Q. What are public records?
A. Information that has been gathered, filed and recorded by various sources which can include but not limited to: local, state or government agencies, phone listings and court records.
Q. What is the best type of background check I can do to uncover any criminal history someone may have?
A. The best search “hands-down” is the county level criminal search. This is one of the most important tools for uncovering the freshest criminal records available. Because law enforcement must report charges resulting from arrests on felonies, misdemeanors and other offenses, the county criminal search is conducted at the county level where a subject is most likely to have any information filed.
Q. What are the flaws of a National Criminal Database Search?
A. There are two major weaknesses that are inherent to a National Criminal Records Database:
1) What is included (and more importantly not included) in these records and
2) Age of the records.
37 states compile and maintain records at a state level - this is the source of these records. The other states do not collect and provide a compilation of records. These databases are generally records of persons with felony convictions who were incarcerated in state prisons. Criminal convictions do not always involve state imprisonment. Fines, restitution, probation, or time in a county jail are common outcomes - and felons receiving this type of sentence would not necessarily be included in the databases. Misdemeanor convictions (drunk and disorderly, assault, petty theft for example) are not contained in the vast majority of these records.
Reputable providers of pre-employment screening all agree that the best screening is to review individual county felony and misdemeanor records. They often utilize the national databases to cast a wide net, in conjunction with county records searches, but would not stake their professional reputations on the 'nationwide' search alone.
Q. How long does it take and when will I receive the results?
A. 3-5 business days.
Q. Do I still pay the fees if there are no records?
A. Yes, regardless if there’s a record or not, our researchers have to go to the county
courthouse to access their records and check for any reportable information.
*If court fees apply for a particular court, you will be notified.