If you have a criminal record, probably you will be aware of it. But, sometimes even the loud music at your apartment can become a part of that record, especially if the neighbors have called the police on you. Having a criminal record is not something we are proud of. And sometimes, it can mess with some future decisions or actions. So, the best way to sleep better at night is to check if you have one.
Today we will talk more about this topic, so you can find out for yourself if you have any dirt over your name, which you are not aware exists.
Where should you go?
Most often, you will solve this at the local police station. Almost all police work with the same database and have access to international criminal records if there is a search for a criminal. However, you would certainly not do this if you are an internationally wanted criminal.
Generally, it is sufficient for the police officer to have your first and last name, date of birth, and possibly your fingerprints. That way, you can get information about your criminal past, if you have one.
Also, you may have additional options, like licensed companies to perform background checks. They have an access to the police records, and they may run a check on you. There are accredited fingerprint companies too, who take care of identity protection. They are not authorized to run a background check most of the time but may confirm if you have a criminal record or not.
Review your criminal history
Probably, if you haven’t been arrested, or violated any law, you don’t have a police record at all. But, if you’ve been stopped by the police, or you performed some tiny crime (and were caught doing that), usually it’s already a part of your record.
Keep in mind that some really tiny crimes go unnoticed by the police, or there is no punishment defined by the law for that.
All the people probably remember if they’ve committed some crime in the past. So, if you are sure you didn’t, your criminal record is completely empty, and you have nothing to worry about.
And when it comes to checking all these things by yourself, you have some of these options:
1. Licensed online checks
There are some public criminal records available. It’s regulated by the laws, and everyone can run a check on themselves, using their personal data and information. We can say that lookupinmate.org is a good example of how these things are done. But, there are similar services too, that you can use by yourself.
These services are usually synced with the Law Enforcement System, which includes all the public records for the known and unknown criminals. As we said, if you haven’t done anything bad in your life, probably your record will be completely empty.
2. Use the Disclosure and Barring Service
This is what we know as DBS. Usually, their document is needed when you apply for a new job. The employer can do this basic check on you, or you can provide the document yourself when applying. Keep in mind that this document is relevant only in the UK.
But, there are equivalent services in the other countries. You can check in your local Ministry of internal affairs, to see what you can do, if you need this type of confirmation when looking for a job.
3. Look through different registries
Many countries around the world have public registries for the criminals who did huge crimes against humanity. As we said, if you are a criminal, you already know what’s inside your record. So, even if you are sure you won’t find your name in any criminal registry, it’s always good to know how to look through them.
Sometimes it happens that some criminals have similar or the same name as you, and it may cause some issues until you prove you are not that person at all.
Why is all of this important?
In some cases, you need formal proof that you are not a criminal. If you apply for a new job, or for a moving visa, you need this document, even though it shows that your criminal record is empty.
Many employers, landlords, or even friends or coworkers are using the free registry check, to find something on their new worker or tenant. It’s not the most ethical thing to do, but we know that we can all be a little more curious than it’s normal.
But, authorities are aware of it, and they won’t give the complete data to anyone who wants access to it. That’s why the background checks are always tied to your social security number, or personal data only authorized people can know.
We are not here to judge the reasons for these needs. We are here to claim that there is a way to check on your criminal record, and you have both free and paid options.
Note: Some actions can be considered crimes in one country, and not in another. Keep in mind that your record may still have some incident, that is not really valuable in your current place of living. As we said, review your history, so you won’t be surprised if some spitting-on-the-street ticket stops you from going on vacation next summer.
Whenever you start something new in life, someone will want to know more about you. Sometimes, it invades privacy, but we almost all serve that data through social networks.
However, you should also know that if they have an order or permit, some people can check your past. You can do this yourself and authorize the search with your consent.
Our suggestion is to always have access to your police file, even when it is completely empty. Nowadays it is necessary to prove in time that you are not a criminal, rather than letting someone suspect you. It certainly is not the most pleasant thing to experience, but do not leave such things to chance.