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What Do Criminal Record Checks Include?

Criminal Record Checks

Criminal record checks, also known as background checks or police checks, are procedures carried out by authorities or third-party agencies to examine an individual’s criminal history. 

The scope and depth of these checks may vary depending on factors such as the purpose of the check, the jurisdiction and the level of scrutiny required. 

Here are some common components typically included in criminal record checks:

Criminal Convictions

This is the most basic element of a criminal record check. It involves searching databases for any records of convictions, including misdemeanours and felonies. This can include offences such as theft, assault, drug-related offences and more serious crimes like murder or sexual assault.

Arrest Records

Some criminal record checks may include information on arrests, even if the individual was not convicted of the crime. However, the availability of arrest records can vary depending on jurisdiction and privacy laws.

Warrants and Outstanding Charges

This component involves checking for any outstanding warrants or pending charges against the individual.

Sex Offender Registry

Many jurisdictions maintain a registry of individuals convicted of sex offences. Criminal record checks often include a search of this registry to identify any relevant records.

Juvenile Records

Depending on the jurisdiction and the purpose of the check, juvenile records may or may not be included. In some cases, juvenile offences may be sealed or expunged, meaning they will not appear on a standard criminal record check.

Traffic Offenses

Some criminal record checks may include information on traffic violations and infractions, particularly if the position being applied for involves driving responsibilities.

Fingerprint Checks

In some cases, especially for sensitive positions or government clearances, fingerprint checks may be conducted to ensure accurate identification and to access more comprehensive databases.

Aliases and AKAs

Criminal record checks may include searches for aliases or alternative names used by the individual to uncover any additional records.

Employment and Volunteer Screening

For positions involving vulnerable populations such as children or the elderly, additional checks may be conducted to screen for any relevant criminal history that might pose a risk to the population being served.

Summary

It’s important to note that the information included in a criminal record check can vary based on factors such as the purpose of the check, the jurisdiction’s laws and regulations and the level of clearance required for a particular position or activity.

Additionally, individuals generally have rights to access and correct any inaccuracies in their criminal records, subject to relevant laws and regulations.


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