Dont talk to strangers. Echoes of this warning from our childhood days come to us briefly in certain moments. In todays highly mobile society, its hard to trust just anyone. Everyday we encounter new faces of whom we know nothing about. We dont know for one if that person we met at the subway has a record of mugging. We dont know if the nanny we hire to care for our kids while we go to work has a history of violence against children. And then we dont even know whether our co-workers have the same tendency to commit violence.
Before the time of free criminal records searches over the Internet, judging a persons character requires some form of people intuition skills. But since intuition may not prove to be as reliable as we would like to believe, we feel threatened.
With the advent of free criminal records searches, that threat is lessened. The Internet has made it possible and easier for us to perform free criminal records searches on anyone.
So now we can hire nannies for our children without worrying whether or not that person can be trusted to take good care of them. Now, we can hire people to work for our company, confident in the fact that we conducted free criminal records searches before accepting their applications. And we fee much safer now at the workplace where pre-employment background checks and free criminal records searches are performed, knowing that our fellow employees do not have a propensity to criminal behavior.
But like all things, information does not always come for free. You pay a high price just to stay informed. Most of the time, companies who are greater risk of negligence lawsuits hire private research firms who do their pre-employment background checks for them for charge. The costs for services rendered are high since these firms really send people out to government offices to manually retrieve information from their databases.
Although the information you get from these research firms are really comprehensive and useful, not everyone can afford it. And so for the purpose of providing research sources for those who wish to conduct criminal records checks but want to save on costs, here is a short list of free websites offering databases of public records information.
State Central Repositories
Many States in the U.S. offer central repositories of criminal records where you can perform free searches. However, depending on which state, these state databases of criminal records may charge a minimum amount for each search request that you make. State databases usually include detailed information about statewide criminal records submitted by various law enforcement offices and criminal justice agencies located within the state.
All states in the U.S. keep databases of criminal records based on reports filed in their major cities. These databases allow you to extract information on a particular subject. Hence, city databases are excellent places for you to start your free criminal records searches.
Aside from cities, databases containing free criminal records are available county-wide. The search information you get from these sources are based on reports submitted to the county index from county courts, including district courts and circuit courts. County databases are excellent sources of free criminal records of court filings and you can use them to start your search.