Criminal records searches can encompass many different levels, ranging from county-level searches to federal offenses. This information can be important to know, as it can help make important decisions about potential employees and more. Trustworthiness is an important factor when reviewing potential candidates for employment and a criminal records search can be helpful in determining whether a candidate would be a good fit for a company. Employers can make decisions based on these criminal records, and whether a potential employee was honest in disclosing past crimes.
County court houses have a felony index available, which usually cover the entire county. Some county court houses will also have misdemeanor records available, though these are occasionally in a separate location. This is the most accurate of the databases available.
Many states offer a database of criminal records gathered from counties within the state. This can be useful for searching multiple counties at once. State databases, however, are not always up-to-date. These databases vary depending on the state and may have varying accuracies. Therefore, if information is uncovered using a state database, it is recommended to follow up within the county in question.
A nationwide criminal records search is the broadest search, encompassing the largest potential database. This search would be helpful if the individual in question has lived in multiple counties. Often, a broad nationwide search is often followed up by a more specific search of county records in an effort to make sure the information is accurate.
A federal records search would help uncover crimes that are tried on a federal level. These crimes range from mail fraud to kidnapping, and they are tried in U.S. Federal District Courts.
Occasionally, criminal records information can be found through online searches. However, not all information is always available online, and it can sometimes be necessary to travel and visit these databases in person.