In California, background screening is quickly becoming a standard practice in many workplaces and even businesses across the world. Organizations perform background checks as they are always on the lookout to mitigate their risks. Performing background checks is an effective and easy way for them to do so. In background screening, the records heavily relied on are criminal records as such records indicate any felonies or misdemeanour done by an individual thereby helping employers do the decision-making fast and with assurance. California criminal records can be acquired through the Department of Justice or California Attorney General.
In the State of California, any Californian can request access to public records. This is in accordance with the Public Records Law which stresses out that all state agencies and institutions are held responsible for the citizenry. However, unlike any other states in the US, California does restrict access to some records to certain entities only. Criminal and arrest records, for example, can only be accessed by the legitimate law enforcement agencies and authorized applicant agencies. Individuals named on the criminal history information, however, have the right to access their personal record for the purpose of reviewing such for accuracy and completeness. Hence, third party requests will not be processed.
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.
In the State of California, only those with a valid reason such as employment can obtain access to such records either through the agencies stated above or through courts. Since California has implemented many rules in obtaining criminal records, doing background checks can be quite an arduous task. In this case, you may have to settle for an informational copy. However, if such copy does not seem to be adequate for your research or background check, you can actually try to pull a quick record review online.
There are several online record providers all over the web which proffer the same services but for only a minimal fee. Others don’t require a fee though. Regardless of which type of service provider you choose to go with, these independent online providers have their own database which contains the records you need. With only a minimal fee required, you get to have unlimited access to their database. Aside from that, you will acquire the criminal or arrest records public that you need in just a matter of minutes instead of the usual weeks to months processing time. Just see to it that you do a quick background check on the record provider you’re eyeing on to ensure accurate and comprehensive results.