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How do I Access Conviction Records?

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  • Written By: Nicholas K.
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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Most court systems publish conviction records for the benefit of the general public. Your efforts to access conviction records are easier when you know as much about the litigants as possible. City clerks and court houses in your region might feature conviction records for local residents. You may be able to access conviction records at the regional level by utilizing regional court databases. It is also possible to access conviction records from alternative sources like newspaper archives, parole officers, and family members.

An expedited search through local and regional conviction documents is possible when you compile basic information about the individuals in question. Avoid any confusion with common names by researching the first, middle, and last names of convicts. Another filter for conviction records is the street address of each litigant at the time of conviction. It is important to know the date of birth of convicted individuals to eliminate parents or children with the same name as convicts.

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Local conviction records can usually be accessed through various offices in city government. You may be able to access conviction records for anyone committing a municipal offense in the archives of the local court house. The city clerk's office might feature a listing of recent convictions for businesses and organizations with offices in the city. These municipal agencies might require completion of record request forms to comply with any relevant privacy laws. These forms ask about the extent of your request as well as the purpose of your research.

Many regional circuit and appeals courts are digitizing their records for easier public access. You may be able to access conviction records issued by regional court systems through online databases. These databases ask users to fill out search criteria like date of birth, court region, and case number. Each results page features the case name, the sentence or required payment, and important details of the case.

You can often access information on high-profile criminal cases with the help of local newspaper archives. Your local library might carry archives of daily and weekly publications going back to their origins. These archival materials allow you to understand convictions within the context of the court proceedings. You can trace a conviction record back to stories about the original crime as well as reports about activities in the court room.

Your access to court records might come from sources close to the convicted individual. Parole officers may be able to provide information on convicted individuals upon requests from neighbors and co-workers. You might get conviction details from law firms if you are a reporter or agent of the court. Your search for conviction records for a deceased individual might lead to family members and estate trustees.

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