The New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services keeps a record of every arrest and prosecution in the state. You can request an official copy of your criminal record, but you must supply your fingerprints. You can also run an informal search of criminal records for a fee.
What are Criminal Records?Criminal records are documents that list all of a person’s criminal history. A New York criminal record will include local and state criminal information, and it may include federal criminal information. In addition to criminal history, it will also include a great deal of personal information about the person. This ensures that their criminal record is not mistaken for the record of another person. The personal information listed on a New York criminal record may include the person’s full name, address, date of birth, fingerprints, and picture. The criminal information listed on a criminal record may include:
- Dismissed charges
- Acquitted charges
- Pending charges
- Past arrests
- Misdemeanor convictions
- Felony convictions
How are Criminal Records Used?Criminal records can be used by both private organizations and public agencies. Private organizations will often request your criminal records if you are applying for a job, a loan, or a rental property. Public agencies may request your criminal records if you are purchasing a firearm, registering to vote, signing up for military service, and applying for a passport or visa. Of course, law enforcement may use your criminal records for a criminal investigation.
How Can Someone Access Your Records?Private organizations must get permission to access someone’s criminal records. Law enforcement and other government agencies do not need permission to access someone’s criminal records. The main exception to this is the New York sex offender registry.
Public Records in New YorkBackground checks include checks of various public records. These public records may include past addresses, credit history, and marital records. However, background checks are separate from criminal record checks and do not include information about criminal history.
New York State Sex Offender RegistryThe New York Department of Criminal Justice Services operates the New York State Sex Offender Registry. Anyone can search the registry for information about Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders. The information available includes details of their crimes and their current address. Information about Level 1 sex offenders can be obtained by calling 800-262-3257. Someone looking to obtain information about Level 1 sex offenders must have the person’s full name and one of the following pieces of information:
- Date of birth
- Social Security Number
- Current address
- Driver’s license number
How Can You Request a Criminal Record?
There are two ways to request a criminal record in New York. An informal search can be carried out here. This criminal history should provide information about prosecuted cases, but it is not a complete criminal record. A complete criminal record cannot be obtained by someone else. It can only be obtained by an organization that has a government certification to do so. This organization must submit the background check through a government agency.
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