But how are you going to get the information you need?
One way to access more information is through public records. Public records are documents, databases, and other sources of information created or held by government agencies that are legally required to make this information available to the public.
These can be helpful when choosing caregivers, nannies, or for even checking up on a recent romantic interest.
So how can you use public records to make safer and smarter decisions?
You’ve heard the saying “birds of a feather flock together,” and this is especially true when it comes to who you let into your lives. The people around us have a lot of influence on our lives, so it’s very important to be selective about who we let in.
This is even more important when it comes to your children. Children are very impressionable, so it’s essential that they spend time with people who will help them grow into well-rounded individuals, not with someone who may be grooming your children for sexual abuse.
You can conduct a background check on them by looking into their criminal history. Criminal history is considered a public record and is available to you.
You can check federal court records online or you can contact and visit your local courthouse. The court will have records of past convictions, arrests, and warrants issued.
If personally going to the courthouse will be challenging for you, you can visit their website. Most of the courthouses in the United States will have an online database for criminal records.
When you’re a single parent and want to jump back into the dating pool, you want to be sure that the person you’re dating is genuine and trustworthy. You want to know that this person is someone you can trust with your life and your children. You don’t want to be blindsided by somebody pretending to be someone else or someone who is hiding a questionable past.
Aside from court records, you can visit websites that offer free online background checks or avail of a subscription to websites that offer background check services.
Most of these websites will look into public records databases and/or social media accounts to see if there are any red flags. This can help you get a better idea of whether or not the person you’re dating is trustworthy or not.
If you’re looking for something more in-depth than a simple online background check, you may want to consider hiring a private investigator (PI). A PI will be able to dig deeper into someone’s past and do more extensive research than what background check websites can offer.
 Records Page. Search Marriage & Divorce Records, Warrants, State Records Free. 20 October, 2022.
 NOLO. Can I check out another person’s criminal record? 20 October, 2021.
If you’ve never lived in the area, it’s a good idea to ask around and do some research into the crime rates of your potential neighbourhood. You can find out how many crimes have been reported in the area and the types of crimes that are most commonly committed. You can look up arrest records from local police departments online or at your local library.
You can also try to find out if there are any registered sex offenders living in the neighbourhood. You can do this by calling your local police department or by checking out government websites like the National Sex Offender Public Website.
If you are planning to live in a large city, it’s possible that there may be more crimes than in a small town or rural area. Going through public records and knowing how to find out if someone has a felony for free will give you a better idea of whether or not the neighbourhood is safe for you and your family.