Court Records

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Why you should order Criminal Background Checks

Avoid the risk of hiring an employee with a troubling criminal past.

Unknowingly hiring someone with a violent or fraudulent criminal history can put your employees and customers at risk, and potentially subject your organization to litigation. Making mandatory criminal background checks part of your interview and hiring process will improve the overall quality of your employees and the fruits of their labor.

AccuSource provides fast and efficient direct court searches to uncover potential criminal convictions. All records obtained during a search are reviewed by AccuSource’s quality assurance team to ensure each record provided complies with both state and federal reporting laws.

The Benefits of Comprehensive Criminal Background Screening:

  • Protect your employees, customers, and vendors
  • Improve morale and productivity
  • Protect assets from fraud and theft
  • Avoid costly negligent hiring lawsuits
  • Protect your organization’s reputation

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Which type of criminal records search do you need?

The Benefits of Comprehensive Criminal Background Screening:

• Protect your employees, customers, and vendors

• Improve morale and productivity

• Protect assets from fraud and theft

• Avoid costly negligent hiring lawsuits

• Protect your organization’s reputation

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Which type of criminal records search do you need?

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Court Records & Criminal Background Check Services

county criminal records search

County Criminal Direct Records Search

County Criminal Direct Records Searches investigate the potential presence of state criminal convictions at the appropriate county courts. This search reveals felony (crimes typically with punishment  of one year or more imprisonment) and related misdemeanor convictions (crimes typically with punishment of less than a year of imprisonment or probation.) Completed reports may include: case numbers, offense and disposition dates, charge, and type of charge, disposition and sentence. In addition to convictions, open cases, as well as active warrants, will be reported based upon state guidelines. Records are available in each individual county throughout the United States.

multistate national criminal database

Statewide Repository Criminal Records Search

Statewide Repository Criminal Records Search combs for criminal convictions through the appropriate state repository. This search reveals felony (i.e. murder, rape, lewd acts/sexual abuse on a child, robbery etc.) and related misdemeanor convictions (i.e. spousal abuse, DUI, shoplifting, petty theft, possession of a controlled substance etc.). Completed reports may include: case numbers, offense and disposition dates, charge, and type of charge, disposition and sentence. In addition to convictions, open cases (as state guidelines permit), as well as active warrants, will be reported, based upon state guidelines. Search availability is limited to states with a repository option.

federal criminal history searches

Federal Criminal Direct Records Search

Federal Criminal Direct Records Searches examine criminal convictions at the appropriate federal district court(s). Records identified are for criminal offenses prosecuted under the jurisdiction of the federal court system. These offenses may include bank robbery, embezzlement, kidnapping, human trafficking, child pornography, tax evasion, mail fraud and other violations of U.S. federal statutes. Records are available in all federal districts throughout the United States and applicable U.S. territories.

Federal civil court records and federal bankruptcy court records searches are also available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What options are available in criminal records background screening?

Criminal records generally fall into two main categories, violations of state laws and violations of federal laws. Federal law violations are tried in a federal district court. Violations of federal law may include kidnapping, drug trafficking, human trafficking, fraud and more. A direct search of federal criminal records is required to identify potential federal convictions. Criminal offenses involving state laws are adjudicated at county courts. State laws violations commonly include theft, drug offenses, DUIs, crimes against persons, and more. A direct search of the county court of record is often required to uncover state law violations and convictions.

Some states offer direct access to the records repositories (databases) for county criminal records. However, the number of states with quality direct record access are very limited. CRAs (Consumer Reporting Agencies) often offer services to search for potential criminal records through proprietary state and national criminal record databases. While database searches offer an opportunity to economically expand the scope of a criminal records search, employers must confirm any records found in a database search through a direct court records search prior to use in an employment decision under FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) guidelines. Additionally, since there is no guarantee as to the breadth and quality of the records in a proprietary database product, it is always suggested database options are used to complement direct court searches rather than serve as standalone products.

If I am running a National Criminal Search in the background screens my company conducts, do I still need to run county criminal records or federal criminal records searches?

National Criminal Searches are generally database products versus primary source searches. While extremely useful in a comprehensive criminal background check due to their typically wide breadth of records and low cost, they are simply comprised of data scraped from open public records sources. Unfortunately, unlike direct source records, database records are not subject to update when new action occurs in a criminal case. The records commonly only contain high-level detail. This makes it difficult to verify that a record belongs to the applicant and is reportable under applicable state and federal guidelines based solely on a National Criminal Database search without additional direct court research.

Best practice is to conduct a direct county criminal records search and direct federal district records search in all jurisdictions where an applicant has resided in the most recent 7 years along with a National Criminal Database search to potentially identify any additional criminal records in other jurisdictions. If a potential record is identified in the National Criminal Database search, a search of the county court where the record is held is required to meet Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance prior to use in an employment decision.

How do background screening companies (Consumer Reporting Agencies or CRAs) search for criminal records to potentially report in an employment background screen?

The primary sources of criminal records are at the courts where each criminal case is adjudicated. This may be either a county, municipal or local court for state criminal offenses or a federal district court for federal criminal offenses. For many courts, this may include an in-person search for records. CRAs may also utilize criminal database options, where available, to identify the existence of a potential criminal record. However, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires CRAs to confirm any potential records located through database options at the primary court of record prior to reporting for use in employment decision-making.

Frequently asked questions on background checks

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