On the topic of criminal records, are a variety of searches that may prove helpful to your background search information, though they are not considered formal criminal records as regards the legal system and industry. One of the most potent examples of these are prison records or incarceration records. These records denote “histories of time spent in jail” by the individual in question. Since there are a variety of jurisdictional incarceration systems that handle inmates, in this article, we will explain the most common of incarceration records: state prison records.
While many people believe that conducting a criminal record search to determine if the individual in question has had any criminal convictions is enough, knowing whether or not they have prison records, in any situation. In this category, we will examine these prison records as they relate to the types of offenses committed, how to search, and what limiting factors can affect your criminal record check.
Criminal records located at the state level are for inmates who have served or are serving time at one of the state correctional or incarceration facilities. They are directly related to the types of offenses processed most often in a criminal court-as opposed to a local, county, district, or federal court. Local courts handle misdemeanors and minor offenses. County and state courts share felonies and appeals. Federal courts-handled in U.S. district courts-process federal offenses. So, in keeping with the typical legal processing of crime in U.S. criminal law, most often the crimes that are sentenced at this level are of a felonious nature.
While seeking to search criminal backgrounds at municipal courts should not be overlooked for typically less severe criminal offenses, a comprehensive search at the county and state prison level should take priority; due to the nature of their more serious offenses. What are common examples of felonies? While the legal system processes crimes differently according to the specifics of a case, as well as what jurisdiction is hearing the criminal case; the standard examples of felony crimes can include: murder, rape, grand theft, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, arson, battery, drug possession/sales, etc. Due to the potentially serious nature of the crimes committed by your potential felon, you’ll want to know the details of the offense, sentencing, and their prison term.
Another consideration that should be taken when uncovering incarceration record information is how certain variables in the legal system can affect the rendering of a particular crime’s classification as a felony. The first influence is the state in which the criminal case is processed and given criminal charges. Some jurisdictions consider offenses different classifications of crimes, while others consider the nature of some crimes more severe, and worthy of stricter punishment. This said, the inmate that you are conducting a criminal look up on may be considered a felon in one state for his/her crime and someone who has only committed a misdemeanor in another. Secondly, in many cases, if the offender has a status as a repeat offender of a certain misdemeanor offense, the prosecution and/or judge will move that the criminal be charged with a felony status, which would sentence them to time served in a state prison.
When it comes to conducting a criminal look up or criminal record check on a particular individual, locating information for inmates is most often unrestricted, though it does vary. In a records search of this kind, you should be able to access information on the nature of a prisoner serving or having served time at the incarceration facility. In many jurisdictions, inmates on probation or parole are considered inmates. This said, prison databases in these jurisdictions vary in how you can access this information. At present, about 27 U.S. states offer access to their current inmate directory through their online website, with approximately 12 of these also offering information on past inmates. The rest, offer the standard means of contact: email, mail, fax, phone, and in person.
While access to this data is pretty open as regards who can glean this information, the nature of exactly what information is available varies according to each jurisdiction. Some incarceration facilities restrict access according to who is searching-only allowing criminal justice agencies and law enforcement access; while others open up access to the public as well. Some incarceration facilities offer just present inmate information, while others offer both past and present. Some facilities give information on inmates serving probation or parole, while others do not consider these individuals inmates. Physical identifiers, criminal conviction, sentencing information, release dates, with/without dispositions, and behavior are all examples of the types of pertinent information that can be gleaned from a records search depending upon the jurisdiction in which you are searching. Contacting the proper incarceration facility in question directly, and inquiring about this information is the easiest way to find out how to request this information, who can gain access to this data, what information they contain, and what information is restricted from access and use.