As someone accused of a crime, you need to know that you are being heard. What would you do if a criminal search pulled up information about you that wasn’t true? Can that happen? Realistically, it’s rare, but it is possible.
In Texas, you can look up a criminal history of a sex offender or other criminal by using a name-based or fingerprint-based search. By using a fingerprint search, your fingerprint would be matched. That leaves no doubt that the records are related to you and your DNA. However, a name-based search can be faulty and could bring up records of those with the same name or similar sounding names, making it possible for someone to accuse you of being a sex offender, for instance, even though it’s actually someone else with your name in the neighborhood.
It is possible for the public to search a criminal records database to find out information about you and if you’re a criminal or have a criminal record. They need to search the C.R.S. public site to do so with an online name-based search, which is how some people could be accusatory of those who actually had never committed a crime. The check itself is only $10, making it easy for anyone in the public to get a hold of your, or a person with your name’s, record.
Don’t let a false accusation or criminal past get in the way of your future. You may have options for expungement or sealing your records from the public eye, or there could be ways to set the record straight in court to clear your name of any wrongdoing you never committed.
Source: Texas Department of Public Safety, “Frequently Asked Questions” Dec. 04, 2014