Here at Check Criminal Record, we get plenty of questions from customers about all different aspects of searching criminal records. We’re happy to answer all emails! But to make things easier for everyone, we’ve gathered some of our most common criminal record check questions here.
1) How Long Will It Take to Get a Criminal Record Check in My State?
Getting a criminal record check varies between states. Remember that different states have different rules regarding how criminal records are stored and who has access to those records.
Some of our searches can be completed in a matter of minutes. Others can take several weeks to fully uncover the truth.
California, for example, is one state where background checks take a particularly long time. The state of California has 58 different courts, all of which allow employers to conduct criminal record checks on future employees. However, when you make a request in one court in California, all counties in the state must use a court researcher to retrieve the entire record. This can cause lengthy delays while a court researcher takes the time to comb through records across all requests.
California isn’t the only state where records take a long time: New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Nevada also require the use of court researchers.
Keep in mind that you cannot use our service to determine someone’s employability (or for any other reason that would require FCRA compliance) because we are not a Consumer Reporting Agency.
2) Does My County Require a Court Researcher?
Court researchers are on their way out of the system across America. Today, automated search programs speed up the record recovery process. Nevertheless, many counties still require the use of a court researcher. This varies widely from county to county. However, the number of courts requiring court researchers is certainly dwindling as more and more courts automate their records.
Fewer court researchers means an easier and faster recovery process for our team. However, in cases where records are pulled automatically, our team will still double check to make sure the automated search returned results as complete as any manual search – so all your bases are covered.
3) Should I Request a Country-wide Search or Search in Specific States and Counties?
Some people use criminal record search services to identify a specific crime. They may know where the exact crime was committed, or where the public records are stored. Say, if someone has lived in one county for their entire lives, then you know that their marriage certificates, divorce records, and other public records are probably stored in that county.
On the other hand, most people want to get the full report on someone. Maybe the individual committed a crime while they were on vacation in Hawaii. Maybe they’ve moved around a lot. There are all sorts of good reasons to perform a countrywide criminal records search. If you only search in a specific state or county, then you may be missing a significant chunk of that person’s history.
4) What Are the Advantages of a County Records Search?
The major advantage of a county search is that county courthouses contain the most up-to-date records. Crimes and charges are processed at the county courthouse first. When you ask a county courthouse for a criminal record check, they’ll return the most up-to-date data.
State records are still fairly up-to-date, although it may take some time to process data from county courthouses.
On the other hand, some states and regions will block county records searches, in which case a state search is your only option.
5) What’s More Expensive? State Searches or County Searches?
The costs of public records searches vary widely across America. Sometimes, state searches are more expensive. In other cases, county searches are more expensive. It depends on the fees charged by the court, including processing fees.
6) How Do You Ensure You Found the Complete Criminal Record?
We’re proud of our team of researchers and of our proprietary search program. Together, they’re among the best in the country at finding criminal records. If a public record is out there and legally accessible, they’ll find it. To ensure complete accuracy, our team works in the following ways:
-We search through thousands of data sources and 34 billion public records across the United States, telling us whether or not a crime has been committed in a jurisdiction where the individual is living (or has previously lived)
-Next, we search nationwide (or statewide, depending on your request) to see if crimes have been committed by the individual in other counties or states where they have never lived (say, if they were working or traveling and committed a crime).
-Our proprietary technology searches through over 2,000 more third party booking and incarceration websites to ensure we haven’t missed anything
-We double check our findings with the county court records to ensure authenticity. County courts have access to over 75% of all US criminal records, so they’re a good primary source of information about the candidate.
7) How Accurate Are Criminal Records Checks?
No criminal record check service will guarantee 100% authenticity or 100% accuracy. In some cases, this is the fault of the person checking the criminal record. But in many cases, it’s actually the fault of the source itself. A court may have entered a digit wrong in the date of birth, for example, causing records to get mixed up or return inaccurate results.
Among criminal background check services, Check Criminal Record is considered to be among the most-accurate available online today.