Obtaining your Formal California Criminal Background Report

June 10, 2015

Checking your criminal background is just as important as checking your credit score. Some say, “I’ve never been arrested so I don’t need to check.” But would the same person say, “I have never been late on any payment so I don’t need to check my credit score”? Errors on any formal report do occur which is why it’s just as important to check your criminal background just as you would check your credit score. Most commercial background checking companies found by a simple google search offer competitive prices to conduct a background checks. However, there have been times where these commercial reporting companies do not accurately report what’s on your background therefore on most contracts these companies have a no guarantee that the report is fully accurate. The best way to obtain a formal and accurate print out of your criminal background is have a live scan conducted and submitted to the California Department of Justice. Information reported via the California Department of Justice is used by the LAPD, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Therefore, it’s best to “see” what law enforcement “sees.”

To obtain a formal print out of your criminal record, the California Department of Justice requires a finger and palm print submission via live scan. Additionally, you must have a certified “live scan” company conduct the finger and palm print analysis. The price usually varies from $20 to $40 depending on where you get the live scan done. Most local law enforcement agencies offer live scans at their departments without any appointments. For instance, LAPD West Los Angeles Division allows walk-ins for formal live scans.

The process is quite simple. Log on to the California Department of Justice website (you can google search “California Live Scan Form”) and download a 1/2 page application for live scan. Click here for a link to the form. Fully fill out the form and search for local live scan businesses that offer finger/palm print analysis. There are dozens within Los Angeles, however price ranges. Make an appointment and go get your finger/palm print scanning done and submit the 1/2 page form to the live scan company. Scanning your finger and palm prints usually takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Once completed, your prints will be submitted to the California Department of Justice up in Sacramento. In approximately 1 to 2 weeks, the California Department of Justice will mail you a formal print out of your criminal record.

Getting a live scan done is identical to anyone who has obtained any California state license – e.g., doctor, lawyer, psychologist, real estate licenses, public school teacher, etc. It is the most formal and effective method of obtaining your criminal background versus utilizing a commercial reporting company. When you obtain your formal print out from the Department of Justice, an error form will also be included should you discover any errors. It is advised to correct any errors with the California DOJ as soon as possible. Please note that receiving a formal print out of your criminal record will contain any conviction which was later expunged.

For more information, or if you have been arrested or charged with a crime, contact Newport Beach Criminal Defense Attorney John Rogers at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers for a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses.

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