Your Criminal History: What’s Included in It and How To Obtain It

Have you ever wondered what exactly is included in your criminal history?

Maybe you’re curious about how to get it or why it matters. Well, wonder no more! In this blog post, we’ll be diving into the ins and outs of criminal histories. From what information they include to why they’re essential for job applications and background checks.

So buckle up because, by the end of this post, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of your criminal history and how to access it.

Let’s get started! 

What Is a Criminal History?

Your criminal history, also known as your rap sheet, is a record of your arrests and official convictions. It can include any dismissed criminal offenses or result in a not-guilty verdict.

If you have been before arrested, but not convicted, of a crime, that arrest will still show up on your criminal history. But, many employers and landlords will not consider arrests when making decisions about hiring or renting someone. 

Information Included in a Criminal History

Criminal history includes any information that is under-maintained by state or federal agencies. This pertains to an individual’s arrests, charges, and convictions.

This information is typically maintained in a central database. It can be automatically accessed by law enforcement and other government officials. In some cases, this information may also be available to the public.

The type of information that is included in a criminal history varies depending on the laws of the state where the individual resides. But, most criminal histories will include the following types of information:


This data is recorded in a person’s criminal history every time they are arrested. This includes arrests that did not result in a conviction as well as those that did.


Once an individual has been arrested for a crime, they will be formally charged with that crime. The charges filed against an individual are typically based on the evidence collected by law enforcement during their investigation.


If an individual is found guilty of a crime or any traffic offenses, either through a plea bargain or after a trial, this information will be included in their criminal history. A conviction will remain on an individual’s criminal history, even if they are later pardoned for the crime.

Obtaining Your Criminal History

The first way is to contact your local police department or sheriff’s office to get your police record. They will be able to provide you with a copy of your local criminal history.

Keep in mind that this will only include crimes that were committed in that particular jurisdiction. You can also request your criminal history from the State Bureau of Identification. Also, you can have it from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

To request your criminal history from the State Bureau of Identification, you will need to fill out a form that is available on their website. Once you have completed the form, you will need to send it in along with a $18 processing fee.

Your criminal history from the State Bureau of Identification will include all convictions. It includes all information reported to them by law enforcement agencies.

Another way to get your criminal history is through the state police. Each state has different ways to process a request for a criminal history record, so you will need to contact the state police in the state where you live.

Additionally, there are private companies that offer background checks. They will also include information from your criminal history in their report. But, these companies are not required to follow the same rules and regulations as law enforcement agencies. So their reports may not be accurate or complete.

Cost of Obtaining a Criminal History

In addition to a criminal history check, one must also factor in the cost associated with obtaining a criminal history. This includes fees for the request for a background check and obtaining a fingerprint card. Also, the cost of a rap sheet and obtaining court records.

The cost of obtaining a criminal history check will vary depending on the provider you use. Generally, you can expect to pay between $8-$16 for a basic criminal history check. If you need a more comprehensive check, the cost will be higher.

For example, if you need a statewide criminal history check, the cost may be around $9-$15. If you are requesting a criminal history check for employment purposes, some employers will reimburse you for the cost of the check. Additionally, the cost associated with the type of criminal history (statewide or countywide) will also increase the cost of the request.

The cost associated with obtaining a criminal history varies depending on the area, agency, and type of request. Also, being aware that some states and organizations charge individuals for their background checks and fingerprint cards is advantageous. 

Reading and Understand Your Criminal History

If you have been previously convicted of a crime, that information is typically included in your criminal history. Your criminal history is a public record, which means that anyone can access it.

However, there are some ways to keep your criminal history private. If you’ve been searching for how to seal my criminal record, there are local expert lawyers that you can hire to help you.

There are two types of criminal histories: official and unofficial. Official criminal histories from the government are usually more accurate. Private companies generally produce unofficial criminal histories, which may not be as accurate.

When reviewing your criminal history, it is important to understand what information is included and how it is reported. For example, arrests that did not lead to convictions are typically not included in your criminal history. Additionally, some states report crimes differently than others. For example, some states may list misdemeanors as “crimes,” while others may only list felonies.

It is also important to note that your criminal history is separate from your credit history. While both types of records are public, they are typically maintained by different agencies and serve different purposes. 

Obtain Your Criminal History Today 

Understanding your criminal history is important if you want to make sure that you understand and protect your rights. Knowing what’s included in your criminal record, how to get it, and the cost can also help you better prepare for any upcoming job interviews or applications. 

Also, employers will usually look into such records when conducting background checks. Managing a criminal history should be something that all individuals strive to do. It is vital so they can stay on track and achieve their personal goals.

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