Criminal Record Search
In Michigan, there are several different major repositories of information on “criminal” records; however most deal only with convictions.
What is a conviction?
A conviction is when a judgment is handed down from a court indicating that the person in question was found guilty or plead guilty. As we all know, in the United States of America everyone is innocent until found guilty. This does not mean that you are not interested in knowing whether someone was arrested for rape yet acquitted at trial due to lack of evidence, etc.
Note: Employers or potential employers should only search for convictions with a signed release for the applicant / employee and consulting with an attorney before hand.
- Court Records. These are the best way to verify if a criminal action has been initiated against someone. The main problem with searching these records is the cost. Michigan has 98 District Courts, several of which have multiple branches, located throughout the state. These are municipal courts where misdemeanors are heard and where felony crimes are first entered into the system. Then there are 57 Circuit Courts that service the counties. This is where a felony case would go to be heard. These courts are not connected by computer and no database of cases is available, meaning a search would have to be done at each location and few, if any, will look up information over the telephone. This makes this the best source, but the most expensive and time consuming. We recommend that this be done where the person lives or lived for any length of time rather than on a statewide basis.
- Michigan State Police. The State Police keep an archive of all criminal activity which is in the form of a searchable database. A search con be done immediately and is rarely off-line. The problem with this database is that the State Police rely on the courts and municipal police departments to submit this information to them. This costs money to compile and process and our experience would indicate that this is not being done as quickly or efficiently as it should be. In some cases, we have found capital crimes from years ago where the person is in a Michigan prison yet is not being reported. It is also very important to know that the information provided about the person being searched MUST be extremely accurate or a false negative con be obtained. We at ASG feel that this is an excellent tool but should not be the only source we use when accuracy is essential.
- Michigan Department of Corrections. This source has an excellent database of everyone who has served time in a prison or otherwise been remanded to their supervision. It gives good detail about the crime and occasionally even pictures of the criminal. The only weaknesses with this source is that criminals who are not sentenced to prison time do not show up in this database and sometimes, if searching for people with more common names or limited information, confirmations cannot be made.
- Arrests. Limited and varying data from Michigan arrest records at the county jail level can be obtained legally through a private source. This information is excellent for determining if someone was arrested and processed at one of the available county jails. This source does not have access to all Michigan county arrest records and some criminals are not processed at the county jail level, but it is still an excellent source to assist us in where to look further.
We recommend that you call us and speak to a private investigator, free of charge, about which type of search or searches are appropriate for your needs. Lastly, if you see a free search or nationwide criminal record search, keep you credit card in your wallet and look elsewhere. There is no such search and you are purchasing nothing but a disclaimer and some old public record data. Call A.S.G. today for immediate assistance at 888-677-9700.