Police Records: The Basics
Though this may change on a case-by-case basis, logs of arrests and responses to incidents by the police, search warrants and coroner’s office reports are typically open to public inspection, while arrest and incident reports may be more difficult to obtain. State laws pertaining to the public’s access to police records and other public records vary across the U.S., too. In California, for instance, the California Public Records Act makes detailed arrest logs and certain information from incident logs public. Commonly, similar state laws make common-sense exemptions to public disclosure, granting law enforcement agencies the right to withhold information or documents that may jeopardize a criminal investigation or put someone at risk, for example. Information on juvenile cases is typically protected.
Because police don’t charge people with crimes , you won’t always find these documents available in the public court system. Unless charges have been filed, these records live at the precinct or in an external archive.
I Was Arrested But Never Charged Will That Arrest Appear On My Summary Criminal History
Probably. The summary criminal history includes information on all arrests. Nonetheless, if you were arrested and either not charged OR not convicted, you may be able to seal your records. See California Penal Code § 851.8 or California Penal Code § 851.7 .
If your arrest has been sealed, the information should not appear in your summary criminal history. If it does, you may correct the records. To do so, see the below.
How To Apply For A Criminal Record Check In
You can apply in-person for a criminal record check Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following location:
- Halifax Regional Police Headquarters 1975 Gottingen Street, Halifax
You must present two pieces of identification with your current address. The address must be within Halifax Regional Municipality. Accepted identification includes:
- and one other of:
- social insurance number card
If you are a new resident to the Halifax-area and you ID has your old address on it, you must bring some form of proof of residence, e.g. a tenant agreement.
The results of your criminal record check will be shared with you and then you can decide whether you want to share it with the organization requesting the check. Halifax Regional Police wont share the results of the criminal record check without your consent.
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Can My Employer Ask Me About Arrests Or Use Information About Past Arrests To Fire Me
Generally not. Under California Labor Code § 432.7, if you are applying for a job, or being considered for promotion, termination, or placement in a job training program, your employer cannot ask about any arrests that dont result in a conviction, or any arrests that led to participation in a diversion program . Your employer is also prohibited from trying to find out from other sources whether you have been arrested. If your employer somehow learns of your arrest record, § 432.7 prohibits it from considering any arrest that did not lead to a conviction, or any arrest that led to a diversion program, in making decisions regarding your hiring, firing or promotion.
There are some important exceptions to this general rule:
What Exactly Is A Criminal Record
A criminal record, formally known as a summary criminal history, or more commonly known as a rap sheet, is a list of arrests and convictions. Any time the police fingerprint you because of a criminal investigation, that information is added to your summary criminal history. For an arrest, the history should list, among other things, the date, the charges, and the final disposition . If the district attorney refused to prosecute the charge, the summary criminal history should show that. The history also lists all your criminal convictions, including the date of the conviction, the charges, the sentence, and whether the crime was a felony or a misdemeanor. If you entered and successfully completed a diversion program, the history should indicate that as well.
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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.
Apply For An Online Record Check Now
Please note: Health cards and Social Insurance Number cards are not accepted. Requests for any level of police record check can be made only by the applicant. Third-party requests will not be accepted.
If fingerprints have been taken in the past or it is discovered that fingerprints are necessary for any reason, the online process will stop and the applicant will be asked to attend the Community Resource Centre to complete the application.
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How Do I Find Police Records
If you want to find police records quickly and easily, the fastest way to do so is to do a search on SpyFly. You can have access to some of the largest databases in the country that are filled with public information. Other ways that you could find police records are to:
- File a request with the local police department
- File a request with your county recorders office
- File a request with the state department that you live in
Sometimes you can get access to records within a couple of months, and sometimes it can take years, depending on where you are searching for them.
Whats Available Online Sample Incident Logs
Some police departments put their incident or report logs online.
Here are some examples:
To see San Francisco Bay Area traffic incidents, click on the Communication Centers drop-down menu at the top left and select Golden Gate. To decipher abbreviations used in the incident logs, in the drop-down menu under Resources in the upper right select Glossary.
Berkeley Police Department
Posted daily in pdf format.
Posted daily in pdf format.
Palo Alto Police Department
Posted daily in pdf format.
Davis Police Department
Combines log of arrests and incident log.
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Noncriminal Justice Volunteer Background Checks / Volunteer Care Provider Program :
N.J.A.C. 13:59-1 et seq. provides background checks for non-criminal justice volunteers to the following:
- Any person who volunteers with a qualified entity, as that term is defined by the National Child Protection Act of 1993, 42 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 5119, 5119c
- Any person who volunteers his or her services to an entity that has been qualified by the Internal Revenue System as exempt from Federal income tax pursuant to 26 U.S.C. Â§ 501 or
- Any volunteer of a nonprofit youth serving organization.
There are two options available to a requester under the VCP.
Fingerprint-Based VCP Check :
A requester may elect to conduct a more thorough check, based on a fingerprint comparison by using the service code provided below. The fee for electronic fingerprinting is $32.13. These responses will be mailed directly to the employers address that is provided by the applicant. The following forms of payment are accepted: VISA, Master Card, American Express, Discover prepaid debit cards, or electronic debit from a checking account. Accounts will be debited immediately.
YOUR EMPLOYER / VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION ADDRESS MUST BE COMPLETE AND ACCURATE, AS RESULTS ARE SENT OUT VIA US MAIL.
Contributor case number: VCP
Name-Based Volunteer Check :
If only a name-based criminal history record check is desired, please refer to the SBI 212B Form information listed below. The fee for name-based volunteer submissions is reduced to $12.No personal checks will be accepted.
More Information For Agencies And Applicants
Consider reading our Record Check Fact Sheets
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Finding The Descriptions Of Crimes For Different Penal Code Sections
Police records usually refer to penal code sections in describing crimes police are investigating.
For example, section 187 of the penal code is for homicides.
How can you find out which crimes the various sections of the state penal code stand for?
The Berkeley Police Department has a list of commonly used penal code sections and which crimes they refer to. Thats at:
At the site check the box next to Penal Code. In the search box type in the number for the penal code section youre interested in .
At the search results page, click on the first listing. That should give you the penal code section youre seeking .
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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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 Will I Receive My Record Check
You will receive an email notifying you that your record check is complete. You will then sign into your online account and download an electronic copy. Further instructions will be provided in the e-mail. If your record check needs to be mailed out using Canada Post, then you will still receive an email notifying you that it is being mailed.
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Which Records Do I Need To Submit And What Information Should They Include
If youre applying from abroad, you must submit to the National Visa Center certified court and prison records for each conviction even if you were later pardoned or granted amnesty or some other act of clemency.
The records must reflect the following information:
- The full and complete circumstances of the crime for which you were convicted
- The final outcome of your case, including the sentence or other penalty/fine
If youre applying from within the United States, you must submit to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services certified police and court records and any additional required documents for each arrest or charge even if they occurred while you were a minor and even if they were later expunged from your record.
You generally are not required to report or provide documentation for minor traffic violations that did not result in criminal charges or involve alcohol, drugs, personal injury, or property damage.
|If youve ever been||Then you must submit|
Documentation showing that you completed the alternative sentencing or rehabilitative program
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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Police Department Records Request
Police reports are available from the Police Records Section, located at the East end of the Police/Fire headquarters .
Police Records Lobby hours of operation:
- Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Friday – Sunday: Closed
To assist in expediting your request please call to allow processing time to make your request available for pick up and/or to schedule an appointment. Public Records requests can always be made online by using the following link:
For Government agencies, please submit via fax, email or phone.
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.
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How Can I Get A Police Clearance Letter For Immigration Purposes
The Los Angeles Police Department does not provide police clearance letters for the purposes of immigration to the United States or for employment background purposes. If the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asks for a clearance letter after you have been fingerprinted, please contact the Los Angeles County Sherriffs Office at 12440 East Imperial Highway, Norwalk, CA 90650 Phone No.: 345-4441.How do I find information for my academic research project?
The LAPD is unable to provide routine assistance with academic research matters due to the large number of requests the Department receives and the limited budget we have to process these requests.
At the discretion of the Chief of Police, the Department does occasionally participate in research projects which are of direct benefit to the City and the people of Los Angeles. If you believe that your request falls under this category, we encourage you to forward your inquiry in writing for further evaluation and review.
You may send your written request to:
Los Angeles Police DepartmentOffice of the Chief of Police100 West 1st Street
Certificate Of Conduct And Non
Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to limit the number of people gathered in one place, ALL fingerprinting services will now require an appointment. Walk-ins WILL NOT be accepted.
Only individuals with appointments may visit the office. Appointments can be scheduled by clicking on the following link then click services and follow the instructions Please review all information listed below carefully to ensure that you have the correct documents to schedule an appointment. Once scheduled, please arrive on time. If not, your appointment will be rescheduled based on availability. Bring all required documents and payment to the appointment.
All applicants will be fingerprinted and/or photographed to obtain Certificates of Conduct or Non-Criminal Fingerprint Cards.In order to decrease the spread of illnesses, face masks must be worn inside of the building. Applicants will be required to take a temperature reading upon entering the building. To allow for social distancing, do not bring additional people to your appointment. Translation services will be provided, if necessary. When planning your travel time, include extra time to pass through two security checks.
All Certificates of Conduct will be mailed via United States Postal Service after the completion of processing. Processing and mailing should occur within ten business days.
Certificate of Conduct and Non-Criminal Fingerprint Section
Location and Contact Information
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Did You Receive An Attend Letter
If you receive an “attend” letter after submitting your application, follow instructions andcall 3-1-1 for an appointment at Westwinds location only.
Individuals are requested to “follow-up” and attend the Police Information Check for a variety of reasons. Follow-up requests may be related to:
- submission of fingerprints to confirm or eliminate a criminal record associated to an applicants information
- submission of fingerprints for the Vulnerable Sector search to confirm or eliminate a pardon associated to applicants information. Please see the RCMP website for more information:
- to deal with outstanding warrant on the National Police Computer System
- disclosure of police related relevant occurrence report
- Failure to submit a self-declaration form if you have existing criminal conviction
NOTE: The above information cannot be discussed over the phone however the Police Information Check Unit will disclose this follow-up request when you attend.
Important Vulnerable Sector Search Criteria: After May 31, 2017, applicants who have made application for a Police Information Check and fingerprinted for a Vulnerable Sector Search by the Calgary Police Service with a negative result to a pardoned sex offender file will not be required to re-submit fingerprints for 4 years.