What Are Criminal Records?
Criminal records are the records that contain information about a person’s past criminal history. Criminal records may include local, state, and federal criminal information. Criminal records may also contain personal information about the person in question. Their name, address, date of birth, any known aliases, a photograph, and fingerprints are all personal information you might find in criminal records.
Your own criminal records may contain various information like:
- Dismissed charges
- Acquitted charges
- Pending charges
- Current charges
- Past arrest information
Your criminal records report also lists any felonies or misdemeanors in your criminal records.
How Are Criminal Records Used?
Criminal records can be used in a variety of different ways. One common use of your criminal records is that prospective employers will take a look at them when they evaluate you via a pre-employment background check. Prospective employers will likely take your criminal records into consideration when evaluating your character. You might also get a background check for property rental, school admittance, military service, as part of a criminal investigation, and voter registration. Background checks are also common if you are adopting or fostering a child, trying to purchase weapons or firearms, when you obtain a visa for naturalization or immigration during international travel, and other law enforcement purposes.
Lenders may also take your criminal records into account. You might find it more difficult to get a loan if you have criminal offenses on your criminal records. This is especially true if you have financial crimes on your criminal records.
How Can Someone Access Your Criminal Records?
In general, you will have to provide consent for another person or an organization to take a look at your criminal records. Despite this, government officials and law enforcement might have open access to these records. You might have to provide access when making some purchases like when you intend to buy a firearm.
The General Public
The public at large can view some kinds of criminal records as public records. One example of this is a background check which can tell you about the person’s marital status and history, DUI records and previous addresses. A criminal records check provides more specific information like someone’s convictions and arrests. You can also find out their weight, height, and other information about their personal appearance with a criminal records check.
You can search Texas’s sex offender registry by visiting their sex offender website. Some people stay in this registry forever, but not all. Texas, like all other states, has its own specific rules about how they treat sex offenders.
How Can You Request a Criminal Record?
In the state of Texas, all you have to do to request a criminal record is visit the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website and fill out the Request for Public Criminal History Data form. You provide the name, sex, race, date of birth, and more of the person whose criminal records you are requesting. After you fill out this form, you mail it to:
Crime Records Service
P.O. Box 15999
Austin, Texas 78761
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