Whether the purpose would be for employment, immigration or visa, and certification or for licensing, background check is one sure way to identify one’s history. In California criminal records are restricted by the Department of Justice so the files are only available to law enforcement and authorized agencies. Although there is a restriction imposed, one can access their own personal criminal record; all they have to do is to request for it.

If you are a resident of California but lives out of state, you can submit a manual fingerprint card to the Record Review Unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Download the instruction guide “State Summary Criminal Record” and follow the guide thoroughly. It is important that you complete the application form and head over to the nearest authorized agency for fingerprint scan. Once you get the required documents, send in your payment together with your application form to the DOJ Record Review Unit for processing. Residents can download the instruction guide “Live Scan Form” and fill up the application form. They can then proceed to the nearest fingerprinting agency in their district which can be the nearest police department or the sheriff’s office and have their fingerprints taken.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) require a processing fee of $25 for each transaction. Other fees included are rolling fees that the local operator might charge for the fingerprint scan. As each fingerprint agency charges differently, applicants might want to check and get in touch with the nearest fingerprint agency and ask for the added fees. Fingerprint agencies tagged with BNR will only process applicants under agencies so it is important to ask this to save you time. The operator also requires the applicants to bring a valid identification card with photo to identify applicants.

Once background checks are done, one would discover if they have a clean record or if they have records. As pursuant to the Penal Code 851.8, a Californian resident has the option to appeal for their records and have it sealed from the public. Those who are eligible are people who (1) were arrested but no criminal charges were filed; (2) those whose case were dismissed and (3) acquitted through jury trial. The court has the option to summon the petitioner to the court or not. Hearing procedure would last for 90 days though once the case is sealed, it is destroyed from the court and the law enforcement agency where the arrest was made.

Convicted individuals are also given fresh beginnings by the Californian law. Pursuant to the Penal Code 1203.4, expungement is given to those who are eligible under (1) those who have completed their probation or gained early probation and (2) those who are convicted of felony or misdemeanour. Expungement does not mean that the law would erase the arrest records; it only means that the convicted person has successfully completed the sentences and frees him up from other penalties or disabilities that hamper criminals. Expungement gives the convicted person the ability to gain their professional license as well as employment.

For those individuals or employers who want to do background checks, checking through online search companies is by far the best option especially if one wants to check whether an individual has any arrest records or criminal records that might affect their work.

Not all Free Public Criminal Records are created equal. Let us help you find the right Criminal Records California for your particular needs here.