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Results to Criminal Background Check/Felony Record - Private or Public records?

San Francisco, CA |

Can anyone advise as to whether the results of a criminal background check are considered private records or whether this information can be disseminated as public record?

Sorry, I should have better qualified my question. I am actually enquiring about running someone else' background to learn if they have a criminal history. And wanted to learn should I share the findings with someone who is impacted by this person, would I be doing something illegal. Thank you!

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Attorney answers 4


It is public record since the public is able to see this information.


They are public records. If you want to determine your criminal record in California, do a live scan at one of the many live scan operator locations then submit to California DOJ for record


If someone goes down to the Courthouse and pulls all the files there to create a database this is legal and the records are public. On the other hand your criminal history (aka rap sheet) is private and can be accessed only be a few organizations. Anyone who disseminates your rap sheet commits a crime.


Your court records are public. You rap sheet is available only to a few accepted groups.


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