Because Washington is an open records state, you will find innumerable options for conducting a background check. Now, there may be several reasons why you may want to avail of this facility. People who are interested in personal crime history information generally require a report for employment purposes.
A lot of establishments that are involved in health, adult and child care services require a notarized copy of a prospective employee’s criminal history report from an authorized agency.
On the other hand, unlike many other states across the country, in Washington, you can get a crime check done on just about anybody. So, if you believe that a neighbor, coworker or even a personal acquaintance may have a criminal past, you can always quell your doubts by conducting a background check on them.
In the state of Washington, crime history information including outstanding arrest warrant records are maintained by State Patrol, the county Sherriff’s Office where the arrest order was issued, office of the Magistrate’s court that was the issuing authority and the County Clerk’s office.
All of these state agencies are legally obligated to provide you crime history information pursuant to the Washington State Freedom of Information Act. In most cases, you can simply visit the office of the preferred justice agency and place a formal request for criminal background check.
Washington State Patrol
The State Patrol maintains criminal history information collected from law enforcement agencies from across the state in a central repository known as the Washington Access to Criminal History Database (WATCH). Applicants can choose name or finger print verification for a background check. A small processing fee is charged based on the type of request and the information can be sought online, through mail as well as in person.
You will only need the name of your subject for the search; the agency recommends that you also use additional identifiers like the gender, age, address, social security number and race of the subject for more accurate search results.
Because the results of a name search are not always accurate, State Patrol also provides finger print verifications. However, these will have to be conducted through mail or by delivering the finger print cards in person.
For an online name check search, you will be charged $10 regardless of the results your query brings back. For an online check, you will need to establish a new credit card account by offering your credit card information.
Once you are allowed access to the WATCH database, ensure that you enter the subjects name correctly because you are being charged per search. Results will be displayed almost instantly.
Washington State PatrolIdentification and Criminal History SectionPO Box 42633Olympia WA 98504-2633
Do not forget to include a money order or business check for $17 along with a self addressed envelope. If you are interested in a finger print verification, send the finger print cards along with the form and a fee of $26. The same procedure also applies when seeking crime history data in person.
However, if you are interested in learning about any arrest orders that may have been released against you, visiting State Patrol will not be an option as you will be arrested immediately.However, you can conduct an online check or get a friend or family member to get the information for you by paying a visit to the agency.
Washington crime history information
The results of a name as well as finger print check will include details on all arrest orders in the name of the subject along with charges filed, case disposition records, sentence information and the facility/ facilities where the convict is serving time along with the release/probation dates.
As per the Crime History Information Law, certain data is not provided to the general public; this includes social security numbers, information about mental or other illnesses, details about officers and students etc and arrest records in cases that did not result in a conviction.