5 Sources of Free Criminal Background Reports Online

 

There are a number of government resources that you can use when conducting free criminal background reports. Various government agencies have made their different databases available on the Internet, which can be used for retrieval of free criminal background reports.

Free Criminal Background Reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Although the national criminal database kept by the FBI is not accessible to the public, the FBI does maintain a useful website where you can check for free criminal background reports. The FBI website has a section known as Crimes Against Children, where you can find a link to various lists of sex offenders in the different states. There is also a link to the sex offender registry of the Department of Justice, known as the National Sex Offender Public Registry or NSOPR. FBI’s “Most Wanted” list is also a useful adjunct when searching for free criminal background reports.

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Free Criminal Background Reports from the Federal Bureau of Prisons

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates an inmate locator, which is quite helpful when checking for free criminal background reports. By using the locator, you can search for inmates who have been imprisoned in the federal prisons beginning in 1982. You can also search for pre-sentenced offenders.

Free Criminal Background Reports from the Office of Foreign Assets Control

When checking for free criminal background reports, it is a good idea to check the Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and Blocked Persons list of the Treasury Department’s OFAC. The list contains organizations and individuals that the government considers as engaged in international trafficking of narcotics and other illegal substances and provision of weapons of mass destruction. Free criminal background reports should also include OFAC’s Patriot Act Search, where individuals are checked against various lists of terrorists and terrorist organizations. 

Free Criminal Background Reports from the Drug Enforcement Administration

If you need to search for free criminal background reports regarding the provision, distribution and use of controlled substances, try checking the DEA’s list of offenders. The DEA also has an available list of their most wanted fugitives and a database of criminal cases filed against physicians.

Free Criminal Background Reports from the Excluded Parties Listing System

The Excluded Parties Listing System maintains a compilation of several important lists that are useful for checking free criminal background reports. Among these are the Denied Persons List by the Bureau of Industry and Security and the List of Parties Debarred for Arms Export Control Act Convictions by the Department of State. The Excluded Parties Listing System also maintains a database containing companies and individuals who have been prohibited from receiving federal financial aid or from engaging in federal contracts.

These are only some of the sources of free criminal background reports. Some local courthouses also have their own websites containing their computerized criminal records databases. In more than half of the states, there are also statewide criminal courts you can search for free criminal background reports . However, when using the aforementioned resources for searching free criminal background reports, it is best to keep in mind that the data may not be complete and updated.

 

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