How to Obtain Copies of Felony Convictions


A person's felony conviction records provide information about the severity of the crime and terms of the sentencing, such as any jail or prison sentences, loss of any legal rights or other privileges, fines, rehabilitation and probation. Unless a person's felony conviction record has been expunged, or sealed, anyone can order that record at the court. The defense attorney also maintains records of clients' felony conviction records. Another option is to hire a private investigator to obtain the records.

  • Order copies from the court. Go to the courthouse in the county where the felony occurred and order the felony conviction records, often called "Judgment of Conviction" records, from the court clerk. If the felony occurred in a federal jurisdiction, go to that federal courthouse and order the court files from the clerk. Typically, you can order by the person's name only. Expect to pay search and copying charges; if you need the record to be certified, there is also a certification fee.

  • Request copies from the defense attorney. If the felony conviction is for you or for a close family member, contact the defense attorney and request a copy of the conviction. If you need a certified copy -- meaning you need to certify that the documents are genuine -- you must take the documents to the court and request certification (see Step 1). Expect to pay a certification fee.

  • Request copies from the convicted individual. If you have a legitimate reason to request the felony conviction documents, contact that person and request the documents. Politely introduce yourself and explain your reason for wanting the files.

  • Retain the services of a private investigator. If you are having difficulty locating felony conviction files or perhaps feel more comfortable having a professional obtain them for you, contact a private investigator. To find a qualified investigator, contact your state private investigator association. Professional Investigator Magazine lists all state private investigator associations, including links to their websites.


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