Your Resources for a Criminal Background Check

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Your Resources for a Criminal Background Check

Gone are the days when conducting a criminal background check is done only when a crime has been committed. These days, a lot of people are using criminal background checks in order to make informed decisions when it comes to matters that are of importance to them.

For the busy professional who is frequently away on business trips, you will want to have a dependable babysitter who will mind your children, or a trustworthy caretaker who will tend to your house when you’re away on business. For a business owner, you will want to find out who’s behind the corporate theft that is causing you to lose out on company profits. Or perhaps a pre-employment background check is in order because you want to hire only the best people for your staff. For the investor looking to invest his money, of course you will want to find out first if that person or business entity you are dealing with is not some fly-by-night operation. And a landlord will surely want to screen a prospective tenant to make sure they are responsible enough to take care of his property.

Once you have determined that you need to do a criminal background check, the next step would be to determine what exactly it is you’re looking for. It could be something as simple as a DUI or a traffic infraction, or something more severe such as a warrant of arrest, a conviction, a misdemeanor, or a felony.

There are many ways to do a criminal background check, and the Internet has made it easier for us to go about it. A lot of public records are available online and have been compiled into databases. Some have been put together by private organizations, while some come from government organizations.

Online databases

There are a lot of databases to check for criminal records. Before you start using one of them, make sure to check its online reviews for accuracy. Also read the fine print or the terms and conditions of its use. Check the coverage too, as most online databases do not cover every type of criminal record there is. One of the most reliable online criminal records database is, but this site only serves as a gateway, and you will be directed to other sites once you view its search results.

Using an online database is a good starting point because it is accessible, straightforward, easy to navigate, and relatively affordable. Some are even free. Unfortunately, these databases are not that comprehensive and can be prone to inaccuracies. So if you are planning to use them, don’t solely rely on the results that you come up with, and make sure to use multiple sources when doing your investigation.

“Official” repositories

Another alternative to look into are government repositories. Criminal cases can be filed at a county, state, and federal level, so you need to know beforehand the jurisdiction of the criminal case you are looking into. There are state and federal government repositories that are easily accessible online, such as PACER.


Not all information will crop up in online databases. Some of the information may prove to be inadequate or inaccurate because criminal records can very well be expunged once the terms of a sentence have been fulfilled by the offender. Also, false positives can and will happen due to identity theft, mistaken identities, name changes, and spelling errors. So to receive accurate confirmation on whether or not a person has committed a crime, it would be best to go directly to the courthouse.

What makes a criminal background check ideal would be if multiple resources have been used to check if a person has a criminal record. It also helps to hire a private investigation agency to do the sleuthing for you. An agency will have more resources available, and will have access to databases that are generally not open to the public.

They say “what you don’t know won’t hurt you.” The truth of the matter is, what you don’t know will hurt you. When it comes to protecting your family and protecting your assets, you need to make sure that no harm comes to them. Achieve peace of mind by conducting a criminal background check on those people whom you are entrusting your family, property, or business with.

If you want your background check done right, then call Prudential Associates. We will help you determine in which jurisdictions you should have research conducted, if such jurisdictions are directly accessible via our computers, and what level of complexity is appropriate given the purpose of your research requirements. Contact us today and remember to ask for our Background Levels and Rate Sheet.