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What is a Criminal History Report?

Article Details
  • Written By: M. Lupica
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 27 January 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A criminal history report is a list of any criminal charges with which a person has been charged or convicted in their adult life. Generally, a criminal history report is accessible through a query to the jurisdiction’s highest governmental criminal organization. Of course, there are typically requirements that the person whose history is being sought grants his or her consent to release of the report, but these reports are generally easy to obtain once that requirement is met. One may need a criminal history report for many different reasons, including employment or personal knowledge.

Depending on the jurisdiction, there is a variety of information that may be contained in a criminal history report. While some jurisdictions may restrict their criminal history reports simply to crimes of which the report’s subject has been convicted, many detail the entire criminal history of the person, including arrests. Typically, a criminal history report will only detail criminal events that occurred after the subject’s age of majority. Criminal records of minors are usually sealed when they become adults.

Most jurisdictions require the consent of the subject for the issuance of a criminal history report. This is to protect the privacy of the jurisdiction’s citizens. In some circumstances, such as in applying to government employment, the consent of the applicant to authorize the release of a criminal history report is implied.

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After gaining consent of the subject of the criminal history report, the person seeking access to the report may fill out an application with the appropriate governmental body. Typically, this application will include as much identifying information as is necessary regarding the subject of the report. Some jurisdictions take extra steps to protecting the rights of the subject and require that the fingerprints of the subject of the report be submitted along with his or her consent and the fee for conducting the search.

There are many scenarios that may lead to the need for a criminal history report. Most commonly, a report is necessary as part of a background check by a subject’s prospective employer. A perusal of criminal history reports may also be wise before making a large business investment. The investor may want to do a full background check on the person in whom they are investing to determine if that person has a history of fraudulent activity. It is advisable that every person conducts a background check on himself or herself at some point just to be aware of what comes up in case he or she is in a position in the future where someone is conducting a background check on him or her.

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