Rights of Access to Public Information
The citizens of a particular city or county have the rights of access when it comes to searching the public records; this kind of search is usually conducted for safety reasons. It is the right of every individual to live peacefully and safely and so everyone can search the public records to ensure that they as well as their families can remain safe.
Requirement for the Rights
If a person has come to live near your house, you have all the right to search the records to know if the person features in the arrest records or the criminal records. This is also a kind of background search conducted on a particular person. The public records can be checked for making sure that you are dealing with a proper date, tenant, would-be spouse, or any other person with whom you are to be associated personally and professionally. You may be having a new babysitter to look after your child or may be hiring a new employee at the office, and are concerned about the safety; a public records search should give you the peace of mind.
It is not your right to question a person you are hiring if he/she has a criminal background, as the person you are asking the question might rightfully choose not to provide an answer; even if they would answer, you cannot expect that the answer will be absolutely true always.
You can check the arrest records, criminal records, court records, birth and death records, marriage and divorce records, as well as several other relevant records for information on a person with a criminal past. It is to be noted that information on a minor who had been arrested will not feature in the records.
You can search for the arrest records at the local police stations, or go for searching other public records at the court houses and the law enforcement agencies. There is another way to get accurate results in a short time and that too from the comforts of one’s home – searching online.
There are several websites which offer paid services as well as free services for gaining access to the public records. The state jurisdiction decides if they want the records to be available for free or if they want the records to be paid for the professional services. One can get information on criminal offenses such as sexual offenses, assaults, jail records, employment history, and other details.
When you are searching online, you are required to provide the first name and the last name of the particular person, the state, city, county and the zip code if available to make the search faster and more efficient. You will be able to get all the information you require for taking adequate precautions. Sometimes paid services work better and faster than the free services; make a smart choice when deciding which online service to opt for. With the rights of access given to the public in terms of public records searching, people now can know beforehand whom to stay away from.
Rights of Access Arguments
Historically, the three main types of arguments for rights of access include:
Constitutional considerations basically utilize the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as a reason to be able to access records. Statutory considerations are those regarding both federal and state laws passed that affect or approach the subject of freedom of speech or freedom of press. Finally, common law arguments utilize one of the 52 right-to-know laws in the U.S. states and territories. These are also commonly known as "freedom of information" laws.