We estimate that 95% of all background checks conducted on individuals nationally include some type of criminal record check. A criminal record check is one of the most important elements of a due diligence background check however, most people do not understand the complexity of searching for them. It is not always as simple as plugging a person’s social security number into a database and seeing what comes back. Because of privacy concerns, almost all courts containing criminal records do not allow you to search their public indexes by social security number.
Thousands of people are charged with a variety of crimes daily by police departments, state and federal law enforcement agencies, and sheriff’s departments. Each of these arms of the criminal justice system operates in very specific courts of jurisdictions. They also report crimes to specific repositories that may not be linked together. Consequently, searching one database or jurisdiction may not produce a comprehensive criminal record search.
(City of Cleveland vs Smith) If you violate a city or municipality law you may be charged in one of these jurisdictions. These courts do not adjudicate felonies and primarily deal with minor infractions and lower crimes such as traffic and parking violations. Because this information may not have a bearing on a business decision our customers do not always request it.
(Ohio vs Smith) If you violate a state law your case will be adjudicated in a state court. These courts primarily deal with misdemeanors and felonies. For instance, a felony or misdemeanor criminal charge for financial crimes can be found in a county (state) court. These state courts do not adjudicate federal crimes.
(USA vs Smith) If you violate a federal law your case will be adjudicated in the federal court system. For instance, 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. Please keep in mind that 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 these types of searches may appear quick, comprehensive, and inexpensive, they may not include records from the courts you need to search. The providers of these searches often download data from numerous publicly available criminal data sources and allow you to search them all at once. Although you can search a significant amount of data, some courts are not included in these databases and that means you are left with trying to determine if the search was accurate and comprehensive in coverage. Furthermore, if this search uncovers a record, it may require additional independent research at the source court to verify its accuracy. Without re-verification, you could make decisions with information that may not be up to date or positively identify with your subject.
CS Business Screen Recommends searching all the above-mentioned criminal record sources to ensure you get a more comprehensive search than searching a single source.
Our team is ready to help you build a company background check program that ends in success!
We make it easy to work with us.