How to Run a National and Florida Background Check on Yourself

Expunge Florida Record
Expunge Florida Record

Check Your Criminal History with FBI or FDLE

If you have ever been arrested, you may be wondering what your criminal record looks like. The best way to find out is to run a background check on yourself.   How do you do this? There are several ways to check your record. If you only want to check a local record, you can do this through your local police station or the clerk of court. Let’s say that you were arrested for domestic battery in Jacksonville. Your charges were dropped by the Duval County State Attorney’s Office. How do you find a record of this? You may contact the Duval County Clerk of Court. The clerk of court will have a file that contains all of the documents submitted in your criminal case. You may also go to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to obtain a copy of your arrest and booking report. What if you were not arrested? The police officer did not handcuff you and take you to jail. Instead, he gave you what looked like a Florida traffic ticket. Here is an example. You were caught shoplifting at Bealls. The store employees called the police. Due to the fact that you had no record, were a local resident, and you were not a flight risk, the police officer gave you a ticket. This was a notice to appear citation. It was not just a basic Jacksonville traffic ticket. It was a criminal citation. It created a criminal record. If you run a background check, this Jacksonville petit theft charge will show up. If you want to find the record, you can go through the clerk of court or the sheriff’s office.

I have discussed how to find a local record, but you may want to run a state or national background check on yourself. You can do this as well. There are many private companies that advertise for this service. To find those companies, just conduct a simple internet search. If you would like an official background check, you should look into using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to run the background check.

Conduct FBI Background Check

If you use the FBI to run a background check on yourself, this will check your criminal record through a national database. If you are interested in checking your record in all 50 states, the fbi.gov gives the following options to request information about yourself:

Option 1: Use the U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361. You may submit an attachment listing additional information that may aid in locating responsive records. Please place your name and contact information on the attachment.

Option 2: Following the instructions in U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361, submit a letter to the FBI, sign your request, and have it notarized or state, “Under penalty of perjury, I hereby declare that I am the person named above and I understand that any falsification of this statement is punishable under the provisions of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 1001 by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment of not more than five years, or both; and that requesting or obtaining any record(s) under false pretenses is punishable under the provisions of Title 5, U. S. C., Section 552a(i)(3) as a misdemeanor and by a fine of not more than $5,000.” If you have any questions about this process before submitting your FOIPA request, please e-mail foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov.

Mail, fax, or e-mail this letter to the following:

Federal Bureau of Investigation 
Attn: FOI/PA Request 
Record/Information Dissemination Section 
170 Marcel Drive 
Winchester, VA 22602-4843 
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail (scanned copy): foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov

Order FDLE Criminal History

If you would like to check your criminal record in the State of Florida, you may do this through the FDLE. You can do this by going to the FDLE’s website. There is a fee involved. According to the FDLE:

“There will be a charge of $24.00 against your credit card for each name search performed, regardless of search results. This Internet service will provide you with a list of possible matches similar to the subject of your inquiry. You must review this list and determine if any of the possible candidates match your subject. If you request the record of more than one candidate, an additional charge of $24.00 Per Record will be billed to your credit card. A search may return as many as five possible matches or candidates. It is also possible your search will result in no possible candidates. The accuracy of the information you provide is critical to the search results since we search our records based on your submission information. This is a search of descriptive information and a positive identification can only be confirmed by fingerprint comparison. This is a self-service application. You are required to perform the criminal history search and make a determination as to whether your subject matches a criminal history record contained within FDLE’s CCH files. Your search results are returned instantly and you may print and/or have your results emailed to you. Your results will not be sent by regular mail.”

FDLE link for Florida criminal history search: https://web.fdle.state.fl.us/search/app/paymentinfo

Seal or Expunge Florida Criminal Record

How do I remove my arrest from these local, state, and federal government databases? If you would like to clear your Florida criminal background, you may want to consider sealing or expunging your criminal record. If you have not been convicted of a crime, you may be eligible. You may discuss this with a Jacksonville criminal lawyer by calling (904) 564-2525. If you prefer, you may send an email to Find a Lawyer.

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