Criminal Records Searches
County Criminal Records Searches
A county criminal search is the product of either an onsite, physical search of court records or a direct electronic search (if available) of the court's records.
A county criminal search is a best practice standard for any background screening program and for employees at all levels.
Courts have ruled that employers have a general duty to perform a criminal background check. Negligent hiring lawsuits are most often initiated due to employers failing to perform a proper criminal background check.
Federal Criminal Records Searches
A federal criminal is the product of a search of U.S. District Courts (Federal courts).
The search performed is either the result of an onsite, physical search of the records at the court or via electronic access. Federal records typically lack identifiers such as dates of birth and social security numbers. As a result, positive identification can be difficult.
Sexual Offender Searches
State & National Sexual Offender Searches
Ai clients can opt to perform a State Sexual Offender Search or a National Sexual Offender Search. The state search provides a single state's search, while a National Sexual Offender Search provides all states in the US where Applicant Insight can legally provide this information.
A Sexual Offender search is appropriate for all employees, particularly those whose duties put them in the presence of a vulnerable segment of our population; children and the elderly.
State Criminal Records Searches
A state criminal is a search of a state's criminal records repository.
The scope, content and requirements for requesting state repository information varies by state. Several are "closed" states that do not release their repository information to the public. Some State Repositories may include signed, notarized releases, while others may require fingerprints.
Information returned may only include arrest information.
National Criminal Insight
The national criminal insight search is a multi-jurisdictional search that encompasses numerous sources and scopes of data.
It includes national security sources, numerous federal databases, 50-state sex offender registries and criminal data from various local, county and state agencies.
The National Criminal Insight search is intended to expand upon the search scope of a county criminal search, not act as a substitute. It is important to note that limitations exist in many areas of the US. Ai recommends this search as a supplemental search to a county criminal search.
Information obtained from this search is subject to additional verification in order to comply with federal law.
OFAC / Government Watch List
The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Ai recommends the National Criminal Insight in addition to this search to mitigate risks associated with terrorism as it includes numerous national and global security sources.
No, federal criminal searches are searches of the U.S. Federal District Courts and are searched by jurisdiction. These searches provide results on suits filed by the federal government such as drug trafficking across state lines, gambling, kidnapping and bank robbery. Federal crimes are also categorized as misdemeanors or felonies.
Applicant Insight reports criminal results for a minimum of seven years and will report more if readily available through the court index or repository. Applicant Insight will not report a charge over seven years if it is unable to determine the disposition of the case.
Applicant Insight provides a National Criminal Insight Search. This searches a compilation of various databases such as county and state criminal databases, sex offender registries and more throughout the United States and is frequently referred to in the industry as a "national search". The clarification is that it does not search every county in every state. Rather, it casts a wide net and may very well pick up data in states that you might otherwise not run.
Applicant Insight will verify credentials, including technical or other training courses, as well as professional licenses such as insurance broker licenses. These two types of searches are done through different agencies, and occasionally the results are not available to the public.
The background screening industry incurs access fees for some of the searches performed. Examples of these are court fees, state driving record fees, automated verification fees, etc. Applicant Insight passes these fees directly to our clients as they occur. Applicant Insight has provided lists of known fees on this website.
County searches provide a narrow scope of search whereas statewide and national searches cast wider nets. The negative aspects to statewide searches is that the county courts may not regularly report case data to the state repositories; some statewide searches have long turnaround times, require high state fees and/or specific releases; and not every state has a statewide repository available to the public. National searches again cast a wide net, but do not cover every county in every state. When thinking about your due diligence, it is generally thought to be better to perform county searches where the applicant has revealed living and developed from a social security trace and then supplemented by statewide and National Criminal Insight searches.
There are extenuating circumstances that can delay results of searches. Typically, these are determined by court personnel or repository agencies. A researcher may be able to easily determine whether an applicant is clear in a court by checking a public access index, but have to submit the search to a court clerk for processing if there is a possible record. It is up to each court and its clerks to determine how quickly the results are returned. Applicant Insight compiles data of courts and jurisdictions where there are known turnaround delays and posts them to this site. Employers and educational institutions may also cause delays due to short staffing, poor record keeping, vacations, summer breaks, etc.
Our researchers will search every name submitted for each jurisdiction. Remember that researchers charge per name searches and so does Applicant Insight. It is fairly common to find records on an alternate name. One way you can limit your cost is to have the applicant identify during what years each name has been used. As an example, you would not run a woman's maiden name if she's been married for thirty years.
Applicant Insight does not employ legal staff and therefore, does not give legal advice to our clients. We have designated Compliance staff on-site who are knowledgeable about the industry, our sources and can answer general questions as well as point clients in the right direction to obtain specific information. Similarly, our senior management team has been in the industry for many years and is always happy to help clients with industry questions as needed.
Applicant Insight services clients nationally and is able to tailor your program to fit your organization through security level access to ordering, review of results, billing, etc.
When deciding what type of employment verification best suits your needs, you should consider what you do with the results as well as how likely you are to get more than a standard answer after all. More and more companies will not allow their management or supervisors speak to outside employers for fear of litigation. Rather, those calls are referred to Human Resources who only reveals the time of service, title, and perhaps whether the person is eligible for rehire. Your success rate for the completion of employment verifications will improve greatly if you determine at the setup of your account that you wish only to have basic verifications performed because we can go directly to HR for the results without trying to catch a supervisor on an often busy floor to call us back. For more information regarding verifications of employment and education searches, please read our Verifications Best Practices brochure.
Applicant Insight utilizes designated quality control personnel that review all results prior to releasing the report to our client. In addition, Applicant Insight utilizes our Compliance Department to perform monthly audits of our internal and external suppliers of information. Similarly, since all disputes come directly into our Compliance Department, any dispute yielding different information than originally provided results in thorough auditing.