Does Your Significant Other Have a Criminal Record?

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We think we know our significant others, but how do we know we can trust them with our secrets and our funds? Experts are recommending a somewhat unromantic approach: when in doubt, you can search to find criminal records online. They refer to this as due diligence, except applied to our personal lives. Just like you should know who you’re doing business with, you also need to know the truth about your partner or spouse.

Specifically, you might feel something isn’t right about them. They may disappear now and then for no apparent reason and without any explanation. You may also catch inconsistencies or white lies. There might be other things, too. Such unusual behavior may compel you to dig deeper.

If you met your significant other through a dating site, it is important to know that most such platforms have disclaimers. In other words, they don’t run background checks on their users – you’re responsible for that. Here’s how you can get started.

State, Municipality, and City Records

It’s easy to access these records, especially if you have background information to go on. Specifically, you will need to know where they have lived in the past. If you’re going to rely on court records or other public records, you should at least have a hunch of where they could have been arrested.

Criminal records differ by county, city, state, or municipality where they were created. Also, different states have varying policies for creating, storing, and documenting the data on someone who’s been convicted of a crime.

What Does a Criminal Record Contain?

Criminal records cover felonies, violations, misdemeanors, infractions, and other types of crimes. They also include information on the circumstances leading to the person’s arrest, details of their arrest, as well as their name, date of birth, and other personal information. Moreover, it should include information about their trial and verdict, such as not guilty, guilty, imprisonment, probation, etc. If applicable, the record will also include parole information. Finally, information about their weight, height, hair and eye color, fingerprints, mugshots, and other identifiers will be available, too.

Deciphering Arrest Records

You might find your significant other was arrested, but not convicted. Arrest reports or records comprise the part of a criminal record covering an individual’s apprehension. Typically, arrests take place in one of two ways: an arrest warrant is issued or a police officer witnesses an alleged crime. Usually, county sheriff’s deputies, state or city police, and other law enforcement agents arrest someone upon witnessing a crime. Alternatively, an arrest warrant might be issued if it’s determined that there is enough evidence to convict someone. There is always a record of every arrest, no matter how it happens.

Finding Arrest Records

Usually, the sheriff’s office or police department that has arrested the person holds their record. Arrest records are easily accessible because they are considered public records. To find the relevant information, you can check your state justice department website or municipal, county, or city records. Moreover, it depends where the arrest has occurred. The county clerk or county sheriff’s department is recommended as a starting point. The relevant records will be available online, as long as there is a website. Usually, the state’s parole and pardon board will store parole information – you can search for it online.  

Will They Find out You Checked Them?

Yes – if you let it slip. Your significant other might be upset if they learn you were running a check on them, but it’s worth the risk. Your peace of mind and safety should be your top priority, after all.

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Alex Wise served over 5 years as relationship expert helping women from around the world figure out the men in their love lives from an honest, male perspective. Alex is one of the contributors and editors for Loveawake.com dating website. He is passionate about thought leadership writing, and regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and online dating communities.
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