What’s In A Criminal Record
Let’s break it down, an individual’s criminal record can consist of the following things:
- Arrest records
- Conviction Records
Keep in mind that some of these reports can be considered null and void if the criminal charges were dropped or if a person was found innocent of the crime. This will likely depend upon the jurisdiction. A criminal record will also have a list of crimes that a person was convicted of and the sentence. These include jail or prison terms served, time of probation served, parole grants, and even violation of probation or parole. A criminal record will also show any warrants for a person.
Where To Get Court And Police Records For Your Green Card Application
The U.S. government conducts background checks on all family-based and applicants. If youre a family member seeking a green card, youll need to provide records detailing every interaction youve ever had with law enforcement, both in your home country and in the United States.
In this guide, youll learn which court records and police reports to submit, where to obtain them, and how to proceed when those documents are unavailable.
Do you have confidential questions about how a criminal record might affect your green card application? With Boundless, you get an independent immigration attorney who can help you understand your options. Learn more, or get started today.
Accessing Your Own Criminal Record
You have the right to access your own criminal record. You can request a copy from the RCMP or your local police under the Privacy Act of Canada. Criminal record checks are completed by municipal police and local RCMP detachments.
If you find inaccuracies or errors in your criminal record, you can request that corrections be made under the Privacy Act. Make your request to your local police station.
For more information on how to use the Privacy Act to obtain and correct criminal record information, see: Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
Refer to the section on court records for more information on the difference between a criminal record and a court record.
How To Submit A Request
The FBI offers three options for requesting your Identity History Summary or proof that one does not exist.
Option 1: Electronically Submit Your Request Directly to the FBI
Step 1: Go to .
Step 2: Follow the steps under the Obtaining Your Identity History Summary section. If you submit a request electronically directly to the FBI, you may visit a participating U.S. Post Office location to submit your fingerprints electronically as part of your request. You may go to any of the 141 participating U.S. Post Office locations nationwide upon completion of your request. Additional fees may apply.
If you choose to use a U.S. Post Office location, you must complete your application and payment electronically prior to visiting a U.S. Post Office location to submit your fingerprints electronically as part of your request.
If you choose not to use a U.S. Post Office location to submit your fingerprints electronically, then you may still mail your completed fingerprint card, along with your confirmation email received when you started your electronic request, to the address listed on your confirmation email. The request will continue to be processed as an electronic submission once the completed fingerprint card is received.
Option 2: Submit Your Request Directly to the FBI via the Mail
Step 1: Complete the Applicant Information Form.
Step 2: Obtain a Set of Your Fingerprints
Step 3: Submit Payment
Step 4: Review
Step 5: Mail the Required Items Listed Above
How To Access Your Police
Members of the public have the right to request records containing their personal information from the Ontario Provincial Police or a municipal police service. Individuals who make these requests may have, for example, played a role in a suspected offence, been involved in a call for service or some other police-attended incident or had a relative who died in circumstances that led to the involvement of a police service.
Someone else, such as a lawyer or other person acting on your behalf, may make the request for you, or you may do so yourself. You may file a request by submitting a form and paying a fee, either by mail or in person.
Commonly requested records include:
- officers notes and
- police-related 911 calls.
Many people think that they cannot request a police officers notes, but a police notebook is generally in the custody or control of the police service and is subject to freedom of information requests.
Requesting information from a police service follows the same process as asking for records from other types of government institutions. However, the nature of police-held information means that frequently some of these records or some passages within these records are exempt from disclosure under Ontarios access to information legislation.
In all cases, if you disagree with a police services decision to deny your access request in whole or part, you may file an appeal with our office.
This post is also available in: French
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Glossary Of Criminal Record And Criminal Background Terms
There are many terms that would be useful to know when going through the process of obtaining, using, understanding, and handling a criminal background. Below is a brief definition of some of the terms most commonly used:
Read our page on legal terminology for record clearing to learn more about commonly used legal terms.
Can My Employer Get My Summary Criminal History
Generally no. Most private employers do NOT have the right to request your summary criminal history. In fact, unauthorized use of your private information is a crime. There are some important exceptions to this rule, mostly listed in Penal Code § 11105. Some of the most important exceptions are listed below:
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If You Cant Get A Police Certificate From Your Country Or Territory
If youre unable to get a police certificate from a country, youre responsible to show why you cant get one.
To prove that you cant get a police certificate, you must:
- show proof that you requested a police certificate from the correct authorities and
- write a letter explaining all the efforts you have taken to get one
Even if you send us the above items, this is not a guarantee of acceptance.
Where To Get Your Records
If youre applying from abroad, you can find the name of the issuing authority in your home country, its current fee, and procedures for obtaining certified copies of records, all on the U.S. Department of States website. On the left-hand side of the webpage, you will need to select the first letter of your countrys name, and then select your country. The information you need will be listed under the Police, Court, Prison Records tab.
If youre applying from within the United States, you can generally access your court records directly from the court where your case was heard, while police records are usually available through the local police department that conducted the arrest or detention.
You can also try the following:
- County authorities:
Boundless assembles your complete green card application package precisely how the government prefers it, including all documents, and mails everything to your doorstep with clear instructions. Get started today.
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What Is Included In Your Criminal Record
Both federal and state law enforcement agencies that maintain criminal records sets their own standards regarding what is to be included in a criminal record. However, a common rule of the thumb is that all criminal records must contain basic information about the individual such as their official name, date of birth, aliases, height, and weight.
While some records may contain only convictions, others will contain both arrest and conviction records. The conviction records may vary as well, but most of them will provide the exact date of conviction, the court of conviction, sentence and whether the charge was a felony or misdemeanor.
Departmental Order Information Packet
Below is a Departmental Order Information Packet containing everything needed to assist with requesting a copy of your Identity History Summary . Please pay close attention to Item # 4, the Identity History Summary Request Checklist, which contains all the steps required by the FBI to process an Identity History Summary Check. Questions can be directed to 304-625-5590.
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Conducting A Record Check
If you have conducted record checks before and you are familiar with the rules and procedures for using Kansas criminal history record information, please click the following button to continue to the Criminal History Record Check application page. You may also press any “Perform a Record Check” button at any time to start the process of performing a record check.
Identity History Summary Checks For Employment Or Licensing
If you are requesting a background check for employment or licensing within the U.S., you may be required by state statute or federal law to submit your request through your state identification bureau, the requesting federal agency, or another authorized channeling agency.
The FBIs authority to conduct an Identity History Summary check for noncriminal justice purposes is based upon Public Law 92-544. Pursuant to that law, the FBI is empowered to exchange Identity History Summary information with officials of state and local governments for employment, licensingwhich includes volunteersand other similar noncriminal justice purposes, if authorized by a state statute which has been approved by the Attorney General of the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice has advised that the state statute establishing guidelines for a category of employment or the issuance of a license must, in itself, require fingerprinting and authorize the governmental licensing or employing agency to exchange fingerprint data directly with the FBI.
You should contact the agency requiring the fingerprinting or the appropriate state identification bureau for the correct procedures to follow.
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Requesting A Police Record Check
When requesting a record check from an individual for reasons such as employment or licensing, the organization is responsible to ensure the screening process is consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Record checks can be used when hiring someone to work or volunteer in positions of trust over vulnerable people who, because of their age, disability or other circumstances, are at greater risk.
How To Apply For A Criminal Record Check Online
Before you apply online, make sure the organization requesting the record check will accept an electronic copy of the results. Some organizations may not accept online criminal record checks.
The online criminal record check process is convenient and easy:
Your criminal record check will be completed by Halifax Regional Police.
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How Do I Check For Outstanding Local Warrants
Anyone can check for an outstanding local warrant using the following steps:
You May Need To Pay Copying Fees
Pay any applicable copying fees. Although the request for a criminal record search is free, you will need to pay any fees for copying the records. The cost is typically low. You can also check your states criminal division online to see if they offer an online criminal record database. This will allow you to review and print criminal records free of charge from home.
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How To Obtain Your Criminal Records Or Criminal History Report
If you have a criminal record, it is important to know how to get a copy of your criminal history report from the state repository. By reviewing this information, you can ensure the information that employers, landlords, and others may be able to view relating to your criminal record is accurate.
Find out what is on your criminal record before a criminal background check is performed
It is sensible to view your criminal history report yourself so that you know what is available to others and so you may correct any inaccuracies that may appear on your record. Knowing what is on your record is also the first step to determining if you are eligible to expunge or seal any of your arrests or convictions.
The state criminal record repositories obtain their information from local law enforcement agencies and courts. While these agencies do their best to ensure information contained in an individuals criminal history report is accurate, mistakes can occur. Obtaining a copy of your statewide criminal history report is the first step to checking your criminal record. It is a great idea to review the information before embarking on a job search. If there are any errors on the report, you may then be able to dispute that information through the repository or by contacting the agency that supplied the information originally, such as the court or police department.
Can My Employer Make Me Provide A Copy Of My Summary Criminal History Record
Normally, no. With very few exceptions, your employer may NOT ask you to provide a copy of your summary criminal history. California Penal Code § 11126 and § 13326 make it a misdemeanor to request someone elses summary criminal history records without authorization. If your employer is entitled to the information, it must request it directly from the appropriate agency, NOT from you.
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Benefits Of Having Your Criminal Record
There are several practical benefits of having a copy of your criminal record, especially when you are looking for employment. Here are just a few of the benefits of knowing what is on your criminal record:
Locating An Incident Or Offense Report
To locate an incident or offense report, you will need:
- Victims last name
- Your report number
- The report date
Access your report online. If you have technical issues call any time at 866-495-4206, option 5.
If you do not know your incident report number, you can email us. We will look up your information and email it back to you.
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How Do I Search Police Records
It is not difficult to search for police records. However, obtaining them can be a little tricky. The fastest way to search police records is to do a quick search on the SpyFly websites search console. It only takes a few minutes to input basic information, then you can get access to tons of public records. You can also try to search police records by:
- Requesting access from your local police
- Requesting records from the county recorders office
- Seeking your county court website
Depending on which agency you request records from, it could take a long time to get any results, and you will most likely have to pay a hefty fee for the records you get.