Q. - Where does your data come from?
A. - We obtain criminal records from publicly available sources. Our instant criminal data may contain information from county courts, state courts, the state Administration of Courts and the state Department of Corrections. We also collect publicly available information such as bankruptcy information, current and previous address history, property records and much more.
Q. - What is a National Criminal Background Check?
A. - A report that searches millions of criminal records and automatically cross references the results to return a single comprehensive report.
Q. - How current is the data I am searching?
A. - We collect publically available information from hundreds of data sources which include county courts, state Administration of Courts, state Department of Corrections and many more. We have limited control in their update frequency as it is set by and varies by each datasource. However, data strength is one of many aspects that sets us apart from our competitors and we go to great lengths to acquire and maintain our data. We are continually evaluating our processes to ensure timely and quality results.
Q. - What are public records and publicly available information?
A. - Public records is information that has been filed or recorded by local, state, federal or other government agencies, such as corporate and property records. Public records are created by the federal and local government, (vital records, immigration records, real estate records, driving records, criminal records, etc.) or by the individual (magazine subscriptions, voter registration, etc.). Most essential public records are maintained by the government and many are accessible to the public, availability is determined by federal, state, and local regulations.
Q. - Do you have information on people under the age of 18?
A. - Juvenile records are not part of our coverage. Information on most juvenile offenses is not released and most courts and states do not provide information on people under 16.
Q. - Do your reports provide credit history?
A. -No, we do not provide results on an individual's credit history. Ones credit history is not publically available and is considered private information.
Q. - Do your reports provide Date of Birth and Social Security Number information?
A. - No, Social Security Number information is private and is not publically available. However, date of birth information is commonly found in public records. Many of our criminal record data sources include date of birth in the information they provide.
Q. - Do you provide financial records, such as bank account information?
A. - No, bank account information is considered private and is not publically available. However, we do provide reports that may include bankruptcy information which is publically available and may be viewed as a financial record.
Q. - I didn’t get the records I was expecting to find on myself.
A. -There are several reasons why 0 records might be found.
- The search was conducted with incorrect information like a misspelled first or last name and/or the incorrect DOB or age.
- You entered a hyphenated name, middle initial in the first name box, a suffix such as JR, SR II, III, IV at the end of the last name or a special character in the first or last name box.
- The search was conducted by name and DOB; but available public records do not associate this name and/or DOB with this.
- The person searched is a minor and we do not search juvenile records.
- Hyphenated Names, two First Names, Nick Names and Middle Names
- - Our database does not provide results for hyphenated names, therefore, you must enter the last name with a space rather than a hyphen (-) or you may use the last part of the hyphenated name for the best results. Do not add any generations such as Jr. Sr. II or III.
- Two first names
- - We are referring to names like Bobbie Sue, Amy Lynn and Billie Joe - please do not use them. Use only the first part of the two-part name as any extension of the name will be reported. Example, if you are searching Amy Lynn - Just use Amy and if there is a match with Amy Lynn it will come back.
Q. - The information reported in your reports is wrong. Can I update it?
A. - We obtain information from public records. If you believe that the public record is itself incorrect, you will need to contact the public agency that holds that record.
Q. - Who are your datasource providers?
A. - We have access to one of the largest public records database in the U.S., our sources include hundreds of direct sources such as county courts, state Administration of Courts, state Department of Corrections and many more. We also utilize third party data providers which allows us access to billions of records thus improving the quality and volume of your results.___________________________________________________________________
Q. - What is an instant criminal search?
A. - An instant criminal search is the ability to access our database which is comprised of data provided by various county, state and federal agencies. For example, Texas has several counties that offer their criminal information for database compiling. Likewise, the State of Texas collects information from all the counties and offers a statewide database. It is important to note that the data, by nature, may not be current due to the lag between the time a suspect is charged or case has been concluded and the time the data is actually reported to state, county and federal agencies. Due to these inherent delays, we recommend performing a hand search at the county level, in addition to the instant search, to ensure that the data collected and reported is complete and up-to-date.
Q. - Are instant criminal searches accurate and thorough?
A. - An instant search is only as accurate as the state, local or federal agency reporting the data. Instant database searches can be updated as frequently as daily or semi-annually. That is why it is extremely important to make sure you know ahead of time how often a search is updated. We provide descriptions of each source and how often it is scheduled to be updated.
Q. - What is the difference between an instant criminal search and a county criminal courthouse search?
A. - The instant criminal search queries a database consisting of several sources to quickly check for any criminal related records. Aside from the obvious advantage of being instant it also offers a wider scope. The disadvantage is that as a database search, the records retrieved are often less detailed and not as current as a county search. In contrast, the county criminal search is more accurate and complete because it is updated as suspects are booked and court cases are filed. Results can take up to 72 hours.
Q. - When should I use an instant criminal search vs. a county criminal search?
A. - If you know a subject committed an offense in a particular county, order a county criminal search where the actual records were filed. If you know someone committed an offense in a particular state but you are not sure where, try an instant criminal search which covers an entire state. We recommend that any results returned by the instant criminal search be followed up with a county criminal search of the counties where the offenses were committed. This will ensure the most accurate results.
Q. - Once I receive the report, how easy is it to understand?
A. - Without exception, we provide the most easy-to-understand data available. We use a proprietary data translation protocol to interpret and simplify complex data. This ensures that you understand all of the information reported.
Q. - What is the difference between the Statewide Criminal Background Check and the traditional product called the Statewide Criminal?
A. - The Statewide Criminal Background Check is an instant search that hits our databases and returns results immediately, while a Statewide Criminal is a traditional search where reports are sent to the court house(s) and data is pulled from there.
Q. - Why should I run an instant search versus a county or statewide search?
A. - The instant database is a great preliminary-comprehensive search that allows you to view criminal records quickly and efficiently. This search can help the client determine whether they need to continue on with the applicant's background. The collection of information that is in our database can help the client make on the spot decisions on their potential applicants. This is a very cost effective search that can help save time and money for our clients. The scope of information can go all the way back into the 1970's all the way up till today. The Instant Database covers a wide variety of information across each state which includes but not limited to Department of Corrections, Administration of Courts, county courts and sex offender registries within a state. Statewide and County searches can give you a more in depth information on the applicant's possible criminal, civil or Federal Background. However, the information is not instant and can take anywhere from 1 business day on up to 4 business days to have the information returned to the client. The information that is provided on a county search comes directly from law enforcement agencies in real time. County criminal searches do go back a minimum of seven years and include infractions, traffics, misdemeanors and felonies. We also provide criminal records on the State Level, the information is reported from the county directly to the state. However, since the state depends on the county to provide all criminal records there can be instances where a conviction has been reported on the county level but not to the individual state.
Q. - Can I use this criminal data to make a hiring decision?
A. - No. Per the FCRA (http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf), if a potential employer decides to make a hiring decision based on any information that has been provided to them, they must notify the consumer of this.
Q. - I know my brother has spent time in jail but the search on his name came back clear. Why?
A. - We collect criminal data from all across the country and from various data sources. If we do not have a record, it is possible that we do not get information directly from that county and/or state source and if we do in fact cover that location, it is possible they did not provide the data to us due to an error or a regulation under state law.