17 Oct 23

How to Check if You Have a Criminal Record in Florida

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Last Updated on: 3rd November 2023, 07:11 pm

How to Check if You Have a Criminal Record in Florida

Having any kind of criminal record in Florida can create major obstacles to jobs, housing, loans and education. But how do you check to see if you have a criminal record in Florida?

There are a few ways to check for a criminal record in Florida. Here are some options for investigating your background and understanding what shows up on a criminal history report.

Request Your Criminal History Record

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) allows anyone to request a copy of their complete Florida criminal history record, also called a RAP sheet. This report details any Florida arrests and dispositions[1].

To obtain your record, you must complete a request form, get fingerprints taken, and pay a $25 fee. The report is mailed to you within 15 days.

Search Court Records

Court records in Florida are public in most cases. You can search records at the courthouse in each county where you lived to find any criminal or traffic cases[2].

Most Florida county court records can also be searched online for a fee. Try sites like

Get a Background Check

Many companies provide background checks to individuals for a fee. A personal background check will show criminal records from Florida and other states[3].

Compare quotes and services to find a reputable background check company. Some sites to check are Intelius, TruthFinder, and BeenVerified.

Review the FBI Criminal Database

The FBI maintains records of all arrests and convictions nationwide. To get your FBI file, submit a request form and fingerprint card and pay $18[4].

This will show any federal or out-of-state offenses in addition to Florida crimes.

Check Sex Offender Registries

Florida maintains a public sex offender registry that can be searched online for free. This includes records for all registered sex offenders in Florida[5].

The national sex offender public website can also be searched.

Review Your Credit Reports

Get free annual credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Credit reports may reveal crimes involving financial fraud[6].

Disputed accounts or collections could also prompt you to investigate court records for related criminal charges.

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Search News Archives

Search newspaper and media websites for any mentions of your name in crime reports. News archives sometimes turn up records long forgotten.

Ask Previous Employers

If serious crimes are discovered, ask previous employers if they ran a background check that revealed offenses you weren’t aware of.

This could help you investigate any unknown charges to understand the records.

Look For Errors

If you find unknown offenses on your records, look for errors like mistaken identity or expunged cases that shouldn’t be reported. Dispute any incorrect records.

Consult an Attorney if Needed

If serious unknown offenses appear on your record, contact a criminal defense lawyer for advice on clearing up the records.

An attorney can help get mistakes corrected or old charges removed.

I hope these tips help explain how to check for a criminal record in Florida. Let me know if you have any other questions!