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Criminal records search

Criminal records search

What is a criminal records search tool?

A criminal records search tool lets you search hundreds of official public databases (e.g. police databases, and federal, state, county and city court databases) to find out if someone has a criminal record or arrest record.

Do a criminal records search / criminal background check now

Search for criminal records…

Most criminal records search tools are web based (i.e. appear on a website) but some have their own mobile phone apps.

A note on terminology

You might also hear other names for a criminal records search, including ‘criminal background check’, ‘arrest record search’, ‘court records search’, ‘public police records search’, ‘rap sheet search’, ‘criminal record check’, ‘criminal offender record information search’, ‘police records search’, ‘criminal record search’, ‘public arrest records’ and ‘public criminal record check’. In most cases, these terms are used interchangeably, although there’s obviously a difference between an arrest record and a criminal record.

When would I use a criminal records search tool?

You might use a criminal records search if you want to find out if a person has been arrested in the past (i.e. has been arrested in connection with an offense), has been charged with an offense, or has a criminal record (i.e. has been convicted of a crime).

You can search for this information manually, if you like. It’s all on public record. But in the US, there’s no centralized database of criminal records, police records and arrest records. The information is scattered throughout hundreds of databases (e.g. federal, state, county and city court databases). And even though the information is public, if you request access to it through a court or government agency, you’ll often have to pay a service fee. And that fee will cover that single lookup only. If the person uses an alias or was convicted in a different city, county or state, you’ll learn only part of the story — or you’ll find no information at all!

A much faster and more affordable way to find out if someone has a criminal record / arrest record / police record is a third party criminal records search tool.

How does a criminal records search work?

A criminal records search tool has a field where you can type a person’s name or phone number, an address or a vehicle identification number (VIN), and a button you click to start the search. 

When you click the search button, the tool will search through millions  —  or even billions  —  of public records across a range of databases, then present you with a series of matches. Much like a normal search engine. I.e. If you search for a name, the tool will list a number of people with that name. If you search for an email address, it will list the owner of that address, and so on.

You then click on the record you want to see the details of.

What’s the best FREE criminal background check tool in 2022?

Sadly, there aren’t any. 

Although many sites claim to offer free criminal records search, none actually do. Some will give you names, current address, previous address, landline phone numbers, names of family members and associates, but no so-called “free criminal background check” sites provide any of the following information unless you pay:

  • Arrest record
  • Arrest warrants
  • Criminal convictions
  • Traffic offenses
  • Date of offense
  • Court case number
  • Court case description
  • Court offense (official charge)
  • Court statute
  • Court disposition (decision)
  • Court fines
  • Offender’s address at the time of conviction
  • Public police records
  • Registered sex offender records

So if you see any site that claims to offer a free background check, free public police records, a free criminal background check, a free public records search or a free public criminal record check, don’t believe them. None of them will provide the info you’re after unless you pay for it.

If you want a reliable, comprehensive criminal records search, your best bet is definitely to use a paid criminal background check tool.

What’s the best PAID criminal background check tool in 2022?

In our experience, the best criminal background check / criminal records search tool on the market is definitely TruthFinder.

Search TruthFinder now

Search for criminal records…

TruthFinder is a 100% anonymous criminal background check tool that can find the following information about a person:

  • First & last names
  • Aliases
  • Arrest record
  • Arrest warrants
  • Criminal convictions
  • Traffic offenses
  • Date of offense
  • Court case number
  • Court case description
  • Court offense (official charge)
  • Court statute
  • Court disposition (decision)
  • Court fines
  • Offender’s address at the time of conviction
  • Public police records
  • Registered sex offender records
  • Birth & marriage record information
  • Jobs
  • Education
  • Properties & investments
  • Assets
  • Bankruptcies
  • Current address
  • Past addresses
  • Cell & landline phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Hidden social media profiles (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube & Pinterest)
  • Family members, neighbors, friends & co-workers

(Just remember that even though TruthFinder makes it possible to perform a criminal background check for employment and a tenant background check, under law, using an online background check tool for these purposes is not permitted.)

To provide criminal background check data, TruthFinder sources its data from the following databases:

  • Most wanted lists
  • Police & court records
  • Debarred lists
  • Denied Persons List – Commerce Dept
  • Drug Enforcement Admin. Fugitives
  • Enforcement Actions – Federal Reserve
  • Enforcement Actions – Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • Enforcement Decisions and Orders – FDIC
  • EPA – Compliance Actions
  • EPA – Enforcement Actions (ECHO)
  • FBI Most Wanted
  • FBI Organized Crime Site
  • FBI Unknown Suspects
  • FDA – Enforcement Report
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator
  • Federal Firearms License Validator
  • Immigration & Customs Enforcement/Most Wanted
  • Missing & Exploited Children
  • Most Wanted Lists – Federal Agency Links
  • Most Wanted Lists – State, County, City Agency Links
  • Most Wanted Terrorists
  • National Sex Offender Registry Dept of Justice
  • NCIS (Naval) Most Wanted Fugitives List, Missing Persons
  • SEC Enforcement Actions
  • SEC Filings (EDGAR)
  • SEC Litigation and Opinions
  • Secret Service
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • U.S. Marshall’s Most Wanted
  • U.S. Tax Court – Docket Inquiry
  • And more…
exclamation-blueThe methods in this article provide you with easy access to public record information, but without a guarantee for accuracy and may include links to websites not listed as a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). Information acquired from these bodies is illegal to be used for employment, housing, credit, and other purposes alike, according to laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). If you’re not sure whether your use of our methods is appropriate, click here for details.

By Glenn Murray

Glenn is Super Easy’s Customer Experience Director. He plans and executes training programs, designs user experiences, conducts conversion rate experiments, sets our style and tone of voice, contributes to SEO implementation & strategy, and oversees important internal & external communications. He also manages our technical support team.

Glenn lives on the Central Coast of Australia, just north of Sydney, and enjoys walking, reading, music, wine and craft beer.


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