What is a Criminal Background Check?
While there is no silver bullet or single, definitive report in criminal background checks, there are different search types that together can provide a more informative view of a job applicant than any singular report might offer.
National criminal data base searches cast a wide net and can include electronically collected and/or aggregated data from courthouse searches of criminal records information. This database search usually includes data from all 50 states, gathered from multiple government sources at the local and state level. Since serious offenders may move from state to state, and sometimes do not provide complete address histories when applying for employment, a national criminal file search can help identify criminal records in unreported addresses and jurisdictions not listed on a job application.
By contrast, a county courthouse records search is the most in-depth and up-to-date since it is researched at the time the report is prepared. We access records either electronically where available or manually, in-person at the courthouse location when needed including superior, circuit, county and common pleas courts to give a focused view of your candidate’s potential criminal history in a specific location. To help get a fuller view into a candidate’s background, searching multiple counties will clarify if a candidate has a criminal record in previous counties of residence, schools attended and work locations.
Why do you need to get both a National Criminal Records Search and a County Criminal Records Search?
Although national criminal database information is comprehensive, all databases have coverage
gaps due to inadequate technology capabilities in some jurisdictions and/or state privacy laws which ban
the electronic distribution of criminal data. County courthouse information on the other hand is very detailed however, it only covers one county out of more than 3,000 in the U.S. and it relies heavily on information provided by an applicant.
To help get the fullest picture of a job candidate, it’s best to perform a national criminal database search AND a county courthouse search together. Combined, these two searches complement each other and drastically enhance the effectiveness of a background check.
What sources does Background Direct® use?
Background Direct®; accesses records in proprietary databases across all 50 states plus Washington, DC. These include records from individual county courts and state-specific criminal record repositories, proprietary criminal record data and criminal records from more than 202 repository sources at the state or county level.
Which packages include criminal records searches?
This search is automatically included with the Choice Package (CH), Plus Package (PL) and Premium Package (PR), or can be added to your order for a customized package. Combined with our other background checks, this search helps provide a more comprehensive picture of your job candidate.
There’s only so much an employer can gather from an interview. With Background Direct® from First Advantage, you have the power of the global leader in background checks helping you get to know who you’re hiring.