There are many reasons why someone may run a background check on another person to determine whether they have committed crimes in the past. In many cases, they also have the legal right to do so. However, in most cases, running a Google search will yield sparse or inaccurate information about someone. In fact, hiring a background check company is one of the best ways to find out whether someone has a criminal history. Another smart strategy is checking government records. is a good resource that provides screening services for individuals and organizations.

Running a Background Check

There is no shortage of background check service providers on the market. With some, there’s the same risk as with running a Google search: getting information that’s inaccurate or not current. These companies collect criminal records in a number of ways. They search Google and the Deep Web for information or download government datasets. Moreover, new court orders such as dismissals, acquittals, and expungements are not always reflected on time. In some cases, company regulation is also unreliable and limited. When searching for a third party to task with a background check, it’s important to do your research using relevant sources of information to make the best decision.

Government Databases

In general, criminal records are public information in the eyes of the law. This is in line with the principles of transparency. Court proceedings are public so the justice system is held responsible and the public rests assured that justice exists. If you want to get someone’s criminal record in a short timeframe, you can simply visit the respective court or agency’s website and download it.

US courts, the FBI, and state criminal justice departments hold records of convictions. Full access to these databases is reserved for government officials, prosecutors, and law enforcement. However, public access is more limited. An intermediate access level is available for people or companies doing an employment background check.

What is Publicly Accessible?

When you search for someone’s criminal record, you might find information about their convictions, what punishment the person was given, and any fees or fines they had to pay. In addition, you will also get information about the offense and the respective statutory citation – the specific law they broke. Moreover, the sentence might be a prison term or probation.

Ways to Search Government Records

The quickest way to find what you’re looking for is through a state search. To do this, you can type the name of your state and the keywords “criminal history records” to look for a criminal record. You’ll get a list of matches – you should look for records held by a state court or a state agency. Moreover, it is important to watch for unofficial sites. A site might resemble a government website, but it may also be a private company that has invested in an .org domain to make their site look official.

In some states, this kind of search incurs a fee. You might choose to go down to the local courthouse in person. In this case, you will only be charged for copies of the documents.

Use Trustworthy Sources

You can also do a check with the NCSC to obtain a criminal record by state. To do this, you can visit their site, select your state, and click on the link. Courts get their information from this organization. Its efforts are guided by cooperation and collaboration with the Conference of Chief Justices, the Conference of State Court Administrators, the other justice organizations. The National Center for State Courts can also offer access to a wealth of online resources, as well as practical assistance.

Members of the public, judges, and court administrators can gain access to customized services by working with the consultants of the National Center and researchers to evaluate, assess, and implement a series of specialized search tools and methods. The Center is a clearinghouse, as well as a full-service solution provider.

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