Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Florida Criminal Records - Which Criminal Records Provider Do the Professionals Use?

Criminal record checks are quickly becoming a norm in our society. Whether you are looking to find criminal record of a job applicant, prospective spouse, friend or a new neighbor, you have your safety and security in mind, and rightfully so. In today's age of increased violence, it pays to take every step possible to safeguard yourself, your family and business.

In the state of Florida, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Division of Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), is the central repository for criminal history information. In addition to maintaining individuals' criminal histories, it is the responsibility of this department to provide public access to this information upon request.

This leads us to the next point. In accordance with the nationwide trend, Florida adopted an "open record" policy whereby state's criminal records are made publicly available. With the exception of special cases where a criminal record may be sealed by the courts, Florida's records are public per the state law. FDLE maintains the FDLE Criminal History Information on the Internet site which allows one to look for individuals' Florida criminal records. Searches are not free, however; effective July 1, 2008, the fee for searching Florida criminal records is $24.

FDLE's website provides a list of matches similar to the person whose details you have entered. Hence it is important that the information you use to conduct a criminal record search is as accurate as possible. Regardless, a positive identification may only be confirmed by fingerprint comparison. Finally, it may also be the case that your search will result in no possible candidates.

Keep in mind that the use and distribution of Florida criminal records obtained from government agencies may be regulated by a number of different laws. Utilizing this information, especially in the case of job screening, may require professional lawyer's expertise. This makes using third-party fee-based providers of criminal record information a very practical option. For a nominal fee, often lower than that of FDLE, they can provide you with piles of valuable and quality information on a given individual. And they are not limited to one state, too.

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