Generally speaking, the answer is no. California criminal records are only accessible to law enforcement agencies. Private citizens can only make request to view their own criminal history. A request to see others’ records will not be processed by the California Department of Justice.
So what can you do if you still want to check whether people that matter to you have a criminal history?
Your best option: Trace California court records on a county level
To perform a criminal record check, we suggest trying to obtain copies of court records. These records will indicate whether the subject of your search has ever been prosecuted and / or convicted of any type of crime (misdemeanor or felony). They can be found by turning to each county’s Superior Court.
Some of the Superior Courts maintain an online case search you can utilize to extract specific dockets either by name or by date of issues.
Examples of online case search tools
Copies of San Diego court records can be found by turning to the Superior Court’s online index. You can base your inquiry on a defendant’s name, case number or DA number. The database contains not only criminal dockets but other types of public records dealing with civil or domestic issues.
You can also find Los Angeles County court records in the same manner. The Superior Court offers an online criminal case summary. The search can be carried out based on a case number only, so knowing the defendant name is not enough. In order to assist you in that regard, the Court’s website also offers a supplementary index of defendants in criminal cases. This index stores felony records from 1980 to this very day and misdemeanor records from 1983. Take into account that this service requires a fee and signing up.
Carrying out an offline search
Not all of CA counties offer computerized search tools. The smaller counties in particular may ask you to arrive at the court in person and file a FOIA requests or alternatively send the request via mail. Mono County court records, for instance, can be accessed in this manner. For more details, go here.