Are you conducting due diligence on a person or a company? If so, a comprehensive criminal record search should be an essential component of your background check. In fact, 95% of all background checks in the US involve some type of criminal record check. However, searching for criminal records is not always a straightforward task. Here's what you need to know.
When searching for criminal records, you cannot simply plug in a person's social security number into a database and expect to get all the information you need. Most courts that store criminal records do not allow you to search their public indexes by social security number due to privacy concerns. Instead, you need to understand the criminal justice system and the various courts and repositories that report crimes.
To conduct a comprehensive criminal record search, you need to perform a combination of court searches that include Local, Regional, Municipal, and Mayors Courts, County Court Criminal Records, and Federal Court Criminal Records. These searches may vary in their jurisdiction, and each reports crimes to specific repositories that may not be linked together. Therefore, searching one database or jurisdiction may not produce a comprehensive criminal record search.
These courts primarily deal with minor infractions and lower crimes such as traffic and parking violations. They do not adjudicate felonies, and the information may not be relevant to a business decision.
These courts deal with misdemeanors and felonies. For instance, a felony or misdemeanor criminal charge for financial crimes can be found in a county (state) court. However, they do not adjudicate federal crimes.
These courts deal with federal crimes, which are adjudicated in the federal court system. Federal crimes are those that violate federal laws or the US Constitution. If a person was charged with a crime by a federal government agency (i.e., FBI, DEA, FTC, Department of Justice), the case will be adjudicated in the Federal Court system. However, Federal Court Criminal cases will not appear in County Court records unless they originated as a state crime but were later determined to be a federal crime.
Although some providers offer National Criminal Record Databases, these searches may not include records from all the courts you need to search. Providers often download data from numerous publicly available criminal data sources and allow you to search them all at once. However, some courts are not included in these databases, leaving you with uncertainty about the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the search.
Conducting due diligence is crucial for businesses, investors, and individuals. A comprehensive criminal record search is an essential component of due diligence, but it is not always a straightforward task. By understanding the criminal justice system and the various courts and repositories that report crimes, you can perform a comprehensive criminal record search that includes Local, Regional, Municipal, and Mayors Courts, County Court Criminal Records, and Federal Court Criminal Records.
If you need help conducting a comprehensive criminal record search, CS Business Screen can assist you. We can help you conduct a comprehensive due diligence search that includes all the necessary criminal record searches. Contact us today and let us be your "Easy Button" for conducting a comprehensive criminal record search.