Understanding How Criminal Records Are Classified

At BeenVerified, we get a lot of people asking us about how to analyze and understand the information presented from criminal records. Remember, criminal records come from over 500 counties around the country, each with a unique system for reporting. We wish there was one standard protocol across the country as well – Sigh…

Don’t worry, we are here to help. We thought it would be great to share a step-by-step breakdown of how exactly to read criminal records on BeenVerified. So read on and before you know it, you will be breezing through criminal records like you’re a regular Dick Tracy.

Understanding How Criminal Records are Classified

Before we begin, it is important to understand that criminal records are classified using three pieces of information:

1.       Full Name

2.       Date of Birth/Age

3.       State in which the offense occurred

Remember, BeenVerified shows you this key information on top of the criminal page.   Remember to reference that important data as you work your way through the report.

Understanding How BeenVerified Presents Criminal Records

As you may have noticed, our criminal records are broken into three groups:

1.       Likely Matches: Records that match an EXACT Full Name and EXACT DOB

2.       Possible Matches:  Records that a Similar Full Name, Similar Age and Similar Location

3.       Not Likely:  Records that may contain similar data (just in case you want to look and make sure)

Step 1:  Likely Matches

Now that you understand how the records are classified, check to see if the name and age match up exactly. BeenVerified has already done this, but it is good to double check and get familiar with the data. Once you are comfortable with these results, go ahead and click “View Details.”

​​​Step 2:  Review Offense Details

Now for the information you have been waiting for all along — Offense Details will give you details abouta specific criminal record.

Step 3:  Review Possible and Unlikely Matches

Now that you have reviewed the “Likely Matches” go back and check the records under the remaining tab. If you are not sure if those records are associated with your specific subject, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the subject have a nickname like “Mike”, which is actually ”Michael?”
  • Has the subject lived in other places that match the location of an offense? (check previous addresses)
  • Do the ages of unlikely records closely resemble that of your search subject?

Still Having Trouble Locating Particular Criminal Records?

Hopefully this tutorial gives you a better understanding of criminal records. However, you may still have questions about missing records or other issues? To help answer them, we created a few different tutorials to look through. Go ahead and have a click.


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