Minnesota crime rates have increased dramatically since the 1960’s. That’s just the plain and short of it, and there doesn’t look to be a lull in criminal activity any time soon.
According to the Minnesota Law Enforcement Agency, in the year 1960 there were 40 murders committed in the state of Minnesota, and in 2008 there were 109 murders committed. There are your facts, nearly a three times increase.
Rape, burglary, assault, and property crimes have also greatly increased. Most of the victims of crimes, especially rape, assault, and murder, are familiar or new their attacker.
It’s true what they said about Minnesota nice, we are wonderful people, but performing a background check on an employee, renter, or child care professional (among many others) could be extremely important. It could even save your life.
Criminal background checks in Minnesota
In Minnesota, Criminal records can be accessed in a number of ways, but you have to know some information about the person beforehand. Nowadays there are several large online databases that can be accessed. Usually, publicly accessible records must be kept for as long as 15 years after a criminal commits a crime.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension maintains a website (https://cch.state.mn.us/) that has basic criminal records available to the public, you just have to have the name of the person you are performing a background check on, along with their birth date and their history should be available to view, provided the crime was committed in the last 15 years and the information you entered is correct.
Another way of performing a background check is to mail in a request form, but that can take up to two weeks and costs $4.00 to process, so mail your background check as soon as possible if you know you are going to be on a deadline.
And, if the information you included is wrong or the person goes by a different name, that creates a whole new set of problems. You can also go to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension building in St. Paul, MN and access public criminal records at a kiosk in the lobby, where there is also a fee of $4 for a printed copy.
So what will you get from the state of Minnesota?
Minnesota criminal records will usually contain information about all past arrests and convictions, both for juvenile convictions as well as adult felonies. Public criminal records contain information regarding the “offense, the date of the offense, the court of conviction, the date of the conviction, the sentence, the level of conviction, and the probation agency or place of confinement” (Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension).
Law enforcement officials are also required to submit fingerprints of the prisoner every time they make a conviction, and send them in to be included in the prisoner’s state criminal record.
Sometimes, especially when trying to access your own records, it is required to have a fingerprint card to confirm that the correct record is being accessed and the information is accurate.
There are some parts of Minnesota criminal records that are not readily available to the public. If a crime or conviction occurred in a different state, it probably won’t be included in the Minnesota state records. To do a more comprehensive background check, you would have to do a federal criminal history search, but this can be difficult because federal records are generally only available to the individual of whom the record is about or when mandated by a state law or statute. To request your own federal criminal record you can call the FBI at 304-625-3878 (MBCA).
Not only convictions, but juvenile criminal records are also not required to be available to the public and can only be released under a specific Minnesota state statute. Arrest history is also not considered necessary for public knowledge, and again, will only include criminal convictions in a public criminal record report.
Private criminal records, as opposed to public ones, can only be accessed by “the subject of the record, criminal justice agencies for criminal justice purposes, individuals and organizations mandated to conduct background checks, and any individual that has a notarized Informed Consent Form signed by the adult subject of the record” (MBCA).
If you want to request private information from a criminal record, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has a downloadable copy of the informed consent document on their website that you can fill out and mail in. You must have the adult subject of the record also consent to the background check being performed by signing the consent form, so if you are trying to be secretive that can be pretty difficult.
Performing a criminal background check can be extremely easy, particularly in Minnesota. The online database from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is easily accessible, fast, and user friendly. There is no waiting period for the information to be processed in the mail and there is not even a fee if you do it online.
There are only a few situations in which information is unavailable; if your subject is a minor, or if they don’t actually have a criminal record. With crime rates currently what they are, it could become very important and helpful to do a background check on new employees, service provider, babysitter, or anybody who will be around you and your family from whom you will require honesty and trust. You can never be sure when it might pay off.
Categories: State News and Tips