What You Need to Know: Nationwide Criminal Background Check

Knowledge is power, but it is only on few occasions that this affirmation becomes as relevant as when conducting a nationwide criminal background check.

However thorough, investigation revealed by all web would seem to be futile when you are looking for an individual’s past criminal record. Why does Google act all mean on us when all you need to know is how reliable a person is?

Many reasons justify the lack of information available to the average person on the web. For one thing, imagine what would happen if anybody could access this type of information just anytime and anywhere? There would be no such thing as privacy and in the era of massive social networking, this data could become a lethal weapon. Even so, there may come a time when we truly and honestly need to find out about somebody’s past life; for example, when we are about to do business with a person or else, offer them a relevant post.

But what is included in a criminal background check is something we often ask ourselves over and over. This practical guide has been designed to help you optimize your nationwide criminal history background check and make it more effective.

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what does a criminal background check show?

Tons of information can be triggered from a criminal background check. In general terms, you can come across basic data, such as name, age, former addresses, maiden names and educational background. But this is certainly not part of the juicy information you need to know.

When a job candidate must be chosen, those who are in charge of the selection will want to know if there is any criminal background they should be concerned about. Moreover, the check could be reason enough to discard a potential candidate or to eventually terminate any type of negotiations.

Felonies, misdemeanors, sex offenses, national arrests and court warrants, federal and civil judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies, marriages and divorces are some of the most commonly sought-after pieces of information. This means that the answer to the question: what does a nationwide criminal background check show? could be: almost everything.

How to find criminal records

These types of records are considered a part of the public record and are therefore available upon request. Local national or state agencies will provide this information if necessary.

Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that certain state laws, for example California, do not allow for individuals to request private records  Likewise, record for juvenile crimes are often sealed and are also made non-accessible. Consequently, depending on the geographical region, several agencies must be searched before a full record can be found.

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Search for records online

Even when public records will not appear automatically, some State or County courts do provide requested records online. Even so, you must know where to look first, since the record should be requested in the state where the event occurred. Suppose you suspect that an individual has a history for drunk driving, you should look up the person’s name in the state where the event took place.

Apart from state agencies, many private agencies offer their services, in return for a fee, which include a full list of background criminal information. In addition, some private attorneys are also known for providing these types of services. This last option is useful when you have been somehow affected by a person’s secret background.

Care should be taken regarding these agencies, however. Always look for the most prestigious ones and pay attention to people’s reviews concerning their services and their reliability. Many work agencies use these services almost permanently, so look for the ones that are more experienced and better-known.

Provide precise information on the person

One common downfall when doing a nationwide criminal background check is to come across a person who has the exact name as the subject you are investigating. Therefore, providing as much information as possible will help avoid the unpleasant situation of mistaken identity.

Information to keep handy: parents’ full names, birth town, former jobs or marital status. If you have had access to some kind of ID, such as driver’s license or social security number, the risks of getting the wrong person back in your search will be significantly lower.

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Online nationwide criminal background check

Despite their prestige, some agencies can fail to interpret certain type of information or get dates and names wrong. This is why it is imperative that you seek to actually see the records yourself. This can be easily done by requesting the records on hard copy.

If the information you are looking for comes from a local source, the trip might as well be worth the while. By visiting the appropriate court –county, supreme, state or else- you will have the chance to see for yourself what you were looking for in the first place.

Most record-accessing activity is for free and even when the records are not actually kept in that particular place, there is a high chance that you can request a copy of the original from the clerk who is working there.

Learn about federal courts

Accessing information from a Federal Court may be somehow more complex, albeit not impossible to achieve. By creating an account with the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system, you will be able to search in and access Federal Court Records any time you need to. All it takes is to provide your personal information, red-asterisk-items are mandatory and then you submit your request.

The search through these types of records can be done by court, by number or party name. The more precise the data you provide, the easier it will become for you to find what you were looking for.

Although registering on the PACER is free of charge, you will be requested to pay a small fee in order to view each record. The fee range goes from 10 cents to $3, depending on the number of requested pages.

Snooping around and doing a nationwide criminal background check on people’s personal lives and past records can be daunting. Even so, having somebody thoroughly screened can turn out to be a real lifesaver when it comes to preventing future issues that involve other people’s lives.