They are the most telling of all public criminal records. All detentions carried out upon an individual will be entered into his or her Arrest Records file regardless of outcome. This means plea bargains, dropped charges or any form of compromise or dismissal will still show up in a search. That's why they're so handy for discreet background checks – employees, tenants, nannies, tutors and so forth.
Arrest Records are standard public records so they are 100% legit – no privacy intrusion or legality issues whatsoever. Better be safe than sorry so don't just suspect -Verify! You can do it undercover online even on friends and relatives without risk of indignation or hard feelings.
Free searches are available on the Net. But beyond casual browsing, paid professional versions should be the way if we're to judge people by their records. To that end, there's great value to be found and they are very affordably priced too. eVerified is a case in point. Quality is their hallmark and they back it up with Full-Refund-Guarantee. You can't lose.