criminal court records
Federal Criminal Court Records Online
Very little information is available for free on criminal cases at U.S. District Court websites.
Instead the federal courts use a proprietary electronic filing system called PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) for civil and criminal cases. That system was designed mainly for attorneys, and you have to set up an account and pay a fee every time you access documents via PACER.
Also see Jonathan Dube's Web Tips column about PACER at the Poynter Institute website.
U.S. District Court for Northern California
The U.S. District Court for Northern California in San Francisco has calendars of current cases for its judges online at its website. Go to:
But you can't search the calendars by the name of a defendant. And the judges listed handle both civil and criminal cases.
So unless you know which judge is handling a particular case, it's extremely difficult to use the online calendars to track down a case.
Indexes of past criminal cases are not available at the U.S. District Court website. The actual court records also are not available at the court website.