Is there anything you have ever wanted to know from the police department? Well, this is your chance to ask. We will be teaming up with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies from around the county to answer your questions.
Whether you have a question about certain laws and how they might affect you, your family or friends or how to stay safe in certain situations, we want you to ask them. Every week we will run one question and answer. To submit a question, email Shannon.email@example.com.
As a minor I got in some trouble with the law. It wasn't anything terribly serious and I was told my record would be sealed. But I'm still curious if I have a record that can be accessed via a background check, possibly stopping me from entering Canada on an upcoming vacation. How would I perform a background check on myself?
According to Deputy April Skalland with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s office, sealed records for minors will not show up on a background check. However, if you are still worried about not being able to cross a border, you can go to the agency that you had the problem with in the past and get a Letter of Clearance stating that the issue has been taken care of. You can then give this to the border agents if there is a question when you are attempting to cross.
“If you do have some sort of hiccup in your past, you should go to the department where you had that hiccup and get a Clearance Letter,” Skalland said. “If they run your name at the border you can give them the letter saying what happened and that you are now clear.”
If there is still concern about what, if anything, will show up if your name is run, you can have a background check done on yourself by the Sheriff’s Office. For a fee of $25, plus possible additional fees to the Department of Justice, the Sheriff’s Office will fingerprint you and do a full background check.
“Anything that would be on your criminal record would pop up and you would have that information,” Skalland said. “That would be the best way to perform a background check on yourself, and that is the type of stuff that would come up if you were to have a check at the border.”
For more information on having a Live Scan background check done, call 831-454-3007 or visit www.scsheriff.com/Home/LiveScanFingerprinting.aspx.
It is free to get a Letter of Clearance. For more information, call the Sheriff’s Office Records Clerk at 831-454-2242.