Some companies don’t have the budget for background checks or just don’t want to spend a lot of money, thus they run limited checks. However, if you want to avoid negligent hiring lawsuits, it’s best to run a comprehensive background check. The National Criminal Database Search is a great search but it can leave out a lot of information as discussed in our last article The Swiss Cheese that is a National Criminal Database Search. The best way to get the most up to date information is to go directly to the source, i.e. the county courthouse.
County Criminal Searches are the most accurate and comprehensive searches you can run because courthouses keep detailed information on file for each case number and most will update their records daily. When a person has an adjudication withheld or plea in abeyance ruling, it’s important to know when the probation ends because it’s the difference between reportable and non-reportable. This search returns information from a minimum of 7 years ago and up to 10 to 15 years ago for an additional fee, depending on the county. A standard county search includes both district and superior court searches, pulling information on all felony and misdemeanor charges in that county.
Each court houses information differently and therefore can take varying amounts of time to return information. Some have their information stored online, but others still use manual filing. This requires a researcher to contact the court and gather everything they can find, then filter through it to match the applicant’s information. Some courthouses tend to run at a slower pace and their turnaround time isn’t ideal, however, we push to get the information back as quickly as possible.
Just doing a county search would be as invaluable as just running a national search. You would need to know exactly where to look for it to be beneficial. There is no database that houses every single court’s records. Running both searches is really the only way to cover all your bases. If you can’t afford to search all the counties an applicant has lived in the past 7 years, running the National Criminal Search and a County Criminal Search where the applicant currently resides is a good option. Here at SimpliVerified, we can create a package that is the right price for your company to make sure you get a quality search that fits your budget.