Posts Tagged ‘self help’
Did you know that you can personally request a copy of your own criminal history here in California. The request is called a “Record Review” and it’s performed by the California Department of Justice. CA Penal Code sec. 1120-11127 allows you the opportunity to obtain a copy of your criminal record, if any, contained in the files of the California Bureau of Criminal Information and Analysis and refute any erroneous or inaccurate information contained therein. It can also help you answer questions about your past criminal history.
As a private investigator in Orange County, I’ve been asked a few times each year about how someone can find out what’s on their own record. The biggest concern individuals have is for employment reasons. Some just don’t want to “awake the beast”, worried there may be some unresolved issue buried in their record, thinking it’s best to just leave it alone. Whatever the reason is, if you’re here reading this blog then my guess is you’d like to know or at least have some clarity on where you stand.
Finding out what’s on your own record can give you peace of mind and could give you confidence when applying for employment, especially when applying for a government position. Remember, in California your employer or potential employer can only go back 7 years for criminal history. Note: Pending judgments can be reported, so if you have something that’s currently looming in the courts, it may be likely to appear. Additionally, employers can not ask an applicant to disclose any arrest or police detention that did not result in a conviction CA Labor Code 432.7 (a) and employment background companies can not report a record that didn’t result in a conviction CA Civil Code 1786.18.
Here’s how the process works. Visit the CA DOJ website and follow their instructions.
- Use the Live Scan Form (Form BCIA 8016RR, pdf)
- Check “Record Review” as the “Type of Application”.
- Enter “Record Review” on the “Reason for Application” line.
- Fill out all your personal information.
- Take the completed form to any Live Scan site for fingerprinting services.
Cost for requesting your own record is $25.00 plus a fingerprint fee. Fingerprints can be done at the local police or sheriff’s station. Record processing time is 2-3 days, some requests may take up to 2 weeks.
Ryan Garrahy is a state licensed private investigator specializing in civil, criminal and insurance related investigations. He is the owner and principal investigator for Orange Investigations.
Small Business Professionals To The Rescue!
As a customer, you want to see results. Moreover, you want to increase your profits and accomplish all your goals in a timely manner. With good quality services within customer’s timeline and budgets, small business professionals are a good alternative and often turn out to be a lot of more cost effective than hiring high-priced professionals from relatively larger businesses.
They say – “Bigger isn’t always better” and here’s the reason why…
While it is challenging for small and private business professionals to compete against the large and global rivals, the more localized, innovative and customer-centric services by small business professionals gives them an edge over the competition.
The more service-oriented small business professionals ensure that the customer’s requirements are met and the business performance is achieved. No matter what!
But just how can small business professionals assist you better than the big guys?
Often, small businesses are localized and cater to customers in and around their office location. There are certain inherent advantages caused by this localization of business. Familiarity with nearby areas and people makes it easier for the professionals to get new contacts.
From the viewpoint of prospective customers, it is always easier to approach a known face than an unfamiliar entity. In field of private investigation, it is much easier to confide in a known individual than an unknown person from a big company.
Trained Small Business Professionals
The emergence of small businesses is complemented by the establishment of technical and vocational institutes offering job-oriented training programs. Candidates receive proper training and thereafter set up their independent businesses in various fields.
Some of the small businesses that require thorough training include security services, logistics, beauty treatment and allied activities, physiotherapy, automobile repairing, investigative services, and interior decorating. All these and many more services are undertaken by professionals who are adept and have proper infrastructure to offer support to their assignments.
However, you might want to check the qualifications and specific skill set of the small business professional you are working with.
Informal yet Professional Approach
Difference in business approach is very distinctive between small business houses and the larger ones. As compared to the smooth and nearly informal approach in small business setups, the process is formal and time consuming in larger organizations. The formalities are limited and completed fast when dealing with small business professionals. Establishments being significantly small, you get the best attention while dealing with small business professionals.
- One important reason for this keen attention is the limited number of clients a small business professional has. Often, small business owners run their businesses on a higher risk level as their area of operation is not too well spread out.
- “A negative impact on the mind of a customer could lead to a bad reputation in the market.” To prevent this and to promote themselves as courteous organizations, small business professionals are usually amiable and helpful towards their customers.
- It is a known fact that a happy customer would bring in more customers, while an unhappy customer could completely destroy a professional’s growing business.
Private Investigator; Good Example of a Small Business Professional
You’ve seen it in the movies, the small business suite with the words “Private Investigator” etched in the window and in smaller fonts “By appointment only”. This is often cliché, but it’s true. Private investigators were meant to be small; meant to be niche.
Look at it from a government point of view. The State of California issues private investigators a personal license. This is not a company or corporation license, it’s specifically issued to that qualified person. The reason the State does this is to maintain the integrity in the service provided. The PI business was meant to be a small business operation, not some worldwide or nationwide conglomerate like some firms today. The intention of licensing one individual to one office location allows the public more specialized attention, keeping the investigator’s focus on local business, which in turn benefits the local private investigator and that community in which they serve.
For more information and statistics on small businesses, make sure to check out the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy (a federal branch of government that represents small businesses here in America).
Ryan Garrahy is a state licensed private investigator specializing in surveillance, background checks, locating individuals and workplace investigations. He is the owner & principal investigator for Orange Investigations.
This is a response to the new Riverside County Superior Court online case access website.
A PI’s Perspective On Searching Records
As an Orange County Private Investigator who specializes in due diligence background investigations, I know first hand how important it is to have California court information readily available. In the past, searching for court records used to be performed manually. That meant the court researcher or private investigator would either call up the courthouse or drive down to hall of records and research what was on the record(s). Today, most record research can be searched, ordered and printed straight from the investigator’s laptop (or iPad if you’re a savvy PI).
Online Case Access; Usually Free But Limited
Just about all of California’s 58 superior courts have “online case access”. Since about 2004, California courts have started scanning their case files, newest to oldest, with increasing availability to the public. Think of online case access as a broad term, with room for interpretation. Some courts have lots of info online, some just have a summary. But good news is, most are free to search.
Virtually all courts allow searching by NAME, BUSINESS NAME, CASE NUMBER OR CITATION NUMBER. Some of the small county courts in northern California have very limited online access and most records must be obtained in person, via fax or requests sent by US Mail. LA County Superior Court is one of the only courts in California to charge an access fee to look up court records (and a user account is required as well).
Riverside Online Records Website Has Improved Design & Better Navigation
So now that you have a little background on California court record searches, I’d like to speak about my experience with the new Riverside County Court online records website. Recently, I accessed Riverside County’s website to look up a series of names for a client of mine. I immediately noticed that the website had a “face-lift” (large blue fonts, easier to navigate and not always “down for maintenance”).
When accessing the main page, the user is directed to choose either “Civil Records” or “Criminal Records”. Civil records includes Riverside Civil & Small Claims, Countywide Probate and Riverside County Family Law cases. Criminal records searches include arrests, convictions and traffic citations. Quick Note: DUI’s are criminal arrests and will not be shown under traffic citations.
Overall, the experience accessing this county’s online records is MUCH better than before. Riverside County online records seemed to be down for maintenance a lot. Haven’t seen it down once since they rolled out the new design.
Court To Charge $1.00 For Each “Name Search”
Lets say you’re interested in checking out your boss or your next door neighbor’s potential criminal past. Before July 1, 2010 you would have been able to check anonymously and without being charged a dime. But now the County of Riverside has decided on charging the public (law enforcement exempt) to access both civil and criminal cases in Riverside’s online case access website. But, if you have a “Case Number” you won’t be charged the dollar access fee per search (I guess they really aren’t that cruel after all). On a separate note, Orange County Superior Court’s website still offers free online access to an array civil, criminal and family law cases along with an award winning website to do it with.
As a private detective, searching online case access is a good place to start. But remember some data can have inaccuracies. Sometimes just hoofing it down to the local courthouse (or having your friendly investigator do that for you) can reveal new information and shine a light on some new evidence. As far as the new fees, I feel the public shouldn’t have to pay the extra dollar per search. Their tax dollars are already invested into our very costly court system, with judges currently making about $160k per year and sheriff deputy bailiffs’ making about $75k per year with overtime. Click here to view the County of Riverside Board of Supervisors pay chart.
Here’s The Low-Down on Pricing:
Imaged Civil Documents Online – The cost for viewing or printing civil court documents available on the Internet will be lowered to $1 per page for the first five pages, $.40 per page after five pages, with a cap of $40 per document.
$1 for 1 search | $3.50 for 5 searches | $5 for 10 searches | $25 for 75 searches.
Individuals or entities may pay a flat fee of $250 per month for unlimited case access.
Criminal defendants will continue to have access to their criminal case at no charge.
Ryan Garrahy is a state licensed private investigator in Orange County specializing in surveillance, background checks, locating individuals and workplace investigations. He is the owner & principal investigator for Orange Investigations.