Criminal Search Definitions


Criminal Search Definitions


County Level Criminal History Search:

Our personnel physically conduct Name Index research and obtain authentic court information, on a daily basis, from County court locations nationwide.  Research and retrieval is performed at the primary county courthouses, in each State.  Other sources of criminal records include state level agencies or other “lower” court jurisdictions, as needed by our clients.  Records graded by “Felony” crimes are always considered at the County level, while “Misdemeanor”, or lesser criminal records, are also documented in states that maintain a “Unified” court system.  Some States have “Upper” and “Lower” court systems, so research may need to be done at each location.

Further, some County level courts, have mandatory court access fees that apply on a “Per Name” basis to conduct a Name Index search and/or retrieve an available public record.  Either way, these mandatory Court access fees are reimbursable expenses, to our firm, with respect to each Subject Name, or Entity, as submitted on a work order.

Statewide Criminal History Search (where and if available):

Two (2) types of Statewide Criminal History Research are available:
     1) the State Level “Court System” search, or
     2) the official statewide “Law Enforcement” search. 

It’s important to distinguish the two (2) types of statewide research, since one covers the public record courthouse records, while the official statewide law enforcement search is handled through the State Police, or a similar designated State level agency.  Many times, statewide “law enforcement” database entries are criminal records based first on the submitted fingerprints of the Defendants, by the arresting Police Department, along with information also supplied by the court system, as a case progesses in court.

A statewide Criminal Search through the court system will illustrate results based on the County level court records, and this statewide system is usually maintained by the state’s “Office of Court of Administration”.  This search identifies criminal records found through the court’s public record Name Index.  Once a Name Match is found, then other personal identifying data (known as PII data) is used to confirm the record matches your Applicant.

Otherwise, the official Law Enforcement agency search (where and if available) is performed directly through that state’s law enforcement agency’s criminal history database, or central repository.  Also, each state determines the “type of record” that is disseminated, to the public.  Every state provides “conviction” records, while some states deny access to “arrest records” that did not result in a conviction.

To conduct an official “Law Enforcement” search it is usually required to have the subject’s 1) complete Name, the DOB, and the SSN Number, for the best outcome.  There is usually an Access Fee, for each name too.  It is also prudent to consider or run each type of statewide search for the best background screening results: both the court system and the law enforcement agency search too.

NOTE: Some states do NOT offer a statewide criminal search (either type) through the court system nor through the official law enforcement agency.  In this circumstance, a County by County level search must be performed, for your assignment.  In the end, the County Level criminal checks are based on the Applicant’s addresses, provided voluntarily or developed otherwise during the screening activities, or as directed by the Client.

Federal Criminal History Search – U. S. District Court (NATIONWIDE):

This type of search identifies federal U. S. District Court cases that involve crimes under federal statutory authority, from numerous federal law enforcement agencies.  It covers arrests and convictions for the variety of federal crimes; i.e. Bank Robbery, RICO crimes, Drug Trafficking crimes, illegal Sale of Firearms or Weapons, related Conspiracy crimes of all types, Bank and Check frauds, agency Embezzlement crimes, or Counterfeiting crimes, just to name a few.  These type cases are NOT located at state level court systems……!

Federal criminal cases are located at the federal Clerk of Court, or through the authorized national database system, known as PACER.  Physical in-person work is needed many times to confirm and validate criminal cases, at individual federal courthouse jurisdictions, and to validate authentic file documents not found on PACER.  We can check the available public record Name Index at a particular District Court location or the inquiry can be a national Name search, as the client deems necessary or as matters developed by our background screening assignment may dictate.

Instant Nationwide Public Record Database Search:

This screening task product represents a national public records search using an “aggregated” database, which we identify in our product line-up as a “Capture All” search.  The instant nationwide database research includes over 350 sources of public record data, maintained and gathered from Federal, State, and Local levels of government.  This is NOT an official law enforcement search, although those type records may appear in the results!

Subject Name matches to filings found Name Match must be verified and confirmed at the original source location to assure accuracy and to meet relevant FCRA compliance, in most instances.  We must prove the  record, or records, match to your subject, in every instance, during the conduct of our work.  We do this work every time……!

Results from a national database search will include publicly filed Criminal records, Traffic and Vehicle Code violations (varies by state), State Level Megan’s Law violators from Sex Offender Registries nationwide, State Department of Corrections (varies by state) prisoner records, the Interpol Most Wanted Fugitives list, the U. S. Treasury OFAC Blocked Parties List, Denied Persons List, OTS Lists, the DEA Fugitive List, the Department of Health & Human Services Exclusions list, the U. S. General Services Administration Excluded Parties lists, the FDA Debarred Parties List, and many other sources for example.

So, this Background Screening tool is a comprehensive review of Federal, State, Local and International public record repositories. Many types of jobs demand that this type of national database search be conducted to meet minimal compliance to hire or employ individuals, business entities or contractors, or it is needed to meet contractual obligations or other transactional matters.  Any cases found should always be documented…..!

National Sex Offender Registry – Department of Justice:

This type of screening task is performed a couple of ways.  It can be a comprehensive inquiry through the official Sex Offender Registry, maintained through the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) website, for example. The data illustrated on DOJ’s website is data provided in a cooperative effort between the various individual State agencies hosting the public Sex Offender registry with the federal government. This public record search is identified as the “National Sex Offender Public Website” (NSOPW).

Otherwsie, individual States offer this search on their official law enforcement agency website or other designated state level agency.  In summary, each State level website is presented a bit differently, to the public, and it illustrates information to meet their own state’s laws and regulations, for these types of sex offenders.


Comments are closed.