal record. Criminal records enable potential employers to determine a job candidate’s qualifications for a position. They help apartment and housing communities to determine whether or not a prospective resident might pose a threat to the local community.
How Can Someone Access Your Records?
The Michigan State Police operates the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT), which enables individuals to obtain criminal history reports. The ICHAT system is the only resource through which the general public can obtain criminal history reports.
The ICHAT system makes criminal history records available on the same day upon receipt of payment. The reports are visible for up to seven days and can be printed or downloaded during the week-long period. The ICHAT reports only are available online. The Michigan State Police will not mail reports to those requesting them.
How Can You Request a Criminal Record?
Anyone seeking a criminal record in Michigan must use the ICHAT system to do so. It is the state’s only public resource that enables criminal history background checks using name-based searches. The system does not enable searches based on Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers. You must have the person’s full name to conduct a name search.
The requirement for a name rather than a Social Security number or a driver’s license number helps to thwart potential fraud. Identity theft is a frequent danger and ever-present threat, and many people work from a Social Security number or a driver’s license number. If the state were to fill in the blanks by providing the individual’s actual name and known address, it would become an unwitting enabler of fraud. So you must have the full name prior to conducting the criminal record request.
Those who are conducting criminal background checks on behalf of governmental agencies or registered charitable organizations, billed users, pay-as-you-go users, and guests can use an ICHAT tutorial to learn how to properly navigate the system, enter the search criteria and pay the required fee to obtain a criminal record.
Some agencies that request criminal records might not accept the ICHAT-provided records. The Michigan State Police advises people who are obtaining records on behalf of an agency to check and ensure the agency will accept an ICHAT report.
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