How to Perform a Texas Background Check
The reasons people want to carry out a background check on another person are varied and numerous. Whether it is an employer looking to verify what a potential employee has told them about his past, or concerned parents wanting to make sure their child’s caregiver is safe – a Texas background check has become a commonplace thing. Thanks to the Internet, peace of mind is just a few steps away, usually via websites that allow anyone who wants to search state or county databases for whether or not a person has a criminal background.
Conducting a Texas Arrest Records Search
So what, exactly, is an arrest record? If an individual has an arrest record, it means that at some point prior to the search being conducted, he or she was incarcerated by the police and brought in for questioning. It is important to note the difference between an arrest record and a criminal record. The latter is issued after a person had been convicted in a court of law. A person can be incarcerated and ultimately found innocent of the crime. If that is the case, his name will not appear on a criminal record.
The state of Texas Department of Public Safety has created an online database that allows the public to search all of Texas criminal records. These records include arrests, prosecutions, and resulting dispositions for any offense at least a Class B misdemeanor. To give you an idea of what kinds of offenses might fall into this category, an arrest for less than 2 ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor.
There is a catch, however. The database requires you to purchase “search” credits for a fee with which you can conduct your inquiry.
How to Carry Out a Texas Warrant Search
An arrest warrant is the first step in the legal procedure towards detaining a suspect. It means that law enforcement officers have successfully convinced a judge or magistrate that they have probable cause to believe that the person named committed a crime. Sometimes a person will have an outstanding warrant for his or her arrest without being aware of it.
Unfortunately, there is currently no statewide Texas warrant search database. If you wish to determine whether a particular individual has an arrest order carrying his or her name, you have two choices:
- You can contact the sheriff’s office in the county where the crime has been committed and ask regarding that individual specifically.
- Some municipalities and counties put at the public’s disposal an online inquiry tool, as the city of Fort Worth have done here. It all depends on the particular city and county you wish to know about.
Conducting a Texas Background Check on a County Level
Houston Criminal Records