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Searching for criminal records in Texas

If a person has been found guilty of a criminal offence anywhere in the United States, then a record will exist of that guilty verdict, along with many details concerning the crime they committed and what punishment they received; whether a custodial sentence or a fine. If you are searching for information about a crime that was committed in the State of Texas, trying to find background information on someone who is currently or in the past lived in state or even if you are carrying out research into your family tree, searching for criminal records can provide you with a lot of the data you might need. In some cases the actual records or information within those records that is open to the public is limited, depending on when the crime was committed and if the crime involved young children. If you are unsure what criminal records or document details you will be able to access in the State of Texas, you could search online for further information or ask the staff at the local county courthouse. These people are the experts when it comes to searching court documents and criminal records. But they also have their own jobs to do, so don’t expect them to carry out the search for you!

If you are researching your family tree and the records you are looking for are very old, then the chances are there will be no restrictions on what details you can see. If you are just looking for the kind of surface details that are required for this kind of research, then checking the local newspapers in the State of Texas is another good way to find out whether an ancestor of yours was ever in trouble with the law.
Those who are hoping to carry out a more detailed search of criminal records in state might need the help and assistance of the county court staff or local website of the state in order to get all the information they need. For example, a prospective employer might want to carry out a background check on an applicant; in some cases in the State of Texas and throughout the US, this means that certain rules about criminal records do not apply, and the employer can see any details they require. This usually occurs when the position is connected with children, vulnerable adults or sensitive information. Sometimes an employer in state might ask you to sign a waiver allowing them access to any documents associated with you, even those which they would normally not be allowed to see. You are not obliged to sign this, and employers are not supposed to discriminate against you if you refuse. People who are checking out a new neighbour or a new partner just out of curiosity are more likely to find that they are forbidden from seeing criminal records, especially recent ones. In this case it is more likely to find that some documents or certain information is protected by law in the state.

Again, the staff at the county or state courthouse where you live or where the person you are interested in searching for is living, will be the best people to provide you with advice, as will their website if you live a long way from state. If you are wanting to search for someone from state and you live hundreds or even thousands of kilometres away, you can always submit search requests by mail, telephone or email, though you will be expected to pay a fee and might have to wait some time for your results.

There are some sites that will allow you to actually search criminal records by the area, or at least certain aspects of those records, online. You will need to know some of the basic details about the person you are looking for before starting this kind of search; details such as full name, date of birth and address within the State of Texas are useful, but it is possible to carry out one of these online searches with less information to hand. Many of these sites are run commercially, which means you may have to pay a fee if you find that the person you are looking for does have a criminal record in state and you want to see all the documents that are publicly available. On the other hand, most of these sites also refund your money or do not charge you if no “hit” is found on the details you provide.

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