A criminal history record describes any arrests and subsequent dispositions attributable to an individual. Complete, accurate, and immediately accessible records enable states to:
- immediately identify individuals with prior criminal records in any state
- check backgrounds of persons responsible for child, elder and disabled care
- identify individuals who have a history of domestic violence or stalking
- make informed decisions relating to pretrial release and detention of offenders, prosecutions of career criminals and appropriate correctional confinement
- conduct background checks to protect public safety and national security
Criminal records are maintained by each state in a central repository.
The Residents of U.S. may be asked to present a "Criminal Background Check" for a variety of reasons for use abroad including adoption, school attendance, employment, etc. U.S. law enforcement authorities may not be familiar with such a procedure since it is not commonly requested in the United States.
There are a variety of options available to U.S. citizens seeking to obtain proof of their lack of a criminal record.