Nowadays, it has become really easy and convenient to run a criminal background check on an individual, be it a job applicant, new neighbor, friend or a prospective spouse. Actually, there is a range of specific categories or criminal records that you can choose from, and arrest records are one of them.
As the name states, these are documentations of any detention or custody taken by law enforcement. Regardless of the outcome, be it incarceration, indictment, dismissal, acquittal or discharge, an arrest record stays on the person's file.
Public arrest records are probably the most popular category of criminal records there are. The thing is that generally, authorities impose no limitations on the release of this type of information. This means that except cases where arrest records cannot be made public due to special circumstances (arrest records of juveniles, or when it is deemed against public interest), they are freely retrievable by the public. Also, there are frequently no limitations as to the use of the information retrieved.
There are a lot of options to access an individual's public arrest record. The most straightforward one is to request this information from a police department or even FBI with a written request. A lot of government agencies have put up public websites where this information can be accessed, too. Their fees are usually comparatively small, if required at all.
Finally, there are non-government databases of arrest record information. Those can be free, paid or mixed depending on the level of detail required. Some information brokers charge a nominal fee only when a specific arrest record is found and download of the report is requested. As far as public databases go, these services typically use volunteers' effort to compile and update their databases, which often has a negative impact on the quality of the information.
Decide for yourself on the quality of the arrest record information you require. If your marriage or business is at stake, an arrest record report by a professional agency may be worth every penny paid for it.
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