How To Obtain a Copy of Your FBI Record

If you need or want to review a copy of your criminal record, the best way to obtain a copy of your record is through the FBI, or Federal Bureau of Investigation. By obtaining your record through the FBI, you can ensure that you will receive an accurate copy of your complete criminal record, which will include any and all records available from New Jersey and other states, as well as information that may be placed on your record through the US Armed Forces. Furthermore, requesting a complete copy of your entire record through the FBI is actually easier than the process to request a copy of your New Jersey record alone.

There are three ways to request your record through the FBI, each of which includes fingerprinting as part of the process:

Request your record through an authorized FBI “Channeler”. The FBI provides a list of authorized “channelers”, which are private entitites which collect your personal information and fingerprints, and submit this information to the FBI with a request for a copy of your records. Most of these companies charge around $50 for their service, and can provide you with your records within about a week. This method is generally the fastest way to obtain your records.

Request your record from the FBI directly. The FBI provides instructions on their website to help guide you through the process of requesting your records on your own. In order to make the request on your own, you will need to be fingerprinted by a law enforcement entity and then submit your fingerprint card to the FBI along with your completed application and payment of an $18 fee, which must be in the form of a certified check, cashier’s check, or money order. When you request your record directly from the FBI, although the fee is lower than that charged by “channelers”, the processing time is longer, and it will typically take about 6 weeks to receive your records. Additionally, recent technical difficulties with the FBI’s processing system have increased the average processing time to 11-13 weeks at this time.

Request your record through an attorney. You can also contact The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall to assist you with obtaining a copy of your criminal record. After providing us with your completed fingerprint card and application, along with the $18 processing fee payable to the FBI, we will handle submission to the FBI on your behalf. Alternatively, we can submit your request through a “channeler” at their standard fees (around $50) in order to expedite receipt of your record if you prefer. Our processing fee for this service is $350, which is applied toward your fee for our expungement services should you choose to proceed with an expungement of your record using our services.

How To Obtain a Copy of Your New Jersey Record

As explained above, your New Jersey record will be included within a copy of your FBI record, which is generally easier to obtain. However, if you are a New Jersey resident and you wish to obtain a copy of your New Jersey record alone, this can be completed through a company called MorphoTrust USA, 877-503-5981. Since this company refuses to deal with an attorney on your behalf, we unfortunately cannot assist you with this process by handling the paperwork submission on your behalf. Additionally, the applicable fee of $67.20 to obtain your New Jersey record through MorphoTrust exceeds the fees charged by FBI “channelers” for obtaining your complete record, and the processing time to receive a copy of your NJ record through MorphoTrust is usually a few weeks, making it a quicker and more cost-effective choice to obtain a full copy of your FBI record through a “channeler” instead.

For non-residents, there is another way to request your New Jersey criminal record by contacting the NJ State Police Criminal Information Unit (CIU) at 609-882-2000, ext. 2918 and explaining that you are an out-of-state resident requesting a copy of your NJ criminal record. You will be mailed instructions and forms, and your request will be processed by MorphoTrust USA just like requests submitted by NJ residents.

Unfortunately, information provided by MorphoTrust USA may not be complete, as certain types of records are omitted from the records provided under some circumstances. Therefore, pursuing a copy of your records through MorphoTrust USA can leave you making additional phone calls to local municipal courts where your convictions took place, or to specific courts that handled any juvenile matters not reflected on the records you receive, in order to ensure that you have received complete records. It is important to review an accurate and complete record of your criminal history when preparing to pursue an expungement action, since the municipal prosecutor reviewing your matter will doubtless have a full record available to them and may object to your expungement if your request does not take into account your complete record. Therefore, we recommend obtaining your full record through the FBI as explained above, in order to streamline the process of obtaining a full and reliable copy of your record.

New Jersey Expungement Attorneys

At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our seasoned attorneys have handled thousands of expungement matters, helping our clients through the entire process in order to leave behind potentially damaging criminal convictions as quickly and effortlessly as possible. Because the expungement process can be costly and it is important to make sure your request is based on a complete and accurate copy of your criminal record, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process of expungement in New Jersey without wasting your time or resources. Call us at 1-877-450-8301 any time for a free consultation to discuss expungement of your criminal record.