You can check criminal records through North Carolina Courts or through the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. To search for information online, you’ll need to be a licensee, but you may find some information in person at any state courthouse. Individuals can check their own personal records, and businesses with a legitimate interest may search individual’s records at the State Bureau of Investigation.
What Are Criminal Records?
Criminal records hold all of a person’s criminal history. This can include the local, state, and federal criminal information. The record may also include information about the person, such as their address, fingerprints, date of birth, name, any aliases they have, and a photograph.
Your criminal records may include:
- Past arrest information
- Current and pending charges
- Prison sentences, time served in prison, and location
- Acquitted charges
- Dismissed charges
Any misdemeanors or felonies will also be listed on this report.
How Are Criminal Records Used?
Criminal records can be used in several ways but typically are searched as part of an overall background check. Background checks may occur for several reasons, including:
- Employment, where a company wants to know about a potential hire
- School admissions, such as when you apply to a college or university
- Property rental
- Security clearance
- Buying weapons or firearms, since felons are not able to purchase or own weapons in most cases
- Military service
- Fostering or adopting a child
- Voter registration, since felons are not able to vote
- When you want to travel internationally and obtain a visa or for purposes such as naturalization or immigration
- For law enforcement purposes, such as part of a criminal investigation
How Can Someone Access Your Criminal Records?
Some aspects of your criminal record, such as court appearances and decisions, are public records, and anyone can access them. Obtaining other parts of the record, such as fingerprints, generally require that you give your written consent. Law enforcement officials, courts, and other government departments have open access.
The public can access some criminal records as public records. For example, you can perform a background check and find out more about a person’s divorce or marital history, DUI records, and past addresses. You also can easily find information on inmates or former inmates in the state prison system. A criminal record check is more specific and includes information like a person’s arrests, penalties, and convictions. Additionally, a criminal record check may include more information about what the person looks like, including defining features.
Sex crimes information is open to the public through the sex offender registry. You can easily search this registry online. Those who commit sex crimes in North Carolina will remain on the registry for at least 30 years, and many remain on it for the rest of their lives.
How Can You Request a Criminal Record?
To request your criminal record or another person’s, go to the Criminal Records page of the North Carolina Judicial Branch. You will find specific instructions on how to request information on yourself and others, depending upon whether you need certified records or not.
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