Criminal Records Search in Florida - Useful Guidelines
Many times people are easily confused and don’t understand the difference between criminal and arrest records. This article is largely concerned with explaining the difference between those two things and helping you learn how to find Florida criminal records which might have been issued against people that are important to you for the purpose of conducting a background check.
Criminal records are issued after a person is prosecuted and found guilty of a crime. Arrest records are issued when a person is incarcerated even if it turns out later on that he or she is innocent. Put differently, criminal records indicate guilt unlike arrest records.
In addition, criminal records are usually accessible to the public by reaching out to the local clerk in the county where the case was prosecuted. Florida arrest records, on the other hand, are more specifically tied to actual periods of incarceration in local jails. Because of this, that information is more likely to be found by contacting local sheriff departments or the booking division of their jails.
A case Study: Finding Miami-Dade Criminal Records
To get more specific, we’ll use the example of Miami-Dade County criminal records. In order to find information from this county, we could go one of two directions. We can attempt an online search using the Criminal Justice Online System on the website of the Clerk of the Courts (found at: miami-dadeclerk.com/cjis/casesearch.aspx). It enables you to look for branch, misdemeanor or felony records based on case number, state case number, police number, defendant name or jail number. Each electronic file you'll be shown includes case number, file date, closing date and the charges filed against the person being searched.
Alternatively, you can file a FOIA request by downloading and filling out a formal public records request form by going the following URL: miami-dadeclerk.com/library/466-Web.pdf. This form should be send by mail to Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts, P.O. Box 14695, Miami, FL 33101 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have further questions, you can email their support at miami-dadeclerk.com/messagecenter/ or call either the County Recorder office or the Criminal Court Office. Their telephone number is at 305-275-1155.
Carrying Out a Statewide Criminal Case Inquiry
To expand your background check beyond a specific county and look for Florida Criminal records, you should utilize the Criminal History Service operated by the FDLE (https://cchinet.fdle.state.fl.us/search/app/default?2). This extensive database lets you run a name-based search which encompasses the entire state. Results show a person's full criminal history as reported from local law enforcement agencies. This tool is quite expensive as each individual inquiry will cost you $25.00.