Court Records: How to obtain criminal court records

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Criminal court records are not always public. In some case, you have to be a member of a federal department or a relative of the individual in order to see the records. Despite these difficulties, you can go in person to the court recorder or request the records on-line.

Examples of records you can request:
• Arrest reports
• Domestic Violence Orders
• Criminal history information
• Probation reports

Once you know the records you would like to request, you will need to have specific information in order to locate the record you want. This information is the case number of the record you wish to obtain. If you have the case number, you can go to the county Clerk’s Office or courthouse and request the record directly. If you do not have the case number, you can still have a search done by the Clerk’s Office or the county courthouse.

When you have the case number, you can request the records. However, keep in mind that the copies are certified and you will be charged for each copy that you request. In addition to the case number, you will need to provide:
• The name of the offender
• The year(s) the offense occurred
• Identification
• Letter requesting the search
• Certified signature

You are also able to order your records on-line. There are websites available, which offer court record searches as a professional service. Be aware that these services are not free, and you will be paying for the service plus the original certified copy fee. Search the website carefully if you are using a third party website. If you are using an official website, pay attention to any specific instructions in order to receive your records quickly.

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