There are several types of criminal record searches available to employers, some more accurate and up to date than others. These "third party" background checking agencies cannot guarantee the accuracy of their information, thus many of them have incomplete records or inaccurate records. The only way to conduct an accurate background check is to go directly through the state. Most times using the state of choice is much cheaper than using a "third party" agency. Many websites offer the "instant" background check, which will search a compilation of databases containing public information for a fee. These "instant" searches originate from a variety of sources, from statewide court and corrections records to law enforcement records which usually stem from county or metro law enforcement offices. There are also other database-type criminal searches, such as statewide repositories and the national crime file. A commonly used criminal search by employers who outsource is the county criminal search.
In the 21st century, there has been controversy about for-profit data mining companies that harvest much of the electronic booking blotter records from various police authorities[104] nationwide and offer it free on the public Internet and for sale to employers. Though frequently effective at identifying applicants with criminal backgrounds, the mined data does not usually reflect subsequent results of any criminal prosecution, acquittal, or dismissal of charges,[105] and the highly prejudicial nature of such records can damage applicant chances for jobs and other benefits when such records are not in proper context of subsequent prosecutorial result for a hiring manager or recruiter to evaluate. In many cases, records are available for seven years[106] or more beyond acquittals or dismissal of charges. In addition, since arrest records can sometimes be mistakenly matched to individuals with the same or similar names, the prejudicial nature of the available records, particularly violent ones, can negatively affect applicants and candidates in a dramatic way when they otherwise have no actual criminal record.[107]
A person can obtain a copy of their criminal history from the National Criminal Register, by contacting the central information office of the KRK in Warsaw, or information points of the KRK located within Polish common courts.[84] In order to receive a copy of your criminal record, you must complete a form, stating the reasons for your request, and pay a fee (in July 2018: 20PLN for a digital copy, or 30PLN for a paper copy). An employer may also apply directly for disclosure in relation to a prospective employee if this is permitted under Polish laws or regulations (for example, in relation to employment in the security industry or employment involving contact with children). The written consent of the individual is not required.
If it's very important that the background check be completely accurate, you may want to consider hiring a private investigator. However, most of the time, such background investigations are reserved for high-level pre-employment investigations, executive-level background checks and board-of-director confirmations, according to the Diligentia Group, a New York-based private investigation firm.

For each report, we had the subject verify the information about their addresses, phone numbers, emails and relatives was correct. We saw that there was more variation with phone numbers and emails, especially cell numbers. Some of this may be due to how much a person shares on social media, but we noticed some background check companies didn’t include any of this information at all.

In fact, the service’s reports provide many of the basic pieces of information a background check should, including relatives, addresses, criminal history, court judgements, bankruptcies and assets. In addition, Intelius is one of the few background check services that lists educational history in its reports. This gives you another data point to use to get ahold of someone you’ve lost touch with. Intelius’ reports are easy to read and have a unique spider graph that shows how your subject is connected to relatives, jobs and other parts of their life. A background check through Intelius costs $49.95, which is the highest price we saw, though the company shares that distinction with several other services. A monthly subscription costs $29.95 and may be a better option. However, you need to remember to cancel your subscription when you are done using it. You can purchase a people search report, which doesn’t include information about criminal history and other legal matters, for $3.95. One of Intelius’ drawbacks is you can’t download the reports you purchase.

Job seekers can also benefit from running self-background checks. Even candidates with no criminal history or financial problems should run a background check to verify the public information tied to his or her name. Identity theft, inaccurate or missing information, and outdated traffic violations can all create red flags for employers. By conducting a self-background check, job seekers can assure they are being accurately represented and can meet potential problems head-on.
There are three main types of prisons in the United States that divide prisoners based on their crimes: maximum, medium and minimum security. The prisons exist to punish offenders, deter people from committing crimes and also to rehabilitate the people within their walls. The prisoners in state prisons have a daily routine that mandates them to wake up at specified times, go to sleep at specified times and act according the prison rules. Some inmates perform work on the prison premises and many state prisons offer education and rehabilitation programs to prepare the inmates for life outside of the prison.
While there are many kinds of crimes that can show up on a person’s criminal background check, felonies are the most serious crimes. There are different degrees to a felony, with first degree being the most serious. These crimes typically include murder, aggravated or grand theft, rape and other violent crimes. To be charged with a felony, prosecutors have to get indictment from a grand jury. For it to show up on a background check report, the person either admitted guilt or was found guilty by a jury and required to serve prison time.
Arrest Records are documents that contain an individual's arrest history. They are maintained by a number of government agencies at the federal, state, and local level, including local police departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and courts. Arrest Records contain an individual's arrests, arrest searches, inquiries, warrants, reports, logs, and mug shots.
Criminal offences can be pardoned either by the Governor General of Canada, Parole Board of Canada or through an Order in Council by the federal government, as determined by the crime involved under the Criminal Records Act. Pardon has been renamed as record suspension under Bill C-10, otherwise known as the omnibus crime bill or by its formal name Safe Streets and Communities Act, introduced by the Conservative government in 2011.[20][21] The change officially came into force on March 13, 2012.[22] In 2017, two provincial superior courts struck down the retroactive nature of these changes as unconstitutional. As a result, pardons are currently being granted to residents of BC and Ontario who were convicted prior to 2012.[23]
Unlike the handwritten criminal records of the past, nowadays these types of files are kept in computer databases. All police agencies that make arrests keep a record of them in their computer database. In addition to the police databases, each state keeps information on arrests and convictions in repositories according to their own guidelines. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FIOS), US residents can view their criminal records that become public records after they are documented.
In Cyprus, criminal records are held by the Criminal Investigation Office of Cyprus Police[29] which forms part of the Republic of Cyprus Minister of Justice and Public Order. A Clear Criminal Record Certificate or existing Criminal Record can be requested by individuals through application to the Criminal Investigation Office. Applications can be made in person at the Central Police Station in Nicosia. Criminal records in Cyprus are maintained for life.
As a general rule, employers may not take adverse action against an applicant or employee (not hiring or terminating them), solely on the basis of results obtained through a database search. Database searches, as opposed to source records searches (search of actual county courthouse records), are notoriously inaccurate, contain incomplete or outdated information, and should only be used as an added safety net when conducting a background check. Failure by employers to follow FCRA guidelines can result in hefty penalties.[18]

Candidates who are applying for jobs that require financial responsibility are often screened based on their credit scores and financial histories. Additionally, public records and professional listings compiled during background checks can help employers confirm a candidate’s work history and qualifications, making it easier to spot false information on a CV.
In the 21st century, there has been controversy about for-profit data mining companies that harvest much of the electronic booking blotter records from various police authorities[104] nationwide and offer it free on the public Internet and for sale to employers. Though frequently effective at identifying applicants with criminal backgrounds, the mined data does not usually reflect subsequent results of any criminal prosecution, acquittal, or dismissal of charges,[105] and the highly prejudicial nature of such records can damage applicant chances for jobs and other benefits when such records are not in proper context of subsequent prosecutorial result for a hiring manager or recruiter to evaluate. In many cases, records are available for seven years[106] or more beyond acquittals or dismissal of charges. In addition, since arrest records can sometimes be mistakenly matched to individuals with the same or similar names, the prejudicial nature of the available records, particularly violent ones, can negatively affect applicants and candidates in a dramatic way when they otherwise have no actual criminal record.[107]
In January 2014, Swedish criminal records became available online with the launch of a new website Lexbase. People were able to search criminal records of their friends, colleagues and neighbours, showing the location of convicted criminals in the past 5 years in their neighbourhood by plotting red dots on the map. The user is able to then pay a fee to get more information about the crime committed.[95] Lexbase has become the subject of intense criticism from Swedish media, government and the general public, given its alleged infringement on the right to privacy and increased social alienation of offenders.[96]
The Polish Ministry for Justice administers the National Criminal Register (KRK), and it is regulated by the Act on the National Criminal Register 2000 and the Act on the Protection of Personal Data 1997 (The Act).[83] The Act states that personal data is protected and can only be used for the public interest. Article 7(1) further states that data is only accessible to persons who fit certain criteria. Data can only be transferred to other entities, such as other law enforcement agencies, if their data protection meets the same standards, and if it is necessary for the public interest, or for the establishment of a legal claim (Article 47(4)).[83]

The Criminal Records Department of the Clerk of Court's office, located in room 2501 of the 19th Judicial District Courthouse at 300 North Boulevard, assists the Criminal Judges in the preparation and processing of criminal cases. The District Attorney's Office and various law enforcement agencies work closely with the Criminal Records Department. These agencies initiate the proceedings that culminate in the prosecution of an individual.
In Malta, criminal records are held by the Criminal Records Office which is maintained by the Malta Police.[70] Individual criminal records can be obtained by requesting a Conduct Certificate from the Malta Police. Requests can be made in writing if outside the country or in person at the Malta Police Headquarters in Floriana. According to Conduct Certificate Ordinance,[71] Chapter 77 of the Laws of Malta,[72] a court order is required to issue a Conduct Certificate of someone other than the person which it refers to. Information contained in the Conduct certificate includes a declaration of whether the person is in good conduct or a declaration containing the convictions recorded against the person. In Malta there is provision under the Probation Act for conviction to be removed from the criminal record. Criminal records are kept for a maximum of 10 years.[73]

A bankruptcy is a legal procedure where an individual or business seeks legal protection against the debts they have incurred. People file bankruptcy when their debt is so high they are incapable of paying it according to their creditors' terms. A bankruptcy is a serious mark on a person’s background report, but it’s not necessarily a red flag, as a high percentage of bankruptcies filed by individuals are the result of medical bills.


Reviewing Arrest Records is an important part of performing a background check. Most employers use background checks as part of their hiring process, and some are required by law to run a background check before hiring anyone. Landlords may also use Arrest Records to assess potential renters. Arrest records may also be used by post-secondary schools, the military, foster care services, firearms sellers, and driver's license offices to screen criminal history.

We spent over 40 hours evaluating background check services. To test them, we searched for three people with names ranging from common to uncommon. After purchasing reports from each company, we checked them for accuracy. Based on our results, Intelius is the best background check company overall. It has some of the lowest prices we saw, and its reports include information about work history, addresses and criminal records. The reports are current and especially useful for finding email addresses, since it pulled results other background searches didn’t find.     


As background check services turn into subscription services, the temptation for businesses to use the information for employment screening is extremely high. After all, anyone willing to pay around $30 to $50 per month can anonymously view unlimited background reports for as many applicants as they want. And there is little accountability or policing of how you use the information since it's all considered public record.
Disclosure of criminal records in Bulgaria is governed by Regulation No 8/26.02.2008 for the Functions and Organisation of the Activity of the Criminal Records Offices. The criminal record system for citizens of Bulgaria are kept in the Criminal Records Office located at every Regional Court in Bulgaria, and the Central Office of Criminal Records at the Ministry of Justice. There are two types of criminal records disclosed in Bulgaria; Conviction Status Certificate, and the Verification of Conviction Status. The Conviction Status Certificate contains personal information about the concerned individual (full name, personal identification number, date and place of birth, nationality, names of parents), details of all the convictions and the purpose of the Certificate. This Certificate is valid for 6 months from the date it was issued, and can only be applied for by the concerned individual, relative of individual, legal heir of the concerned individual, or a power of attorney. The Verification of Conviction Status contains personal information about the concerned individual (full name, personal identification number, date and place of birth, nationality, names of parents), details of all convictions, including whether rehabilitation was required, and information about all imposed administrative sanctions. There is no term of validity for this status; however, it can only be issued for an official purpose by governmental or law enforcement authorities. These records can be accessed through application to the Central Office of Criminal Records. The cost is approximately €2.60.
Most background screening providers use third-party vendors to pull and aggregate criminal record data from courthouses. However, Sterling does things differently. With CourtDirect™ – our proprietary fulfillment technology – we have automated direct digital access to 2,300+ US county jurisdictions (or 85% of Sterling’s court records). And we don’t stop there. When automation isn’t available, we have our team of court runners. Court records are collected 39% faster by our court runners than third-party vendors. That’s the power of owning and controlling our channels.
LACCH information is based completely on the fingerprint submission made at the time of arrest/booking. The best and most timely method to submit arrest information is through AFIS. The criminal history record can also be manually updated when the Bureau receives inked fingerprint cards from Sheriff's Offices and Police Departments not currently using AFIS.
Individuals and the self-employed cannot apply for a DBS check of their own criminal record, as they cannot ask an exempted question (a valid request for a person to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions) of themselves. Only organisations registered with the DBS can ask an exempted question and submit applications for criminal records checks. There are two types of registered organisation: a registered body, which is the employer; and an umbrella body, a registered body that processes criminal record checks for non-registered organisations who can ask the exempted question.

Using a background check to hire someone is a whole different can of worms , and requires strict compliance with federal and state laws, the most important being the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Most online background check providers don’t provide the level of data you need for this. We can’t say this enough: DO NOT USE YOUR RUN OF THE MILL ONLINE BACKGROUND CHECK PROVIDER FOR EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES. Instead, you need to use what’s called an FCRA compliant background check provider. We’ve heard good things about GoodHire and Checkr - both are well funded and profitable companies in Silicon Valley that are making background checks for employment simple and inexpensive.


The amount of information included on a background check depends to a large degree on the sensitivity of the reason for which it is conducted—e.g., somebody seeking employment at a minimum wage job would be subject to far fewer requirements than somebody applying to work for a law enforcement agency such as the FBI or jobs related to national security.
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