Is It Legal to Check Someone’s Criminal Record Without Permission?

Is It Legal to Check Someone’s Criminal RecordMaybe you’re hiring someone or renting an apartment. Maybe you’re curious about a neighbor or coworker. Whatever the situation may be, you want to check someone’s criminal record, and you’re concerned about whether or not you need permission.

Is it legal to check someone’s criminal record without permission? Do you need to request someone’s permission before running a criminal record check?

In some cases, you need to ask permission before checking a criminal record. In other cases, you do not need to request any type of permission.

Confused? We’ll explain how it works below.

You Must Request Permission in Professional Settings

If you’re running a background check in a professional setting, then you may need to request permission.

Employers must request permission before running a background check on a prospective employee, for example. You cannot screen a job candidate without first getting permission from that candidate.

The same rule applies to landlords checking a tenant’s background or criminal history. If you are renting your place to someone, then this is considered a professional setting. You must request the prospective tenant’s permission before running a background check.

You may also require permission in other settings.

Are you using the background check to make an important decision about the person’s future? If so, then you may need to request permission.

If you need to request permission, then you must also comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA requires background check services to abide by specific regulations and requirements. You must use an FCRA-compliant background check service when running a background check in professional settings.

The FCRA also requires you to inform the candidate about the results of the background check in certain situations. If you run a background check on someone, for example, and it reveals information that prevents you from hiring that person, then you may need to inform the candidate of the specific item that prevented the hiring.

Employers and landlords who fail to follow the FCRA may expose themselves to liability. An employer who fails to follow the FCRA then rejects a qualified candidate, for example, could be sued by that candidate.

Permission is Not Required in Personal Settings

If you’re running a background check in a personal setting, then you may not need permission. You can check someone’s background without their permission or knowledge.

If you want to check a co-worker’s divorce certificate, for example, then you may be able to do so without the co-worker’s permission or knowledge. If you’re curious about a neighbor’s criminal record and want to learn more, then you should be able to run a check without the neighbor’s permission.

Similarly, it’s legal to run a background check on a date. If you just met someone and want to learn more before continuing with a second date, for example, then you can run a background check. Dating is a personal reason, and you should be able to legally run a background check without permission.

Personal settings where permission is not required can include:

Background Checks for Personal Relationships or Dating: If you meet someone on Tinder and want to learn more, then you can run a background check on that person. Many people do this to verify someone’s identity, for example, and make sure they are who they claim to be.

Babysitting, Coaching, and Other Casual Jobs: You may not need to run a background check before hiring a babysitter. Running a background check on a babysitter can reveal crucial information about someone who is going to be around your children, and it’s a good idea to run a background check in this situation.

Curiosity or Snooping: Is your boss really divorced? Is your friend’s wife really 35 years old? Did that neighbor really commit a felony? Some people call it curiosity. Others call it snooping. In most cases, you can freely snoop on someone without requesting that person’s permission.

Checking your Own Background: It’s legal to check your own background. In fact, thousands of Americans do this every day. Checking your own background can reveal errors on your history. It could also help explain why you keep getting rejected by landlords or employers. Many people are surprised to discover what appears on a background check.

Generally, if you’re not using background check information to decide someone’s future, then you do not need someone’s permission to run a background check.

Can Someone Tell You Checked Their Background?

If you’re concerned about checking someone’s record without their permission, then you may also be concerned about whether or not they can tell you ran a background check.

If you run a background check on someone, does that person receive a notification of any sort? Can someone tell that you checked their criminal record or pulled certain database files?

With most background check services, the person will not receive any notification that you ran a background check, and there’s no way for someone to tell you ran a background check. Your search should be completely private and anonymous.

Rest assured, snoopers: if running a background check for personal reasons, you should be able to run the check anonymously and without permission.

Final Word

In many cases, it’s legal to check someone’s criminal record without their permission. In other cases, it’s legal to check someone’s criminal record – but you need to ask their permission and use an accredited service.

Run a criminal record check on someone today in just a few minutes online. Enter a first name, last name, and location to start your background check.

How to Check County Court Records to Discover Surprising Information About Someone

How to Check County Court RecordsCounty court records can reveal surprising information about someone. Background check websites might check federal and state databases, but they may not check county records.

County courthouses contain plenty of background information. If you were arrested in that county, for example, then you might have a record in that county – even if your record in your home county seems clean.

County records can also contain marriage and divorce certificates, speeding tickets, parking tickets, dropped charges, and more.

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about county courthouses, including how to request county court information, how much it costs, and what you’ll learn.

Some States Have State Databases, While Others Have County Databases

Why do you need to check county databases? Isn’t this information held in federal or state databases?

Some states collect all statewide information into one convenient database. You can request information at a state level about any individual within that state.

Other states, however, separate it by county. You must request individual records by county. You cannot perform a statewide search. You must search records county-by-county. Or, if you know the county where someone lived or was convicted, then you can narrow your search to that county.

County or state databases may include the following information:

  • Civil and family case information
  • Traffic case information
  • Criminal case information

Case Information May Not Be Available Online

You may think Google gives you all the information you need about someone, but that’s not the case. Instead, most states and counties do not openly publish case information online. You need to request information specific to each case or individual.

This information is stored in private databases. It’s available upon request, but it’s not openly available for anyone to access via the internet.

How to Request Information from County Courthouses

Each county courthouse has a specific information request process. This process varies between courthouses, although there are certain similarities at most major courthouses in the United States.

Things to know before requesting information from a county courthouse:

  • Some county courthouses publish certain information online for free. A county courthouse might not publish criminal convictions online, for example, but they might publish traffic and local ordinance cases or family case information online.
  • Many county courthouses require you to visit the courthouse in-person – or request information by mail.
  • You should be able to request to view information online (via a database portal or platform) or have it delivered via other means. Some courthouses still use CDs to share data, for example, while others print paper copies of information you request.
  • If requesting information about a specific case, you may need to provide the case number, case name, and the title of the documents requested.

How Much Does It Cost?

County courthouse pricing varies. Typically, you pay a nominal fee to access county records.

Fees vary depending on the medium you are requesting. You may need to pay $0.50 per page, for example, or $5 per CD.

Expect to pay a higher fee for each certified document. A certified document contains information verified by the courthouse. You may have to pay a $40 certification fee for a certified document, for example, plus $0.50 for each page within the document.

Most courthouses also charge for more detailed searches. If your search lasts longer than 10 minutes, for example, then you might have to pay a $15 fee.

How to Request State Court Information

County courthouses can reveal crucial information about someone. However, you may want to start your search at the state level before narrowing it by county.

State courthouses have different rules and requirements. Certain state court information is public record, while other information is private. Some information is openly available online, while other information is only available by request.

Typically, the opinions of the state’s Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal are public record, whether published or unpublished.

You may also be able to search case information via an online form.

The California state court system, for example, allows you to search case information online through You can search the system for an opinion, for example, or other information in a specific case.

Use a Background Check Service to Simplify County Court Record Searches

County court record searches can be complicated. Rules and fees vary between courts.

Instead of individually requesting information from each state and county, consider investing in an online background check. A good online background check costs money – but it can reveal specific information about someone.

Just enter someone’s name into an online form, then let the site do the hard work for you. Instead of individually requesting info from each court – and paying each fee – you can pay one fee and let the professionals do the hard work.

What Do Employers Discover on a Background Check?

What Employers Discover on a Background CheckMost employers run a background check before hiring someone new.

Whether it’s a minimum wage job or a top secret position, you may need to undergo a background check to get hired.

But what do employers discover on a background check? How far back does an employer background check go? Should you be worried about an employer background check? Today, we’re explaining what employers see on a background check.

Employment Verification

First, most employers will use a background check to verify your employment history. Maybe you claim to have worked at the CIA for 20 years. The employer could trust you. Or, they could run a background check to verify your employment history.

A background check can identify the names of previous employees, your job title, your salary, and other information about previous professional positions. Sometimes, employers check this information automatically. In most cases, however, the employer will contact previous employers to request this information.

Credit Checks

Employers may check your credit. A credit check can reveal personal information like your address, previous addresses, social security number, financial picture, debt, car payments, credit history, and more.

Why does your employer care about this information? Well, if you are in charge of finances for a company, then your employer may want to verify you have a good financial picture. An employer may not want to hire someone with debt problems to handle a multi-million dollar budget, for example.

Curious about what’s on your credit report? You can obtain a free copy of your report once per year from each of the three major credit bureaus in the United States. Request a report from Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion to discover what employers see on your credit check.

Running credit checks on employees is controversial. 11 states have prohibited employers from checking your credit during an employment screening. States where the practice is prohibited or limited include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Additionally, New York City has passed legislation preventing employers from running a credit check on prospective employees.

Criminal Record

The criminal record check is the most important part of an average background check. The employer can see any major offenses on your criminal record, including felonies and convictions.

The details of a criminal record check vary depending on your state, the background check service, and your employer. If you’re applying for a job with the federal government, for example, then you might undergo an extensive criminal record check, and years of criminal history might appear on this check.

Generally, you can expect an employer’s criminal record check to reveal seven years of criminal convictions, including minor and major offenses. However, more serious convictions – like felonies – may appear on a criminal record check for life.

Why Do Employers Run Background Checks?

Employers interview candidates to ensure they’re qualified. So why do employers also run background checks? Background checks give employers crucial information about the candidate.

Reasons to run a background check include:

Job Competency: If you’re hired to be a rocket scientist, then your employer might want to verify your educational and professional qualifications. They want to check your school and work history to verify you can perform your job effectively.

Workplace Safety: Employers have a certain responsibility for protecting employees and customers. Employers run a background check to protect themselves from dangerous employees – like people with a history of violent crimes or someone who has previously attacked a coworker. If an employer hires a dangerous person, and that person attacks an employee or customer, then the employer may be liable because the employer did not conduct an adequate background check.

Workplace Theft: Someone might apply to a job specifically because they want to steal. Someone might request a job at a bank, for example, to identify the inner security systems of a bank. Or, someone might attempt to get hired a tech company to install a tracking system or hack a database. Employers have a responsibility to protect themselves from theft performed by insiders, and background checks deter workplace theft.

Verify Honesty: An employer background check verifies a new employee’s honesty. Was the prospective employee honest about their educational and professional experience? Did the employee try to hide a previous conviction? Lying about information on a background check could cast doubts on the employee’s honesty and integrity.

Other Things to Know About Employer Background Checks

Confused about employer background checks? That’s okay. Here are other things you need to know about employer background checks.

Be Aware of Ban the Box Laws

Many states have passed ‘ban the box’ laws that prevent employers from asking about your criminal record until the later stages of the hiring process. Employers cannot screen candidates immediately by forcing them to check a ‘box’ confirming their criminal record. Instead, employers must assess each candidate fairly, then only perform a criminal record check during the later stages of the interview process.

Your Employer Must Use an FCRA Compliant Service

Employers cannot use free background check websites or similar sources to verify your information. Instead, they need to use a background check service that’s compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These background check services must abide by specific legal standards and follow rules. Free background check reporting websites often have no regulation.

Your Employer Must Inform You of the Background Check

Employers cannot check your background without your permission. Employers must request your permission before running the background check. If the employer takes action against you because of your report, the employer must notify you in writing and provide a copy of the report, giving you the right to dispute inaccurate information.

Final Word

An employment background check reveals crucial information about the candidate. It can reveal the candidate’s professional and educational background, for example. It can protect employers and their employees from danger, theft, or liability. It ensures a safe and effective workplace for everyone.

Curious about what employers are seeing on your background check? Run a background check on yourself. You may be surprised what’s out there.


Top 13 FAQs About Criminal Record Checks

FAQs About Criminal Record ChecksChecking a criminal record can be confusing. Each state has different rules. Certain information can appear on one background check – but not others.

We get a lot of questions about criminal record checks. Today, we’re highlighting some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about criminal record checks and background searches.

Q: How far back does a background check go?

A: Most background check companies allow employers to customize the date range and choose how far back they want to go. Additionally, some states have rules regarding background checks. In some states, employers are allowed to check decades of criminal history to verify a record, for example. In other states, employers can only check seven years of criminal history. If an employer is running a background check on you, your employer should tell you how far the background check goes.

Q: Will I pass a background check with a misdemeanor?

A: Again, rules vary by state, case, and background check. Some employers run a thorough background check that reveals everything from speeding tickets to parking tickets. Other background checks only report major offenses. Generally, any incidents within the past seven years will appear on a background check. However, minor incidents are typically reported in minor courts, and background check services may not check smaller court databases for infractions.

Q: How do background check companies run a criminal history search?

A: Background check companies use local, county, state, and federal databases to verify someone’s history. Depending on where the person lived, and where the person has committed crimes, information about that person may be stored across the country. A background check website takes someone’s name, then checks millions of records for any entries involving that person.

Q: What else will appear on a background check?

A: Most people associate background checks with a criminal record. However, background checks can reveal plenty of other information about someone, including a date of birth, aliases, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, and more. Even if someone has no criminal record, a background check can reveal surprising information about that person.

Q: I was convicted of an offense a long time ago. Will it still show up on a background check?

A: It depends. Some states prevent employers from checking an offense that’s more than seven years old for an employment screening. Other states have no rules preventing someone from checking your entire criminal history.

Q: I have a criminal record. Can I still get a job?

A: Yes! Many states give employers incentive to hire people with a criminal record. Having a criminal record does not prevent you from getting a job. In fact, many states now have ‘ban the box’ laws that prevent employers from asking about your criminal record until the later stages of the interview process. That makes it easier for people with criminal records to compete against other qualified candidates.

Q: Do pending charges appear on a background check?

A: Pending charges could appear on a background check, or they could not. It depends on the background check service, the type of pending charges, and the jurisdiction in which those charges were recorded.

Q: What does my employer learn on a background check?

A: An employer background check can verify your educational background and professional background. Most employers also check your criminal background back 7 years. However, background checks vary between employers and states.

Q: Why do I have to pay for a background check?

A: You have to pay for a background check because it’s a professional service. Most background check companies provide a professional service, and they provide that service for a fee. In many cases, background check companies have to pay to access information. They might pay a fee to access certain data, for example, or a court fee for specific jurisdictions.

Q: Do any free background check tools exist?

A: There are plenty of free background check tools. You can use Facebook or Instagram to run a free background check, for example. Most formal background checks, however, including criminal record checks, come with a fee. Some background check companies provide basic information – like a name, date of birth, and aliases – for free, then charge a small fee for detailed background information like a criminal record.

Q: Is it legal to run a background check on someone?

A: Generally, it’s legal to run a background check on someone for personal reasons. However, if you are checking someone’s background for reasons that affect their future, then you may need to get the person’s permission and use an accredited background check service.

If running a background check on someone for employment reasons, for example, then you must use a background check provider that is compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). You must abide by similar requirements when running a background check for a property rental – say, if checking a potential tenant.

Q: Can someone notice I checked their background?

A: Most background check services are anonymous, and nobody can tell that you ran a background check. If running a background for employment purposes or similar reasons, however, then you may need to request the person’s permission to run a background check. As long as you’re running a background check for personal reasons (say, because you’re curious about a coworker), you should be able to check someone’s background with no permission required.

Q: Can I delete information on my background check?

A: It may be possible to remove certain information from your background check. In most cases, however, this information is on your background report forever. Some companies may claim to remove information from your record in exchange for a fee, although this may or may not be possible. Contact a lawyer to ask about removing criminal records from your background.

Curious about checking a criminal record? Use our online form to discover surprising information about anyone in your life.



Reasons to Hire Someone With a Criminal Record

Reasons to Hire Someone With a Criminal RecordEmployers perform criminal record checks on new employees. In many cases, employers immediately deny anyone with a criminal record.

However, evidence suggests that companies may be missing an opportunity by not hiring reformed criminals. Hiring someone with a criminal record can help companies qualify for a tax credit, for example. It can also get employers an excellent employee at a bargain price.

As the economy nears full employment, companies are looking for unique ways to attract talent.

Here are some of the reasons to consider hiring someone with a criminal record.

1 in 3 Americans Have a Criminal Record

When you think of a criminal, you have a certain image in your head. However, having a criminal record is much more common than many people realize.

According to the FBI, 73.5 million Americans have a criminal record, or about 1 in 3 adults. Roughly 11,000 names are added to the FBI’s criminal database every day.

Many of these people were arrested without being convicted, yet the incident still appears on a criminal record check.
Approximately 2.2 million Americans – or about 3 of 100 people – are currently in prison.

No matter how you look at it, many Americans have some connection to America’s prison system or criminal databases. Being a criminal is more common than you think.

Employers who ignore people with criminal records are eliminating a significant portion of the population – including people with unique skills, experience, or talent that cannot be found elsewhere.

You May Qualify for Tax Credits

Companies that hire people with a criminal record may qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This tax credit can give your business an additional $1,200 to $9,600 every year. Plus, hiring multiple employees can raise the savings even further. For small businesses, this tax credit can make an enormous impact on the bottom line.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit does not apply to all businesses in all situations. If your business qualifies, however, then you can save a substantial amount of money.

They’re Loyal and Hardworking

“If you knew that the only way that you could survive is if you did well at your job, would you work really hard? Of course you would,” explains Ron Stefanski, who runs a website called, in a chat with

“And this is the exact situation that people who have records face. They understand that they don’t have a lot of opportunities in the job market and will do anything they can to go above and beyond expectations.”

Studies back up the idea that felons work harder. One SHRM study showed that HR professionals believe people with criminal histories have an equal or better quality of work as people without criminal histories.

It’s Becoming More Common and Acceptable to Hire People with Criminal Records

Today’s labor market is tight. That’s one reason why a growing number of employers are hiring people with criminal records.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Charles Koch Institute (CKI) recently released a study showing that employers are willing to hire someone with a criminal record if that person is the best person for the job.

“Two-thirds of managers and three-fourths of HR professionals have hired people who committed misdemeanors or substance-related felonies such as DUIs,” explains

“And more than two-thirds of HR professionals who have hired people with criminal histories think their quality of work is as high or higher than the work of employees who don’t have a criminal record.”

The report also found that only 14% of human resource managers would not consider hiring ex-criminals.

That’s why more American companies, including McDonald’s, Comcast, and Delta Air Lines, are hiring ex-criminals as part of a specific inclusion strategy.

They Have Already Served Their Time

For many criminals, the justice system works as intended. The person got caught committing a crime. The person does their time, gets reformed, and never commits a crime again.

People with criminal records have already served their sentence. In the eyes of the law, they received a punishment for the crime and did everything that was asked of them. According to the law, further punishment is not required.

Punishing someone with a criminal record after they have already served their time does not make sense.

Hiring Ex-Criminals Can Genuinely Help Someone

People with criminal records are often discouraged while searching for work. It’s hard enough to find a job, but finding a job with a criminal record can be significantly more challenging.

People with a criminal record may have many rights stripped from them. They may be unable to work or find a place to live, for example. Some can no longer vote.

When a company hires someone who has a criminal record, it makes a genuine difference in that person’s life.

Statistics back up this idea: studies show that employment reduces recidivism. Ex-criminals who get a job are significantly less likely to re-offend than ex-criminals without a job.

Approximately two-thirds of ex-offenders in the United States are arrested for a new offense within three years, creating a vicious and unbreakable cycle. America has one of the highest recidivism rates in the world, which means criminals are much more likely to re-offend in the United States than, say, Norway, where fewer than 20% of criminals re-offend.

By hiring an ex-criminal, employers can help break that cycle – and get a loyal, hardworking employee.

Obtain Equal Talent at a Cheaper Salary

Finding cheap talent in this competitive labor marketplace can be tough. Ex-criminals may be a bargain for employers.

Many ex-criminals are willing to accept a lower salary – even if they have the same experience and qualifications as other potential hires. Candidates with felony convictions just want a job regardless of wages. Many want a chance to prove themselves through full-time work.

Employers who take a chance on a reformed criminal may get great talent at a reduced cost.

They’re Not Necessarily Dangerous

The word ‘felon’ creates certain images in your head. However, many people with felonies have non-violent convictions.

There are plenty of dangerous ex-criminals who re-enter the population, but many people with criminal records are not dangerous and have not committed a violent crime.

Final Word

Employers can enjoy unique benefits by hiring someone with a criminal record.

Consider all of the benefits above before hiring someone with a criminal record.

Why You Should Run a Background Check on Your Contractor

Why You Should Run a Background Check on Your ContractorMillions of Americans hire contractors every year. You trust a contractor in your home – but do you really know everything you need to know about your contractor?

A growing number of Americans are running background checks on contractors. Whether it’s a small renovation or a large project, your home is safer when you know your contractor.

You’re trusting a contractor – and the contractor’s employees – with access to your home or business. In many cases, the contractor has unrestricted access to your home while you may or may not be present.

Most contractors are good, hardworking people. Every year, however, thousands of Americans are victimized by malicious contractors.

A background check can verify a contractor’s personal, professional, and criminal history. You might assume a contractor is the person they claim to be – but until you run a background check, your contractor could be anyone.

Today, we’re explaining some of the most important reasons to run a background check on your contractor.

Criminal Background Checks

A criminal background check tells you if a person has been convicted of any crimes. Arrest records, criminal convictions, and major crimes or felonies can all appear on a criminal background check.

Your contractor has intimate access to your home. A background check can alert you to any violent crimes, sex crimes, or break-ins. It can also alert you to fraud or embezzlement convictions.

Employment Background Checks

Employment background checks can verify an individual’s work history, education, credit score, driving record, criminal record, medical history, and drug usage. Increasingly, professional employment background check organizations now add social media checks as well.

An employment background check can verify your contractor is qualified to work on your property. A contractor might claim to have 20+ years of experience, for example, when they really only have 2-3 years of experience.

Professional License Checks

Education verification checks or professional license checks can verify an individual has a valid license for the work they’re applying for. Some industries require a professional license check before employing anyone.

A professional license check verifies the individual has the experience, knowledge, and credentials to perform their job. A professional license check helps you avoid hiring an unlicensed or unqualified contractor.

Professional license checks are particularly important for contractors: if your contractor is unlicensed, then you become the general contractor for the job. If a worker gets hurt or breaks a sewage line, then you are responsible. Plus, unlicensed contractors typically do not have insurance. All of these factors can significantly increase your liability.

Fingerprint Check

Fingerprint background checks are required in certain professions. Many people who work in schools, airports, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, or fire departments require a fingerprint check. Certain professionals – including realtors, financial professionals, pharmacists, and even casino dealers – may also require fingerprint checks prior to employment.

A fingerprint check works by running an individual’s fingerprints through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). Fingerprints are nearly impossible to fake, which means you get the most accurate image of a person’s criminal history.

Benefits of Running a Background Check on Your Contractor

Some people hire contractors for home renovation projects. Or, a business may hire a contractor for a short-term gig.

No matter why you’re hiring a contractor, you can enjoy certain benefits, including:

Ensure the Job Gets Done Right

A low-quality contractor can ruin your home. One mistake – like a broken sewer pipe – can cause enormous damages throughout your home. You might save a few hundred dollars by hiring a cheaper contractor – only to cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home.

Avoid Insurance Fraud

Some malicious contractors will approach vulnerable homeowners and take advantage of their home insurance policy. A contractor may approach a home after a hurricane, for example, and offer to manage the entire claim from beginning to end. The contractor performs a low-quality job on the property, then sends a costly bill to your insurer. This is insurance fraud, and it could cause your entire claim to be denied.

Maintain a Safe Work Environment

If someone is injured in your home, then you may be liable – especially if the contractor you hired was unlicensed and uninsured. Similarly, workplaces that hire contractors without a background check could expose employees to theft, property damage, workplace violence, and more.

Protect Brand Reputation

If your company hires a contractor, then that contractor could become the face of your company. If that person does something negative – like commits a crime – then it reflects poorly on your company. Running background checks on contractors is particularly important for positions where the contractor is interacting with your customers daily.

Reduce Legal Liability

Customers who had a poor experience with your contractor may file a lawsuit. Or, if a contractor damages your home or gets hurt in your home, then you may be on the hook for damages.

How to Run a Background Check on a Contractor

To run a background check on a contractor, you will need the contractor’s permission. Since you are hiring the contractor, you will also need to work with an FCRA-compliant background check service.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act verifies certain background check services for their accuracy and completeness. If you’re making important decisions about someone’s future – say, by hiring them or approving them as a tenant – then you need to work with an FCRA compliant background check service.

Background screenings vary widely among employers. Some employers perform a cursory background check on new contractors. Others use detailed screening procedures. is a public record and criminal background search service for anyone. However, we are not a Consumer Reporting Agency as outlined by the FCRA. By using this website or our criminal record search services, you agree to our full terms of use and privacy policy.

Contractor Crime is More Common Than You Think

Most contractors are law-abiding people. However, as with any industry, there are some people who take advantage of your trust.

You don’t have to look far to find stories of contractors taking advantage of homeowners.
In the last week, for example, the owner of a local contracting company in Pennsylvania was charged with felony stealing after a man reported paying for construction services he never received.

Another contractor, meanwhile, was charged with fraud after taking $15,000 for a project and never completing the work.

This Sioux City contractor was charged with a felony after taking more than $11,000 from a client and failing to perform any work.

These charges are all from the last week. All of these issues may have been avoided with a proper background check.

Final Word

You trust contractors with your property. Unfortunately, some contractors violate that trust.

Consider running a background check on your contractor to verify work history, work experience, and criminal record.


Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Checking Anyone’s Criminal Record

Every day, thousands of Americans scan public databases for arrest records. Some are checking their own records to see what pops up. Others are curious about the background of a neighbor, partner, friend, or coworker.

Checking someone’s criminal record is generally legal – as long as you’re doing it for personal reasons and not for employment or professional purposes.

Here are 10 tips and tricks you can use when checking someone’s criminal record.

Woman Searching Criminal Records

Check Your Own Criminal Record First

Want to hone your criminal record checking skills? Try checking your own criminal record. Check the state criminal record databases for any states in which you’ve resided. Check any county courthouses. You may be surprised at the amount of information that pops up.

Even if you have never been convicted of a crime, for example, your record might show arrest records, marriage and divorce certificates, and other information.

After checking your own criminal record, you’ll be easily able to check anyone else’s criminal record as well.

There’s another advantage to checking your own criminal record: you can eliminate any mistaken entries or false data from your record. Someone may have used your identity to commit a crime, for example, or an erroneous entry may have been added to your record.

Get Consent If Checking Someone’s Criminal Record for a Job or Lease

Landlords will often check a tenant’s criminal record before renting an apartment to someone. Employers will check someone’s criminal record before offering a job. Checking someone’s criminal record is legal in these situations as long as you get the consent of the individual.

It’s generally legal to check someone’s criminal record for personal reasons – say, if you are just curious about someone’s background. However, if you are engaging in any type of business activity with that individual, it’s best to get consent before performing a background check.

Understand What’s Included on a Background Check

Many people know that a background check reveals crimes – like felony and misdemeanor convictions. However, some people don’t realize what else is on a background check.

A basic background check performed by a business for employment screening will consist of the following components:

  • Criminal records check, including national and county record searches for any crimes, misdemeanors, or arrests
  • Social Security Number (SSN) validation, which ensures the applicant is using a legitimate SSN and name
  • Address history check, including any previous addresses used by the applicant
  • US terror watchlist check, which screens the candidate against US terror watchlists (this is especially common for any security-related jobs)
  • Sex offender registry check

If you’re unsure what information is out there, you may wish to perform a background check on yourself. You may be surprised at the information available to prospective employers. In rare cases, a mistaken entry – like a crime committed by someone else with the same name – may be preventing you from leasing an apartment or getting a job.

Understand Certain Records Are Off Limits

You may be surprised to learn that certain records will never appear on a background check.

Thirteen states, for example, make it illegal for employers to access criminal record information that’s more than seven years old. Most arrests or convictions older than seven years will not appear on a background check.

Some states have even gone so far as to pass ‘ban the box’ laws. These laws prevent employers from asking about any criminal record information until the later stages of the interview process.

You Can’t Access All Records, Even If They’re Newer Than Seven Years

Not all records are accessible during a background check – even if those records are newer than seven years old.

Laws vary from state to state. Many states only grant access to certain organizations, corporations, or private companies, for example, and ordinary people cannot access these records. In these states, you might have to rely on third-party criminal record search services to perform a background check.

Additionally, military service records are generally off limits.

Employers may be able to access your health records (and some will check this information), although they cannot use your health to deny employment. Generally, health records are only checked in positions where your health impacts your ability to perform a job – say, as a pilot or nurse.

Arrest Records Might Appear

A background check can reveal your arrest record. It’s a history of every time you’ve been arrested – even if you were never convicted of a crime. you might have a clean criminal record with no misdemeanors or felonies, for example, but an arrest still pops up on your record and affects your employment opportunities.

You Can Expunge Certain Arrest Records

Frustrated about certain records on your background check? You can expunge certain items to remove them permanently.

You can request expungement of your records if:

  • You were arrested but not convicted
  • Your conviction was overturned on appeal
  • It has been at least one year since you were arrested or won your appeal
  • No charges are pending against you

In this case, you can contact the county courthouse in the county where you were arrested to have your record expunged.

You Can Expunge Certain Convictions – Even Felonies

It makes sense you can expunge arrest records if you were never actually convicted of a crime. But you can also expunge certain convictions from your record.

Certain misdemeanors and Class D (Level 6) felonies can be expunged from your record, although some organizations (like police and lawyers) will always be able to view these records. More serious felonies will always remain on your public record, although they will be clearly marked as ‘expunged’.

To expunge a conviction from your record, you must pay civil filing fees. You are generally only allowed to file one petition for expungement in your lifetime. It’s recommended that you hire a lawyer before doing so.

Be Wary of Free Online Background Check Websites

Free online background check websites may sound like a great thing.

Unfortunately, many of them are too good to be true.

In reality, these websites often display the same information you could find using Google. Then, they dangle lucrative information in front of your eyes and demand hefty payments.

The site might claim that you can reveal “4 More Serious Convictions” for an individual just by paying a $100 fee, for example. In reality, the person has a clean record and the website is luring you into making a payment.

If you’re serious about checking someone’s criminal record or background, then you should be prepared to pay at least a small fee. Access to criminal record databases may cost money, and requesting a record from a county courthouse comes with a small fee, so you can expect this fee to get passed on to you.

Avoid Defamation Lawsuits By Not Spreading Falsehoods

You can check someone’s criminal record for personal reasons without that person’s consent. However, you are not immune from all consequences of your actions – like defamation lawsuits if you spread false information about someone.

Let’s say you’re suspicious about your child’s soccer coach. You run her name through a sex offender registry and find multiple serious convictions. You inform other parents of your findings, and they withdraw their kids from soccer practice. Unfortunately, you got the records for the wrong person. That person had the same name as the soccer coach. The soccer coach could sue you for defamation.

For that reason, it’s crucial that you avoid spreading falsehoods about people after running a criminal records check – especially if you’re not 100% sure the results are accurate.

Easily Find Criminal Records For Anyone

Finding someone’s criminal record is easier today than ever before. By following the tips above, you can make the background check process as easy as possible.

7 Reasons to Run a Criminal Background Check in 2020

Many people are surprised to learn that it’s legal to run a criminal background check on someone.

Yes, running a criminal background check on someone is perfectly legal in many situations. Many people run a background check before going on a date, for example. Others snoop on coworkers or neighbors.

Searching Criminal Background Check on Laptop

Here are some of the most common reasons to run a criminal background check in 2020:

Verify Your Next Date: The proliferation of dating apps has made it easier than ever to hook up with randoms. Unfortunately, many people also use dating apps to mask their identity. Fight back by running a criminal background check on your next date. Whether you run the check before the first, second, or third date is up to you.

Protect your Family: Worried about a new neighbor? Curious about a coach or teacher? Your child interacts with plenty of people during an average day. A simple criminal background lookup can give you valuable peace of mind.

Snoop on Coworkers: Is your new coworker divorced or married? Did your boss really get charged with sexual harassment last year? Does Dave from accounting really have three DUIs? Check the records of your bosses or coworkers to gain surprising insight.

Find Criminal, Arrest, and Police Records for Anyone: Criminal record checks let you quickly find arrest records, police records, criminal charges, and other information for anyone you interact with.

Marriage and Divorce Records: A records lookup can reveal more than just criminal charges; it can also reveal marriage and divorce records. Find out which one of your friends, relatives, coworkers, or bosses is married or divorced. All marriage and divorce records are publicly available through your county’s records department.

Verify your Neighbors: Your neighbors make or break a community. A good neighbor can be trusted to watch your house when you’re away. A bad neighbor will rob you. Use a criminal record check to verify the public records of homes in your neighborhood. Find out which of your neighbors is a sexual predator, for example. Or, get the age and phone number of people in your community.

Check Ages: Is one of your coworkers lying about her age? Are you curious how old your child’s teacher or coach really is? A background check can reveal complete birth date information.

Ultimately, checking a criminal record is a legal and common thing to do. If the record check comes back clean – then that’s great! You’ve earned added peace of mind. If the record check comes back with some previously-undisclosed information, then you may have just protected you and your family from a disaster.

Try out a search with Check Criminal Record ( or check state and county arrest record databases to discover surprising information about the people around you.

Top 5 Free Online Resources for Finding Arrest Records

Thanks to the internet, finding someone’s arrest record is easier than ever. There are plenty of online databases available to the public.

Yes, you can legally check someone’s arrest record. As long as you’re checking the record for personal reasons (and not to hire someone or enter into a contract), it should be legal.

Where can you get started? Keep reading to find the five best free online resources for performing a background check.

Resources For Finding Arrest Records

National Sex Offender Registry (

The National Sex Offender Registry, found online at, is a website created by the United States Department of Justice. The website offers a free nationwide search for sex offenders registered anywhere in the United States.

You can search the registry with just a name. Enter a first name and last name and see all sex offenders registered under that name.

You can also search by location. If you want to check a neighbor’s address, for example, then you can enter that address into the registry.

All sex offender information is available to the public. Specific information, however, varies from state to state. Generally, you’ll be able to see a photo of the sex offender, the offender’s current or last known location, the type of crime committed, and the date the crime was committed.

The National Sex Offender Registry also links to the public registries for each state. In most states, you can view a map showing all sex offenders in your area.

Each State’s Department of Public Safety

Each state has its own Department of Public Safety (or an organization with a similar name). This organization typically has a division dedicated to tracking arrest records and criminal convictions.

In Texas, for example, criminal convictions are accessible through the Texas Department of Public Safety. The organization offers a simple online search database. You register for that database, then enter a name to view the arrest records and convictions of anyone, anywhere in the state.

Most states have similar systems. Specific search processes vary between states. Some states limit access to certain information – say, only arrest records from the last seven years.

The California Public Records Act and the California Constitution, for example, give Californians the right to access public information maintained by local and state government agencies, including arrest and conviction records collected through the Department of Justice. You can view specific information on how to access those records in California here through

Some states, meanwhile, do not provide public access to arrest records. They only allow access to certain qualified organizations or corporations.

Check the Department of Public Safety website for any state of residence for the person you’re trying to check. You can also check arrest records for any state the individual visited. Someone might have traveled from Nevada to California and been arrested, for example, in which case the arrest record will show up on a California Department of Public Safety database search but not a Nevada DPS database search.

The National Center for State Courts (

The National Center for State Courts is an organization that offers easy access to private and public court records. If you want specific case information from specific courtrooms anywhere in the United States, then the NCSC website is a good place to start.

Visit the state public access links page here, then click on any state you want to check. You’ll be able to view any online records currently available for that state, including official government sources and unofficial databases.

People Search Websites and Social Media Websites

You don’t have to search a government database to find secret information about someone. Instead, you can turn to public, free websites for that information.

People search websites like WhitePages and People Search, for example, all provide information about millions of Americans. These websites collect public information – including addresses and phone numbers – and then allow anyone to search for it. You can search by phone number with a reverse search. Or, you can search by name for a standard search.

Using social media websites for background checks is self-explanatory. Check someone’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other profiles to discover all sorts of information they have volunteered online.

Check Criminal Record (

If you are looking for a no-nonsense criminal record check service, then is a great all-in-one resource. You can avoid manually checking all of the online resources listed above. Instead, you can simply enter a name and get a complete background profile on any individual.

Checking someone’s criminal record should be easy. With, it’s never been easier.

Final Tips On Finding Criminal Arrest Records

Use any of the free online resources above to check any criminal record at no cost.

With more online databases available than ever before, it’s easy, free, and legal to uncover someone’s criminal record or arrest history background report online.

What Do I Need to Check Someone’s Criminal Record?

Checking someone’s criminal record is a legal and common thing to do. Every day, thousands of Americans check criminal records for personal reasons. With someone’s permission, you can also check someone’s criminal record for professional reasons.

What do you need to check someone’s criminal record? What type of information can narrow down search results? Today, we’re explaining what you need to bring when checking someone’s criminal record.

What is Needed To Check For Criminal Records

A Name

In most cases, all you need is a name to get detailed information about a person’s background. With just a first and last name, you can learn surprising information about an individual. You can search state and county databases for any criminal records, marriage and divorce certificates, and more, for example.

Having additional information – like a date of birth, current address, or birthplace – can narrow down your search results. This information can be particularly useful if the individual has a common name. However, it’s not required for many criminal records searches.

Keep in mind that you do not need the person’s consent for most personal criminal records searches. If you are simply curious about a neighbor or teacher, for example, then it should be legal to run a criminal background check on that individual.

As soon as you start using the person’s criminal records check to make decisions about that person’s future, however, you may need that person’s consent. Landlords need a person’s consent prior to running a background check on a prospective tenant, for example. Employers need consent if preparing to hire a new employee.

The Person’s Consent (Required for Employment Screenings)

If you are running a criminal background check on someone for professional reasons (say, if preparing to hire them or rent a condo to them), then you need that person’s consent.

The background screening industry is highly-regulated, and an individual’s privacy is protected by various regulations. Nationwide, background checks are regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Additionally, employers cannot look at information that is older than seven years for civil judgments, arrest records, collection records, and paid tax liens (although bankruptcies stay on your record for ten years).
You can’t just have the person check a box saying, “I consent to this background check”. The consent must clearly explain that you are performing the background check and that the results of the background check will be used for hiring, promotion, or retention. After providing this notice, the employer must receive consent (either on paper or online) from the individual to run a background check.

Additional Information Can Narrow Down Search Results

Additional information is not required before checking someone’s criminal record. However, it can certainly help narrow down search results.

If the individual has a common name or has lived at multiple addresses, for example, then it may be tricky to track down arrest records across the country. Some people have changed their names or used different aliases. Others have changed their name after getting married.

Some of the additional information you can use to narrow down a criminal records check includes:

  • Full name (first, middle, and last name)
  • Known aliases
  • Maiden name
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth
  • Birthplace
  • Current and past addresses
  • Driver’s license number

Armed with all of this information, you can run a detailed criminal background check on someone.

Is It Legal to Look Up a Criminal Record for Anyone?

It’s easy to look up someone’s criminal record online. But is it legal to check someone’s criminal record?

It’s perfectly legal to check someone’s arrest record in some situations but not others.

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about the legality of looking up someone’s criminal record.

Woman Looking Up Criminal Records

It’s Legal to Check Someone’s Criminal Record for Personal Use

Are you curious about a neighbor’s marriage or divorce? Do you want to check if your daughter’s new coach has any previous criminal convictions? Are you interested in learning how old your coworker really is?

These are all considered personal requests. In most states and in most cases, it’s perfectly legal to check someone’s criminal record if you’re using the information for personal use.

If you’re not hiring someone or renting a house to someone, for example, then you can run a criminal record check on virtually anyone as long as you have that person’s first and last name.

You Need Consent to Check Someone’s Criminal Record for Professional Use

If you plan on using someone’s criminal record check for employment or housing, then you will generally need that person’s consent.

An employer needs the consent of the prospective employee before running a criminal record check, for example. A landlord needs the consent of the potential tenant before a background check.

If the criminal record check is going to be used to make important decisions about the future of the individual, then consent is generally required.
If you are requesting consent from an individual to perform a background check, then that consent form needs to indicate how the background check works. The consent form must explain how the information will be used, for example (say, to approve employment or a lease application).

Once you have received consent in writing (either online or in paper), you should be able to proceed with the background check.

‘Ban the Box’ Laws Restrict Employers from Asking About Criminal Convictions

Certain states have passed ‘ban the box’ laws. These laws prevent employers from requesting a criminal background check until the later stages of a job application process.

California’s ban the box law, for example, took affect on January 1, 2018. The law makes it illegal for private and public employers with five or more employees to ask about criminal history until the later stages of the application process.

The purpose of the law is to encourage employers to assess each applicant’s fitness for the job instead of immediately denying someone based on a criminal past.

As of December 2019, thirteen states (and the District of Columbia) have passed ban the box laws, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Employers Must follow Additional Anti-Discriminatory Regulations with Background Checks

Only thirteen states have passed ban the box laws. However, employers in all states must follow other laws. There are federal anti-discrimination laws, for example. Certain states have passed laws restricting questions about an applicant’s criminal history.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), for example, has warned that employers that ask about an applicant’s criminal history may be violating anti-discrimination laws.

In order to avoid discrimination during the hiring process, the employer must individually verify each applicant’s crimes. If someone committed a non-violent, unrelated misdemeanor seven years ago and is otherwise qualified for the job, for example, then you may be discriminating against that applicant if you choose a less-qualified applicant with a clean record.

Some States Restrict Background Checks for Cases Older Than Seven Years

If you committed a crime eight years ago, then that crime may not appear on a criminal background check. In fact, many states have passed laws preventing employers from seeing someone’s criminal record back more than seven years.

In California, for example, employers are not permitted to check someone’s criminal record more than seven years in the past and use that information to make an employment decision.

Twelve states follow the ‘seven year rule’ and restrict reporting on any case older than seven years, including California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Washington.

Outside of these states, most employers check an applicant’s history over the last 5 to 10 years.

Types of Criminal Background Searches

Depending on the type of criminal background search being performed, laws can vary widely. You might have to follow California’s background check laws when scanning criminal records in California, for example, but not in Texas.

The four major types of criminal record searches available today include:

  • Nationwide criminal databases (includes state and local crimes)
  • Federal criminal court (U.S. district and appellate courts for federal crimes)
  • County criminal court (County courts for charge and disposition cases)
  • Statewide criminal records (State courts and police records)
Consider Using a Professional Criminal Record Search Service to Avoid Legal Headaches

Confused by all of this legal information? That’s okay! There are professional criminal record search services that have compiled all of this information for you.

Professional criminal record search services like will scan millions of criminal records across federal, state, and county databases.

Thanks to these services, you don’t have to manually check each record and worry about legal problems along the way. Instead, these services take care of everything.

In many cases, you can actually save money by using these professional arrest record search services. Instead of paying a fee for each county or state record, you pay one simple fee, then rely on the search service to collect all of this information for you.

Final Word

It’s generally legal to look up a criminal record for anyone for personal reasons.
For professional reasons, however, like for landlords or employers checking the backgrounds of applicants, you generally need the consent of the applicant.

As with any legal questions, we recommend consulting with a lawyer to determine if your unique situation qualifies as a legal or illegal criminal record check.

If you need professional, instant, and fast criminal background check services, then use

What Shows Up on a Criminal Record Check?

We’ve all heard of background checks. However, many people don’t understand the difference between criminal record checks and background checks.

What type of information shows up on a criminal record check versus a background check? Which check should you perform? Is it legal to run a criminal background check?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about what shows up on a criminal record check.

What Shows With Criminal Record Check

What’s on a Criminal History Check?

A criminal background check or criminal records search reveals all of the following information:

Criminal Convictions: If a person has committed a felony or misdemeanor, then this information should appear on a criminal record check.

Arrest Records: Some states have laws prohibiting employers from asking about arrest records or using them for employment-related decisions. That’s because arrest records are not a proof of guilt. Someone could be arrested and then released without being charged, for example. If you are running a criminal record check for non-employment reasons, however, then it’s generally legal to check arrest records.

Dismissed Cases: Dismissed cases may appear on a person’s background check. A criminal charge could stay on a person’s record even if the charges are later dismissed or if the person is declared not guilty.

Seven Years of Data: There is no federal law stipulating how far back a criminal record must go. Each state mandates this on a state level. On average, however, a criminal background check goes back seven years. In California, for example, arrest and conviction records more than seven years old cannot be included on a background check report by law.

What Is Not on a Criminal Background Check?

Certain things will never (or rarely) appear on a criminal background check, including all of the following:

Expunged or Sealed Records: Someone might petition to have a criminal record sealed or expunged. If this petition is successful, then this record will not appear on any background check. The record has been removed from existence. In this case, the candidate can even answer “no” to the question, “have you ever been convicted of a crime?”.

Traffic Tickets, Speeding Tickets, and Other Citations: Traffic tickets are civil citations. They’re not misdemeanors or felonies. They will not show up on a criminal background check. However, certain serious driving violations are considered misdemeanors or felonies, including reckless driving offenses and DUIs. These convictions may appear on a criminal background check. Traffic citations are kept, however, by your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Previous Employment or Education: A criminal background check is exactly what it sounds like. You’re checking someone’s background for any criminal activities. A criminal background check will not reveal anything about a person’s past employment or education.

Is It Legal to Run a Criminal Background Check?

It’s legal and common for an average person to run a criminal background check on another person in most situations.

In general, it’s legal for an ordinary person to run a background check if they’re not planning on hiring the person being checked. If you don’t plan on paying or hiring the individual, then you should be able to run a background check without the other person’s consent.

If you’re running the background check in a professional setting, however, then you will require the consent of the person being screened. A landlord doing a background check on a tenant, for example, needs the permission of the tenant, and an employer checking the criminal record of a potential future employee needs consent.

Keeping Your Kids Safe With Online Criminal Background Checks

Family SafetyYour kids come in contact with many different adults in their lives. Many of these are people that you do not know well, yet you are entrusting them to care for your children or at least keep them safe. The question is are all of these people in your kids lives trustworthy?

There is an old saying that we should give people the benefit of the doubt, but when it comes to your children, the question to ask yourself is if that is really the track you should be taking. Consider that no one has really earned benefit from you, especially when you are asking them to make sure that your children are kept as safe as possible at all times. This is why it is a good idea to perform criminal background check  on virtually anyone that regularly comes in contact with them.

The Truth About What Can Happen To Your Children

A lot of parents are frightened when they hear about abductions. The worry that some unknown person could drive up in a van, take their kids and they will never see them again. The truth is that this is a far less common occurrence than most parents think. Children are much more likely to be harmed by someone they know – the people in your life.

What this means is that teachers, other parents, counselors, coaches, mentors, and other adults in their lives are the ones to be more concerned about. Because they are able to build up a much closer and more intimate relationship with your children, your kids will become much more trusting with them.

Kids are quite often told that they should trust these people and listen to them. A teacher or coach is often the next most important authority figure in their lives, after you and your spouse. You may not have even considered it before, but you could even be inadvertently helping these men and women to prey on your children, and this is why it is best to take every precaution you can to keep them safe.

Check For Criminal History Of Adults In Your Child’s Life

A lot of people may read this article and think that this is just not them. They shouldn’t snoop into the background of their kid’s teachers and friends’ parents. But understand that predators are out there and this is what those adults are hoping for. They don’t want you checking on their criminal past and just want you to trust them. But if you don’t check into the important adults in your kids lives, you could be missing an opportunity to prevent something disastrous from happening.

You should perform an arrest record search of every adult in their lives that you can. Check Criminal Record can help you get a very comprehensive set of jail records, arrest records, and arrest warrants, if there are any – so that you can know for sure if there is anything to be worried about.

Again, no one likes to be suspicious, but it pays to be so at times, especially when you are talking about your children.

How to Search Arrest History Records

Searching Arrest History Records

Searching for someone’s arrest history or arrest records online can be challenging, time-consuming, and frustrating. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy to use government websites and online resources that can help you get the job done.

Today, we’re explaining some of the best options for finding your own criminal record or arrest history, or finding someone else’s arrest history record, by using online sources.

Request Your Own Federal Records Through the FBI

The FBI lets anyone request arrest records – but you can only request your own. The FBI calls this your Identity History Summary, which is just fancy bureaucratic-speak for your criminal record. The FBI only allows you to request a copy of your own criminal record, and you will not be able to look at someone else’s federal criminal records during your search.

Why would you want to look up your own criminal record? Well, you may want to double check to make sure you know what’s on there – especially if you have a criminal past, if you’ve had records expunged, or if charges were dropped. You never know what could appear on your own record.

At the time of writing, the FBI’s processing time was 12 to 14 weeks. If you don’t have a federal criminal record or arrest record, then the FBI will send you proof that one does not exist.

Start requesting your federal criminal record from the FBI here.

You’ll need to jump through some hoops, like submitting your fingerprints and completing an application form. You’ll also need to pay the FBI $18, so it’s not quite free.

Check State & Federal Courthouses For Someone’s Arrest History Records

This is where things get a little more complicated: if you want to search arrest history records for someone else, then you can go to a local, state, or federal courthouse – ideally, the courthouse in the jurisdiction where the crime took place (or where you believe the crime took place). The records are almost always kept at the courthouse where the individual was tried.

Courthouses have a clerk of courts. A clerk of courts will be able to access someone’s criminal record provided you give them the information they need to retrieve that record.

That means you need to come prepared with the person’s name and birth date. The more information you have, the easier it will be to find someone’s record. Case numbers, the types of charges held against them, and and when the crime took place are all helpful information.

If the person committed crimes in multiple jurisdictions and was tried across multiple courthouses, then you may need to make a few trips or phone calls to get a complete record.

Using PACER Or NSOPW To Search Records

The US federal government maintains two public criminal record database websites anyone can view online. Those websites include the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) database and the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).

PACER lets the public view docket information from federal courts. You’ll need to register and use the individual’s information to search court records. PACER is not free, unfortunately, and you’ll need to pay fees to access certain records.

The NSOPW site, on the other hand, is perfectly free to use. You don’t even have to register. All you need to do is go to the homepage (or download the mobile app) and enter your zip code or area. You can also search using first name and last name.

Good Old Google Search

One of the weird online search tricks that can often be used to find someone’s criminal record is to type their first name and last name into Google followed by “mugshot”.

This works particularly well for high-profile cases or famous people with criminal records, but it can also turn up some surprising results for minor cases. It’s good to check if you’re looking for a free and easy option to search arrest history records.

How To Find Someone’s Criminal Record

How To Find Someone's Criminal Record OnlineFinding someone’s criminal record isn’t as hard as you may think. Thanks to the internet, you can learn a lot about someone without ever leaving your office chair.

If you want to know more about the process of finding someone’s criminal record information, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our ultimate guide to finding anyone’s criminal record.

The National Driver Register (NDR) And The DMV

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps a record of every driver in the United States. It’s called the National Driver Register (NDR).

Anyone – yes, even you – can browse through those records to find someone with a registered driver’s license in the country.

The NDR is part of the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. You can look through the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) to find information about individuals whose drivers’ licenses have been revoked, suspended, canceled, or denied. Anyone who has been convicted of a serious traffic offense will also show up.

Driver License IdentityWhether your target has a compromised driving record or not, the NDR provides valuable information about someone. You can search through the NDR to find all of the following information about someone:


-Date of birth


-Driver’s license number

-Reporting state

Basically, you get all of the same information you would see if you took a picture of someone’s driver’s license (aside from their physical characteristics).

Meanwhile, the DMV knows more about you than virtually any of the other government agencies. They keep track of a lot of personal information: from your criminal records to your marriage and divorce certificates.

The only thing that doesn’t pop up when you search for someone through the DMV is their “confidential information”, which includes home address, home telephone number, physical/mental information, social security number, and photograph. Aside from this, a surprising amount of personal information is readily accessible by anyone.

To get in touch with the DMV in your state and request someone’s record, visit this link:

That takes you to the NDR homepage. Just click on the “Contact information for State Departments of Motor Vehicles” link on the right-hand side of the page. You’ll automatically start to download a PDF document with your state’s DMV contact information.

From there, contact your state’s DMV (or the DMV in your target’s state) and request the record of anyone you want to learn more about.

Your Local Town Hall, City Hall, Or County Courthouse.

County CourthouseCriminal record check processes vary widely across the United States.
But one thing is common: you can always find information at your local town hall, city hall, or courthouse. These administrative organizations keep criminal records for all cases that have occurred within their administrative area. They’re trusted with keeping public records. Part of that responsibility is providing public records to the, well, public.

Using this method, you’re able to access anybody’s public record.

That doesn’t mean checking someone’s criminal record is easy with this method. You’ll often run into roadblocks. In North Carolina, you may encounter the Public Records Law, for example. in Maryland, they have the Public Information Act.

Certain states also make this process notoriously difficult. Florida, for example, may force you to deal with three different government laws, including the Statutory Public Records, Statutory Public Meetings, and Judicial Access Decisional Law.

Ultimately, your local town hall or county courthouse handles criminal record checks all the time. If you contact that organization, they’ll be able to tell you what you need to do, who you need to call, and how you need to proceed with your criminal record check.

Submitting A Request Through The FBI

The FBI provides criminal record checks – although they’re only available if you’re checking your own criminal record.

The FBI calls this your “Identity History Summary”, although it’s better known as your criminal record. It’s specifically defined as “a listing of certain information taken from fingerprint submissions kept by the FBI and related to arrests.”

You can submit a criminal record check request here through the FBI.

Using The Freedom of Information Act To Learn More About Someone

The last and best way to check someone’s criminal record is to submit a request to the US government citing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

There’s a reason this act exists: it’s to promote transparency in the government. Agencies are hesitant to deny a FOIA request (unless you’ve stumbled upon something really secretive). Even if information may not appear to be accessible to the general public, you can often get past this barrier with a FOIA request.

Keep in mind that the FOIA also allows agencies to block a certain request. One of the most-likely reasons your request would be denied is if it’s an “unreasonable invasion of privacy”. In other cases, you’ll only receive a partial answer to your request.

Checking Someone’s Record May Not Be As Hard As You Think

Remember: criminal records are public records. You’re a member of the public. In most cases, the only thing preventing you from learning more about someone’s criminal record is a little hard work and a bit of time.

The Best Methods To Easily Learn More About Your Neighbors

Checking On Neighbors

You live, breathe, work, and sleep around your neighbors every day. But if you’re like most people, you don’t think about them all that much.

That could be a problem: until you do some research, you never know who lives around you.

If you live on a street with 15 houses on each side, then that’s 30 families, couples, individuals, or groups you may know absolutely nothing about (except their address). Considering one in three Americans has a criminal record, it’s easy to see why there might be some bad apples in the neighborhood.

What’s a diligent homeowner like yourself supposed to do? Here are some of the best ways to easily (and legally) learn more about the people around you.


Start Googling

New Neighborhood - Possible Criminals

You might not know the names of your neighbors, their professions, or anything else about them.

But you do know one thing important: their address. Do a quick Google search for every address on your street. Sometimes, you may discover someone runs an at-home business. Or maybe you’ll find that the house next door was once the site of a triple murder. Who knows?

Once you’ve Googled a few addresses on your street, some names should have popped up. From there, you can be as stalker-ish as you want. Consider Googling someone’s first name and last name to see what comes up, for example. Or, hop on Facebook and search for their name in your city.

Ultimately, you can get a lot of information about someone starting with their home address. A home address gives you a name, and a name and location can often give you almost everything else you want to know.

Walking in NeighborhoodGo For A Walk

Go for a walk in the evening and casually study your neighborhood. Take note of anyone else who is out in the neighborhood. Strike up some conversations. Let your gaze wander up a few driveways. Don’t be creepy about it – just be situationally aware.

At the very least, you’ll meet a few of your neighbors and get a solid base in the neighborhood – or at least have some idea of who lives around you.

Pay Attention To Company Trucks And Other Logos

Does a certain contracting van park in the driveway of a friend’s place every night? Do you see logos or advertisements for a certain business on someone’s car? Business owners will frequently use their own vehicles – or even their own buildings – as advertising space. You can use this information to find out what someone does.

Bakyard BBQ With NeighborsOrganize A Community Party Or Street Party

If you’re feeling particularly gung-ho about learning your neighbors, then consider throwing a community party, street party, or BBQ. Pass out flyers or posters along the street and setup a date and time. It doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant. But it’s a good way to meet your neighbors – especially after a long summer in a recently-developed suburb where you have a lot of people who are new to the area.

Set Up Spy Cams Around Your House

Filming public property is totally legal, as is filming your own house and property (obviously, check your local laws and don’t hold us responsible if you get in trouble).

Consider setting up some spy cameras around your home – especially if you spend a lot of time outside your home. If both you and your partner leave home for work each day, then you never know who might come snooping around your home during the day.

Today, spy cameras are easier to install and more affordable than ever before. In many cases, you can control them or monitor them from your smartphone. So you can check in on your home from work.

Run A Criminal Background Search

A criminal background search requires only a name. If you’re suspicious about your neighbors, a criminal background search is a discrete and easy way to clear their names or confirm your suspicions.

Check Criminal Record specializes in helping you dig up valuable information about your neighbors – or anyone in your life.

While you’re at it, use a sex offender registry search service to see if there are any potential sexual predators in your area. is one popular free option that gives you instant information about sex offenders in your neighborhood.

Getting To Know Your Neighbors Is Important

If you live in a decent neighborhood, there is a good chance your neighbors are probably normal, hardworking, honest people. Building a relationship with your neighbors today is a good idea. They’ll watch your home when you’re away. They’ll alert you to suspicious activity. And hey, you never know – maybe your kids are going to be best friends one day. Follow the tips above to ensure you know more about the people living in your neighborhood.

Who Are Your Neighbors? Learn More With These 4 Tips

Advanced Spying On NeighborsHow well do you really know your neighbors?

Whether you just moved in or you’ve lived in your home for decades, you probably don’t know much about all your neighbors.

You live around these people every day. Your kids walk past their homes on the way back from school. They know when you leave the house on vacation and they know when your lights get turned off at night.

You may be surprised who your neighbors really are. Today, we’re teaching you 4 ways to learn more about your neighbors that may be unethical – but they’re also totally legal.

1) Run a Criminal Records Search

Running a criminal records search on someone is perfectly legal. In fact, all you need is a first name and last name – which is something you can get from searching the phonebook or through property title searches.

If you already know the names of your neighbors, then you can skip right ahead to the fun part: finding their criminal record and other background information using their first and last name.

At, all we need to get started is a first name and last name. Then, you instantly get information about everyone with that name across America. You can narrow down your search by city or state or get more information about that specific individual.

Yes, this is completely legal: criminal records are public records. They’re accessible to the public – although they’re not something anyone can just search online.

A public records search can turn up more than just a criminal record: it can reveal misdemeanors, traffic violations, parking tickets, and even charges that were dropped.

Woman Spying On Criminals In NeighborhoodRemember: approximately one third of the adult working age population in America has a criminal record. Think of the houses on your street or around you. Of those houses, there’s a good chance that someone, somewhere has a criminal record.

Maybe it’s something relatively innocent: like white collar crime. Or maybe it’s a non-violent drug crime. Or maybe it’s something much worse.

Until you run a criminal records check, you just don’t know. Remember: criminal records checks are legal and untraceable back to you.

2) Check Free Sex Offender Registries

The law requires sex offenders to register their location with state authorities. This location information is then available in public records.

Websites like will show the offenders living around you. All you need to do is enter a ZIP code. Then, you’ll immediately see pins pop up around your neighborhood.

Those pins are surprisingly detailed. For most of your neighbors, you’ll see a name, a mugshot, their date of birth, height, weight, and home address. You’ll also see which type of crime they committed.

There are countless other online services and apps that offer similar functionality. Check these sex offender registries regularly to stay updated on which types of criminals may be living around you.

Some may consider it unethical. But if you’re like most people, then protecting your family is more important.

3) Check the FBI Sex Offender Registry

The FBI’s Sex Offender Registry directs you to the sex offender search engine for your state. Select your state from the list and then start browsing through your state’s sex offenders.

Most state sex offender registries let you search by street, city, and ZIP code – kind of like the online services we mentioned above.

You can also search by name, alias names, and other information. It’s all free and easy.

If you don’t want to restrict your search to just one state, then you can also search the national registry of sex offenders, which is a service offered by the US Department of Justice. They even have an app you can download for Android or iPhone!

4) Search Public Records By Contacting State Organizations

Check Criminal Record will perform a criminal record and public record search on any individual on your behalf (as long as you’re not searching for someone for employment reasons or for any other reason requiring FCRA compliance).

In that case, the search you performed in step 2 may give you enough information about your neighbors. You don’t have to contact any state departments because we do all that for you.

Some of the things that can turn up in our record searches include:

  • Birth and death certificates
  • Marriage license certificates
  • Deeds, mortgages, and other property record information
  • Licenses, including professional licenses and business licenses
  • Driving records
  • Criminal and sex offender records
  • Court records
  • And much more

If you want more information about a particular person, then you can also request a public records search through a state organization. The DMV has a good explanation of how to do that here. Basically, it involves contacting the agency in your state that handles public records. You can start this process by contacting your local town or city hall or courthouse.

Or, if you want to search public records on the national level, you can also make a Freedom of Information Act request to the US Department of State, or to a specific federal agency.

Of course, this is a time and labor-intensive process. And, many state organizations will turn you down if you don’t have proper credentials or a good explanation. That’s why many people rely on services like

Remember: You Sleep Beside Your Neighbors Every Night

Many of us just assume our neighbors are good people with clean criminal records. In reality, your neighbors could come from all sorts of different backgrounds.

You fall asleep within a stone’s throw of your neighbors at night. Your kids play in the yard in front of your neighbors. For better or worse, you and your neighbors occupy the same space in this world.

Why not learn a little more about them?

Do You Really Know The Person You’re Dating?

Domestic Abuse Relationship - Dating A Criminal

We live in a world where you can get a date for tonight on Tinder without leaving your couch. But how well do you really know the new person you’re dating?

Whether you met on Tinder, Grindr, Bumble, Instagram, Match, or any one of the dozens of other social media / dating platforms available today, you probably don’t know everything about your new fling.

Sometimes, it’s nice to keep things casual. But if you want to get more serious, then you need to know who you’re dating. Remember: 60% of all violent crimes in America are committed by loved ones or acquaintances.

With that sobering thought in mind, let’s take a look at how you can easily learn more about the person you’re dating.

1) Google Their Name, Phone Number, Address, And All Other Personal Information

The first and easiest step is to use a search engine like Google to learn more about the person you’re seeing.

Yes, this can feel a bit stalker-ish. But hey, you’re doing it to protect yourself.

If you’re dating someone new, then you’re probably already Googled their name at least once. Google their name again and look at news stories mentioning their name. Make sure they’re using a real name that shows up in search results. Look at the images tab to find things that may not show up in the general search – you may be surprised what you find.

You should also be wary if they’re using a name that’s suspiciously common – like John Smith or James Miller (sorry to all the real John Smiths and James Millers out there). A common name isn’t enough to immediately make you suspicious of that person. However, if they have a common name and you can’t find any specific information about that person online, then you may want to take a closer look.

After Googling their name, Google their phone number. Typically, phone number searches won’t reveal anything but websites with lists of all phone numbers in a region. However, you can sometimes find an old business or other organizations with which your new friend is/was associated.

You’ve come this far on your stalking binge, so you might as well go all-in: Google every piece of personally identifiable information about the person – like their address, workplace, and anything else you find or can think of.

Even if you don’t turn up anything nefarious, you’ll at least know a lot more about your boyfriend/girlfriend the next time you get together!

2) Search For A Criminal Record

This might seem a bit intense for a new relationship, but it’s something thousands of men and women do every day.

Running a criminal record search on someone is perfectly legal. There’s nothing to stop you from doing it. Criminal records are public records, and that means someone like you is allowed to look at them.

Today, online services like have made finding someone’s criminal record incredibly straightforward. These criminal search services let you enter a name and find out everything you need to know about that person’s background.

You can check their background in a specific state and county. Or, you can scan the entire country for results.

All searches are performed anonymously and they leave no trace. One criminal records search can turn up information about someone’s criminal record. Or, even things like parking tickets, misdemeanors, and charges that were dropped can appear during a public records search.

We specialize in checking public records and criminal records for new boyfriends and girlfriends. In fact, thousands of people have used our service for precisely that reason.

To get started today, fill out the person’s first and last name using the online form on

3) Casually Ask About Their Daily Schedule

Is the new person you’re dating really a lawyer at that big law office downtown? Or are they really just a janitor at a bar?

The next time you hang out, ask about their daily schedule. Maybe see if they can meet up to grab coffee on a lunch break, for example. Ask what they did today. You’d be surprised by how many people lie about their jobs. Some people are just insecure about their jobs, while others are hiding something more nefarious.

4) Gently Probe Their Positions On Key Issues

You may think somebody is “the one” – until you hear their stance on abortions, capital punishment, immigration, or some other contentious issue.
Now, it’s probably not a good idea to ask these kinds of heady questions on a first date. But over the next few dates, it’s important to casually probe about serious topics – after all, these are thing that make or break a relationship.

But you want to do it gently.

Instead of coming straight out and saying, “immigrants are the scourge of our nation”, for example, start with something a little softer like “Trump sure has some interesting ideas on immigration, hey?”

5) Talk To Them About It – There Could Have Been A Mistake Somewhere Along the Way

Ultimately, you could find a lot of bad information about someone while Googling or checking their criminal record – only to realize you’ve been looking at the wrong person the whole time.

In other cases, criminal records can be mistakenly placed under someone’s identity, potentially ruining their reputation for life.

If you’re concerned about the results you found, then talk to that person first before doing something drastic – like breaking up over one search result. In some cases, there’s a good explanation. In other cases, there may have been some error along the way.

And then there are some situations where the person was deliberately trying to hide something really bad from you. You never know until you check.

6 Things You Probably Believe About Criminal Background Checks

Discovering Info About Criminal Background ChecksIf you’ve ever had a job, then you’ve probably had a criminal background check performed on you. There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet when it comes to background checks. Despite the fact that background checks are performed every day across America, most of us believe some ridiculous myths about them.

Today, we’re getting to the bottom of things by explaining 6 things you probably believe about background checks – and why you’re probably wrong.

Employers Are Looking For Any Reason Not To Hire Me

Some people get weirdly defensive when employers notify you that they’re performing a criminal background check. In reality, background checks are an investment for employers. One bad employee can cost them a huge amount of money. They’re not trying to avoid hiring you: they’re doing their due diligence as smart business owners.

I’ll Never Get A Job With A Criminal Record

The United States has laws that prevent employers from discriminating against you based on your criminal record. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ensures that employers can’t deny you employment because of a criminal record (unless the crime you committed is directly related to the job to which you’re applying).

For example, if you have a DUI, then you’ll have a hard time getting a job as a driving instructor. But if you have a DUI, then it’s unlikely (in fact, it’s illegal) to prevent you from getting an office job.

Criminal Record Checks Affect My Credit History

Employment credit cards are handled differently from credit checks submitted by lenders. It’s true: when a lender checks your credit history to determine your lending status, that has a small effect on your credit history. But when an employer checks your credit for work, it doesn’t affect your credit.

In some jobs, your credit history is irrelevant. In other jobs, however, employers check your credit history to determine how well you manage your money. If your new job requires you to manage a lot of money, for example, then your poor lending status may reduce your chances of getting a job.

My Information Could Leak Out During A Criminal Background Check

Check Criminal Record has a strict privacy policy that protects all of your personally identifiable information. To our knowledge, nobody’s information has been leaked after our criminal record checks.

All Background Checks Are The Same Regardless Of The Job

When someone says they’re doing a “background check” on you, they could be referring to all sorts of different things.

Some background checks are literally just a Google Search of your name. Other background checks are deep searches into everything you’ve ever done in your life. Most are somewhere in between.

In any case, just because you’ve applied for one job and got denied due to a criminal background check, don’t assume that all criminal background checks will reveal the same information.

I Don’t Have A Criminal Record Because I’ve Never Been Convicted Of A Crime

This is one of the most tragic misconceptions about criminal record checks: many people have gone their whole lives believing they have no criminal record, only to discover that’s not the case.

Things can appear on your criminal record for all sorts of different reasons. Charges that were dropped, for example, can appear on your criminal record in some counties. Traffic charges, parking violations, misdemeanors, and other minor charges can also pop up.

The best way to dispel your misconceptions about criminal record checks is to check your own criminal record – or someone else’s criminal record.

Everything You Need to Know About the “Ban the Box” Criminal Record Check Movement Spreading Across America

“Ban the box” policies are making headlines across America. This movement seeks to “ban the box” on employment forms that asks whether or not a job candidate has ever been convicted of a crime.

Employment ApplicationThe idea behind this movement is that boxes prevent former criminals from seeking gainful employment across America, which just pushes them back towards a life of crime.

For better or worse, the ban the box movement has created a mess of different policies across America, and many employers, employees, and lawmakers are confused.

What do you need to know about banning the box? Today, we’re sharing the most important things to know about this movement.

Half of Employers Believe It’s Unfair

In one study of employers across America, it was found that 48% of employers believe ban the box laws are unfair. Employers, after all, often want to know whether or not a future employee has committed a crime – including the type of crime that may have been committed.

That study involved 500 individual employers across a range of 24 industries, including technology, banking, healthcare, government/military, manufacturing, and professional services.

More than Half of Employers Are Ignoring the Law and Asking Employees to Self-Disclose

The same study linked above showed that more than half of employers (53%) continue to ask candidates to disclose their own criminal records on applications – regardless of whether a ban the box law has been passed in the state.

This isn’t really a loophole: job candidates can choose to self-disclose this information or not. The idea is that an employer will run the background check anyway, and the information will be revealed – so it’s in your best interest to tell your employer now before they find out later.

The Law is in Over 100 Cities and Counties and 18 States Across America

At the time of writing, ban the box laws had arrived in 18 states, including 100 cities and counties across America.

Which States Have Banned the Box?

Find your state in the list below to determine your local box ban policies.

-Statewide Ban the Box Policy: New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.

-States and Individual Localities Have Banned the Box: Oregon, California, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Minnesota, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

-States Where at Least One Locality Has Banned the Box: Washington, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and Connecticut.

-No Ban the Box Laws Passed Anywhere in the State: Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, and Alaska.

Ban the Box is Part of an International Campaign

Ban the box isn’t just an American movement: it’s a civil rights movement taking place around the world. However, America is one of the major battlegrounds and it’s also where the movement got its start.

The ban the box movement first popped up in Hawaii in the late 1990s, and then it faced a resurgence after the 2007 to 2009 recession. America – which incarcerates more people than any other country in the world – is seen as particularly valuable to the ban the box movement, because many otherwise good job candidates have been hit with a criminal record. Supporters of the movement often cite unusually harsh drug crime laws as a major driver of the movement.

Many Ban the Box Laws Exclude the Rule for Certain Sensitive Jobs (Like Working with Children)

Ban the box laws don’t typically require a universal ban on the box on application forms. Instead, most laws make exemptions for certain job titles – including jobs where you work with children, for example.

Certain Companies Have Implemented their Own Ban the Box Laws

Certain companies aren’t waiting for the box to be banned from their state, so they’ve gone ahead and implemented a company-wide banned box policy.

Target was the first major company to do this. They banned the box in October 2013.

Is It Good or Bad?

There are two main sides to the ban the box law.

On the one side, some people dislike the laws because it potentially exposes coworkers, employers, businesses, and customers to criminal activity.

On the other side, supporters claim banning the box makes it easier for former criminals to get jobs, which makes them less likely to re-offend and harm society as a whole.

Whether ban the box laws exist or not, it will always be legal to check someone’s criminal record here at Remember: it’s a public records search, and you’re entitled to view the public records of anybody.

4 Common Myths About Background Checks

Thousands of background checks are performed every day across America. Background checks are routine and common, but there are a surprising number of myths about background screening.

Today, we’re revealing some of the most common myths about background screening that we hear every day.

Myth: “I would know if one of my employees had a criminal background.”

Criminal Background Check

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. You’re more likely to interact with a former prisoner in America than any other country in the world. 3.2% of Americans are under some type of correctional control.

Despite these stats, many business owners (especially small business owners) still think they “would know” if one of their employees had a criminal background.

The truth is: criminals aren’t always how you picture them in your head. You may be surprised by which of your employees (or future employees) has spent time in prison.

The tragic part is that employee theft leads to the failure of 30% of small businesses. How many of these businesses could have been saved with a routine background check?

Don’t fall for the myth that you “would know” if one of your employees had committed a crime. Be smarter than that and conduct your due diligence.

Please note that you are forbidden from using Check Criminal Record to determine’s someone’s employability. We are not a Consumer Reporting Agency and you cannot use our criminal record search service for any tasks that require FCRA compliance.

Myth 2: “Checking someone’s criminal record is too risky. I could get in trouble.”

Ban the box laws are becoming more common across America and the number of FCRA class action lawsuits is on the rise. Given that information, it’s easy to see why companies are feeling nervous about background screening future employees. Nobody wants to get sued.

However, it’s a bit of a catch 22 situation: your company could face a larger, more devastating lawsuit if you accept an employee with a criminal record. 2 million Americans are victimized by workplace violence every year (and many cases go unreported).

In short, just because background check lawsuits are on the rise doesn’t mean other lawsuits have gone away. You need to protect yourself legally from multiple directions.

Myth 3: “I can’t afford to background check all my employees”

Background CheckThanks to the internet and automated criminal court research platforms, finding someone’s criminal record has never been easier or cheaper than it is today.

Check Criminal Record is famous for its competitive rates and quality results, for example, because we maintain a trusted network of data partners and have been able to keep low overhead costs: we’re happy to pass savings onto our customers.

Of course, criminal record checks are also an investment in the future of your company. That investment sees a real return: one survey from showed that 25% of businesses across America reported a bad hire cost them more than $50,000 in damages. Bad hires waste your time, your resources, and training times.

Myth 4: “All our employees go through criminal record searches nationwide, so I’m covered”

Certain nationwide background checks promise to give you comprehensive information about someone’s criminal record – only to miss out significant information.

Nationwide criminal records are a cheap and easy way to see if someone has any major criminal convictions – but they shouldn’t be the only way you check a job candidate. Use it as one tool in your arsenal.

Not all background check services are thorough. If you’re going to pay for a background check, you might as well spend a little extra to get a more complete picture. Who knows what you’re missing when you work with a cheaper service?