In the State of California, background screening is quickly becoming a standard practice in many workplaces and businesses. Even across the world, this is also done in most organizations. Organizations are incessantly on the sentry for new ways to lessen their risk, and conducting background screening is an effective and easy way to do so. Anyone doing a background check will tend to rely greatly on criminal records, although court records can be used as well. California criminal records can be requested from the Department of Justice or California Attorney General.

Pursuant to California’s Public Records Act, any Californian has the right to access public information maintained by local and state government agencies, including the Department of Justice. California, however, restricts access to certain records such as criminal and arrest records to legitimate law enforcement agencies, authorized applicant agencies, and those persons named on the records only. Requests from people whose purpose is neither any of these will not be accommodated.

If you wish to obtain a copy of a criminal record in the State of California yet your purpose is neither any of the mentioned above, then you may have to settle for an informational copy. For background screening and genealogical purposes, the Department of Justice, unfortunately, cannot issue a certified copy of a criminal record as it is restricted by the State’s law to authorized entities only. Unlike the certified copy, an informational copy cannot establish identity as it is not a licit document even if it contains almost the same information as that of a certified one.

When appealing for a copy of a criminal record, you have to secure a Live Scan form which can be downloaded from any of the aforementioned agencies’ websites. You must fill it out in its entirety with your personal details. In the request form, you have to check “record review” as the “type of application”, enter “record review” on the “reason for application” line. The completed form must then be submitted along with a copy of an image of your Live Scan fingerprints. The payment for the processing of such request is $25. The usual turnaround time takes weeks to months depending on the volume of requests such agencies are receiving.

California has imposed many rules in procuring copies of criminal history information. Hence, background screening can be quite a tough task. Although an informational copy may be provided, this may not be sufficient for some researches or background checks. In this circumstance, you can try to obtain criminal records online through other independent sources.

The number of independent service providers online nowadays is relatively high. This, as a matter of fact, means that online users and customers are provided with many options to choose from. Service providers online range from free to fee based. Regardless of which type of online source you opt to resort to, they can give you the criminal or arrest records public you need in a much faster time compared to the usual turnaround time proffered by the aforesaid entities. Nevertheless, if you are concerned with the accuracy of the results of the record search, then you better choose the one that charges a minimal fee but yields precise and comprehensive results.

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