Texas Clerk Of Court Public Records

Texas clerk of court public records

Criminal Records Checking 101

Texas criminal Records Checks are standard procedure when due diligence research is conducted on an individual. However, even in this age of instant access to digitized information, old-fashioned investigative techniques usually must be relied upon for the research of criminal records. This segment will discuss how criminal records searches are conducted and how criminal records are maintained, court access fees in each county and how they are retrieved.

How Criminal Records Are Recorded

Crimes are usually divided into three categories; (1) Felonies, (2) Misdemeanors and (3) Infractions. Within these categories can be subdivisions, levels of severity, etc. Generally, a felony is a crime that is punishable by a sentence of 365 days or more in jail, or death.

Common felonies include: murder, theft, burglary, serious drug possession and distribution, weapons charges, rape, kidnapping, robbery, assaults, etc. A misdemeanor generally is an offense punishable by a sentence of less than 365 days in jail, and includes minor theft, minor assault, some forms of drug possession, harassment and serious motor vehicle violations. An infraction is usually a “ticket” type of offense where resolution is either paying the fine or appearing in a lower court. Infractions are not reportable offenses for employment purposes unless the case is escalated into a misdemeanor.

It is not possible to simply “plug in” someone’s Social Security number into a criminal records search database and find all the criminal convictions pertaining to that individual. Criminal records are indexed by the name of the defendant. Therefore, getting the correct spelling of the name is critical to obtaining accurate criminal records report results. If the person had a former name, that name should also be included in the court records search. In those jurisdictions where the clerk of court will be performing the research, a full date of birth is usually required.

While the majority of jurisdictions have computerized their criminal records search, there are some that do not allow offsite access. Therefore, a criminal records researcher must be physically dispatched to the courthouse to search the public access terminals. Many courts will perform a free criminal records check over the phone. Most courts will respond to written requests; however, it can sometimes take weeks or even months to get the results back and this of course is unacceptable.

There are thousands of separate criminal records indexes maintained at the county, parish, township, and city levels throughout the United States. Conducting a nationwide search would require accessing each individual index. Proprietary, aggregate databases have been created to access that information in its’ raw format. AAA Credit Screening can conduct research through these databases to acquire information.

Checking for criminal court records at the county level is a primary method used by AAA. The county courthouse is where the record originated, and therefore represents the logical and accurate starting point. The information is current, which is a requirement of the Fair Credit Reporting Act for employment verification search purposes. In some counties felony and misdemeanor records are maintained in a combined index, in others felonies and misdemeanor records must be checked separately.

About the Author

John Martin is writer of AAA Credit which is providing information of criminal and their records. He is also providing articles on Credit check, and credit history and many more credit information.

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