“Record” is a term used to describe a person’s overall criminal history. Accurate criminal records are a hard thing for the government to keep track of. Because when you’re talking about criminal records you’re talking about records that must be maintained by every level of government.
Agencies from the local police department all the way up to the federal level including the FBI maintain criminal records. All of these criminal records are maintain on separate databases at each level of government, criminal records are not maintained within one database that every agency can access.
On the state level, some states have a central database that contains criminal records for every county and court within that state. The information contained in these records is often inaccurate due to the fact that they are not accurately supervised and new information is not always added on a regular basis.
At this time the United States does not have a central database of criminal records with the exception of the FBI. And if you were charged with a drunk driving offense, you are not in the FBI’s database.
When it comes to criminal records on a national level, the government is mostly concerned with tracking crimes like sexual assault or cases that involve premeditated violence or a threat to the United States national security.
Misdemeanor drunk driving charges are held at the county level and in no other place. You may be told that the state has a record of your misdemeanor drunk driving charge, but more than 90% of the time they do not. You should call your state agencies to confirm.
When it comes to felony DUI or DWI charges, these are held at the state level in the state record database.
Criminal records information is tracked through your address history as it is listed on your credit file with the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Remember, credit reporting agencies are keepers of information on everyone.
It is a little known fact that the credit reporting agencies supply a lot more information than just a person’s credit history. The credit reporting agencies don’t make any claims that their information is accurate or that they even bother with trying to verify that the information they have is correct.
When a background check is conducted on an individual, a private company like LexisNexis Risk or a similar company that performs background checks will start by asking you where you have lived for the last 7 years and then asks you to list this information on their form which you sign as an authorization for them to conduct a background check.
The company starts their search by requesting your credit history from the three agencies listed above, which provides them with your previous addresses for the past 7 years. They then compile a list of the addresses that showed up from your credit file and the information you provide.
This process is referred to as a skip trace or a social security trace depending on which company is conducting the background check. There is no escaping a criminal record by moving to another state, because the credit bureaus keep records of every address you have ever lived at for any amount of time.
If you want to learn how to clear or significantly minimize your DUI record or get it expunged from your criminal records, you owe it yourself to get a copy of the DUI Process Manual. This manual provides step-by-step instructions on how to expunge a DUI conviction from your criminal records.
If you're not sure what is on your criminal record and want to find out, you can perform an instant background check here for criminal records information including felony, misdemeanor, sex offender & county offense records.