Rapsheets.com Offers Searchable Database of State & County Criminal Records
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Update, June 1, 2007: Since its purchase by ChoicePoint, Rapsheets can now be found at http://www.knowx.com/rapsheets/

Rapsheets.com offers registered users access to criminal records on over 20 million individuals in 30 states (and selected counties/buroughs in Florida, New York, Tennessee and Texas). In just two years, the database has grown from 4 states to 30. When asked why my state (California) was missing, I was informed that California was “another planet” in the criminal record world! Rapsheets.com was developed by Memphis, Tennessee's legal newspaper, The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.

Rapsheets.com gathers its data from state, county and local government agencies' public records. In some cases, they are able to provide direct connection to state computers, resulting in “real-time” searches. The site is updated monthly. Results typically display the defendant's name, DOB, race, sex, offense date, offense description, disposition, disposition date, case #, county of disposition, and the sentence.

Coverage varies state to state. Rapsheets.com clearly lists its coverage for each state at http://www.rapsheets.com/aboutdata.asp.

For example, Tennessee criminal records can be searched statewide—a simultaneous search of 900,000 records from all 95 counties (back to 1990). On the other hand, the criminal records of 2 million North Carolina persons from all county district and superior courts cannot be searched statewide—one must select a county, and search county by county. With a subscription fee of $14.95 monthly and searching priced at $3.00 per search, it's a great deal for the statewide searches, but could get out of hand with the “county by county” searches.

Rapsheets.com also provides some non-criminal searching (click on “other searches”) to verify a name, a social security number or a residential address. These searches cost from $1.00-$2.00.

 

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