Accessing Louisiana Public Criminal Records

State of LouisianaProtecting one’s self and family from a potential criminal is one of the basic rights that each citizen should have. Louisiana is a state that is very concerned about the fundamental rights of it’s citizens, to the point of making it a bit difficult in regards to obtaining criminal records, which will basically be covered further in this article.

Oddly enough Louisiana’s new state constitution adopted in 1974 (revised from 1940) established a presumption of openness and states that, regarding the examination of public records, “No person shall be denied the right to examine public documents except in cases established by law 226″. However, as a catch-all exemption, the constitutional right to privacy has been used numerous times by the courts, one would think almost arbitrarily. If that’s not confusing enough, in 1978 there were substantial revisions made by the legislature pertaining to – Who may request various public records and for what purposes, which partially boiled down to … from “state tax payers” to “any person of the age of majority”, meaning any particular states consensus on when a person reaches adulthood, it varies.

Providing online services as well physical applications for accessing criminal histories and arrest records to the general public is essential these days and perhaps laws and regulations in, not just Louisiana but nationwide, should be a little less stringent. These types of records are very important for running a proper background check. Such background checks may be necessary for many reasons to ensure safety and security.

As an example, you may need to run a background check on an individual(s) or company when entering into a new business relationship or even something as simple as moving into a new neighborhood as to assess the kind of people you will be living next to and or if the area is safe. Seeing that Louisiana consistently has a very high crime rate, this should be an absolute hassle free right of the people in this day and age.

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Louisiana has topped the charts in the highest murder rate category, in the Nation, going all the way back to 1996 (approx. 20 years) as a comparison according to FBI statistics and seems to always be a main contender in overall violent crimes altogether. Please take note that criminal statistics Do Not reflect and should not persuade ones opinion of any geographical area, including Louisiana. Some of the most beautiful and fun places exist in Louisiana.

The State of Louisiana has special departments and databases that tend to the States criminal records. The Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information (BCII) is a special branch of the Louisiana State Police and the Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) – 504 Mayflower Street / Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9304, which is responsible for compiling the criminal and arrest records. For the new “Offender Locater” system 24 hours a day call 225-383-4580 to access this fairly recently constructed system. These are the agencies working hand in hand, accessing and providing criminal records. But the database of all the records is stored in a system called Louisiana Computerized Criminal History system (LACCH). BCII can access the records through this system and then forward it to respective departments as per their requirements.

Request and Release Forms Required for Arrest Records or Criminal Information

To reiterate, criminal records or arrest records in Louisiana cannot be retrieved by just anyone. For gaining any criminal information what’s so ever you need special permission and forms, lot’s of forms. On a positive note, State laws do allow an individual to obtain a certified copy of their own criminal record history by physically going down and requesting the information from the justice agency at 7919 Independence Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA. or other possible affiliated agencies. This information is also available to victims of a crime.

To obtain permission to run a background check in the State of Louisiana, you need to get a form from the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. The State Police Public Safety Department has three different types of forms available for checking Louisiana criminal backgrounds (plus a few that may coincide with your situation).

*The first form available is for people to run a basic background check on their own profile and/or others (with a signed permission form from the individual and only originating from an approved agency) then obtain a copy of the report that contains the criminal background data. This form is labeled an “Authorization Form”. *The second form, labeled as a “General Disclosure Form”, is for obtaining background records on individuals like, for example, prospective employees providing you have proper authority and are associated with a state approved agency. *The third type of records request form is much more sensitive and is labeled a “Rap Disclosure Form” – It is to be submitted when requesting background checks on various boards such as State Board of Medical Examiners, State Board of Nursing, La. Board of Pharmacy, State ABC Board, etc. After the appropriate form is filed it needs to be submitted to BCII in collaboration with the “National Criminal Justice Reference System”, you can also learn more about obtaining documents by visiting this subpage.

The different form types also have different fee structures as well. Obtaining your own personal records is a simple $10 fee, if you want to request records of other individuals this will have to be approved and handled by, yes you guessed it, a Louisiana State approved agency with an associated cost of around $26. Or you can enlist the help of third party services, whom are also all regulated by the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). Then there is an optional additional fee of $10 for gaining records which include or are required to be verified with fingerprints.

Louisiana Keeps its Criminal and Arrest Records Closed to the General Public

An important point to keep in mind is that Louisiana, following the “closed record system”, keeps its criminal and arrest data secure. This means that criminal records, including simple arrest records, are not made accessible to just any member of the public, with the exception being victims of a crime and/or oneself (though again, both requiring authorized establishment or agency release).

In fact only agencies and or entities that are included in Louisiana’s state Codes of Criminal Procedure RS 15:587 will any arrest records related information be released. Additionally, the Louisiana State Police department and the Bureau of Crime Identification and Information are not authorized to disseminate criminal history information normally used in background checks, rental screening, etc. or individual request. For this reason one can incorporate a third party vendor to run the searches they are interested in and pull back what ever data the FCRA authorizes third party vendor’s to disseminate. For a full breakdown of Louisiana’s Information Act.

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