To access public records such as prosecutions and other cases that have received a conviction or were charged with a Class B violation and higher as arrests in Texas, one can do so by visiting the Department of Public Safety of Texas website. Under the site, one can click on the Computerized Criminal History System that houses the conviction database for all of Texas. The arresting agencies, prosecutors and counties update all files in the database regularly as required by the State under Chapter 60 of the State’s code.
For a person to access the database, he or she must already have an account in the site. For those who are new, they can register a new account. Once the account is activated, the person who wants to make a research needs to purchase credits. These credits are used to pay for the search and retrieval of the searches done by the researcher. Each credit is equivalent to $3. Other statutory fees are charged to the researcher depending on the payment method that they make use of.
Those who would be using their credit cards to buy credits will have to pay a convenience fee of 2.25% plus $.50 for transaction cost. On the other hand, those who would be using checks will have to pay an additional $1.25 for convenience fee. Credits purchased by credit cards are readily available for use. Those who choose to mail their checks will have to wait for the checks to be approved before being able to use the credits.
Each search is equivalent to one credit regardless of whether there are no matches or results retrieved by the site. As credits are not refundable, it is best to include all the needed information or pertinent info one has of the person. Do include the person’s whole name and date of birth to narrow down the searches. No-matches can occur if (a) the record is already sealed and expunged, (b) inaccurate or wrong information is given, (c) the case is juvenile by nature and (d) the local agencies were not able to submit the records.
There would be times when matches might result in several entries. To avoid having credits debited from the account, researchers can click on the preview button to see a small sample of the record to verify that the record is what they need. Do remember that once the record is opened, a credit is debited from the account. Accuracy concerning the matches is not guaranteed as in most cases, the person in the record can only be authenticated if the report includes a fingerprint specimen card. To ensure the accuracy of the report, one might want to check out the arresting agency that filed the report.
For those who are looking for their own report or those who are looking for records, which are meant to be public, but are not available from the site, they can call the office to request other ways to obtain the information needed. Another way to do so is to check free public records search sites, which would help one in checking out the arrest search and other records easily without having to purchase credits for the records that they need.