How to Get a Free Criminal Report

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Whether you're checking to see if you have a criminal record or looking up someone else in your life, the Internet allows you to get criminal reports for free. There are many websites that have databases of publicly available criminal records. Follow these steps to get information from one of these sites.

Navigate your browser to (see Resources below).

Enter in the individual's first and last name, and the individual's state of residence into the database, then click "search."

Use the legend to determine what the crime was. Crimes are listed into categories: behavioral, business, drug and alcohol, sex related, theft, violent and traffic. You will also be able to view further details, such as whether the individual was speeding or ran a red light.

Narrow your results. If you come up with a large number of results, use the advanced search feature, which also searches by year of birth and middle name.


  • Look at the offense before judging someone you've just conducted a search on. Traffic violations are very common and not worth discriminating against the individual. These databases do not always contain every person or offense. If you are hiring an individual for a job, it might be worth it to pay for a limited criminal history report.