Having a criminal record can complicate job hunting. Most employers run background checks on potential employees, and if you don’t know what information they can see, it can be nerve-wracking to the say the least. You can save yourself some uncertainty by obtaining a copy of your criminal record from the State of California. Your California criminal record will display information about your criminal past that employers might see when running a background check on you. Ideally, you should obtain a copy of your criminal record before you apply for jobs so you know whether or not the details of your past disqualify you for certain positions. It is also important to make sure all the information on your criminal record is accurate. Getting a copy of your criminal background check isn’t complicated, but it does involve several steps that you must complete, which I’ll now go over.
The California Department of Justice maintains criminal records. Access to these records is typically restricted to law enforcement and other authorized agencies. Third parties, such as employers or rental agencies, cannot access these records, but the information therein may appear on a consumer background check. California residents, however, have a right to request a copy of their criminal record to check for accuracy. Residents also have the right to challenge any inaccurate information and request that it been changed. To obtain a copy of your criminal record from the California Department of Justice, you must complete the following steps:
Submit a scan of your fingerprints. California utilizes Live Scan fingerprints, which are digitized for ease of transmission. You must fill out the Live Scan form and take it to a Live Scan site to be fingerprinted. You may incur a fee for this service.
Pay a $25 processing fee, payable to the Department of Justice (DOJ). Indigent applicants might qualify for a fee waiver.
Submit your application, Live Scan prints, and processing fee to the Department of Justice Record Review unit.
You should receive a response within a few days, but it could take up to a few weeks in certain circumstances. There is no expedited process, however, so make sure you plan in advance if you need your record as soon as possible.
If you think the information in your record is inaccurate, you can submit a written request that it be corrected. The agency must review your written request within 30 days. If the agency finds the information is indeed inaccurate, the applicant must be notified within 30 days. Because this process can take several months, it is a good idea to request a copy of your criminal record well before you begin applying to jobs.
Your DOJ criminal record should display a thorough and complete record of your criminal history. Information included in your report will remain visible until you reach 100 years of age. As you can see, a criminal conviction remains on your DOJ criminal record almost indefinitely. For this reason, you should make sure the information in your report is accurate and complete.
Knowing what is on your criminal record can be reassuring. Again, most employers as well as lenders and rental agencies typically rely on consumer background checks and do not have access to your DOJ criminal record. Law enforcement and other authorized agencies, however, can access DOJ records.
Speak with an experienced California criminal defense attorney if you have questions about obtaining a copy of your criminal record. It is a good idea to get a copy of both your DOJ record and your consumer background check so you can be sure of what information others can see about your past. And, if any inaccuracies are present, you can take steps to correct them. An attorney can help you obtain copies of your criminal records so you can ensure the information therein is accurate and complete. An attorney can also help you take steps to clean your record if you identify any information hat could potentially hurt your chances of getting a job, a loan, or renting a home or apartment.
If you are in the Tulare, Fresno or Kings County area and have questions about cleaning your record, call experienced criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens today for expert counsel. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, we can help you clean your record so you can move on with your life. With over ten years of criminal defense experience, attorney Martens is ready to defend your rights. Contact our Visalia or Hanford, CA offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at MartensLaw@gmail.com to discuss a possible plan of action for your case.