Public Arrest Records-Now Online?
Have you ever been arrested or been issued a speeding ticket? Were you caught rolling through a stop sign? What about your family and friends? If you are like most of us, the answer to at least one of those questions is “yes”—the vast majority of us have slipped up at least once or twice.
A controversial new website U.S. People Records is now revealing the full “scoop” on millions of Americans.
U.S. People Records aggregates hundreds of millions of publicly-available criminal, traffic, and arrest records, and posts them online so they can easily be searched by anyone. Members of the site can begin searching the database within seconds and are able to check as many records as they like (e.g., friends, family, doctors, teachers, neighbors, blind dates, etc.).
Previously, if you wanted to research someone’s arrest records, you had to visit a county court office—in the appropriate county—and formally request information on an individual. This process may have taken days or weeks, or the information might not have been available at all. With websites like U.S. People Records, however, a background check now requires just a few clicks of the mouse, and takes no longer than a few minutes.
While preparing this article, I decided to run a quick search on myself to give the service a real-world test. To my dismay, the search results included several records I’d long forgotten about—one of them for the possession of a fake ID I was (embarrassingly) issued back in college when I was just 18 years old.
After searching myself and finding those records, my curiosity was piqued, and I began researching family members—apparently my aunt Bea isn’t a very good driver, judging from the numerous traffic citations that showed on her record.
One of the most interesting features of U.S. People Records is that it shows not only criminal records, but also general background information such as marriage/divorce records, various types of licenses (medical, firearm, aviation, etc.), previous addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, estimated income levels, and even satellite imagery of known addresses—it’s borderline creepy just how much information is in these reports.
In addition to providing information on the specific people on whom you search, the report also includes a scrolling list of “local sex offenders” for whatever region you’ve searched, along with a map plotting out the locations of those offenders. I started scanning the sex offenders that showed up in my report, and I was absolutely blown away when I stumbled upon my junior high school wrestling coach’s mug shot. His crime was listed as “Out of State Offense,” so I wasn’t able to get the specifics (you usually can—this was an unusual case), but he was definitely a registered sex offender. Scary stuff!