Run a Background Check on Yourself

For anyone other than a law enforcement official with access to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, getting the complete picture on a person’s criminal background can be time consuming and expensive. Here’s why.

The NCIC system maintained by the FBI collects and disseminates criminal history information nationwide. Unfortunately, only law enforcement personnel are permitted access. For anyone else that needs to search a criminal database, criminal history information is limited to what might be available on a statewide basis, and that is if the state will even furnish the information.

The fact is, most states do not allow access to their criminal records and those that do often restrict what they will make available. Some states will only furnish information for the past calendar year. Some only provide information on felonies, while others will only provide information on convictions.

Some require signed releases on special state forms and some require formal signed and notarized requests. Then there are those that will not furnish criminal record information under any circumstances. In such cases, the only alternative is to conduct the criminal record search in the county where the arrest took place.

Things have gotten easier in the last few years as databases are stored on faster servers and maintained much better. The information is accessed easier, making it easier for sites that disseminate this information to get it to the person inquiring. Also, even though security of records has always been important, securing this information has gotten better with encryption and monitoring.

But how do you know where to look? Even if you have accurate information on names the subject has used and know where he or she has resided, you could still miss finding criminal records if the person was arrested in another county.

That’s because a search of county criminal records will only reveal information maintained in that particular county. In some states, doing a statewide criminal record search county by county would require searching records in over 100 counties, one by one. This is not only time consuming, it can be expensive!

When you order a criminal record search or federal background check, it is important that you know not only what you are getting but especially what you’re not getting. Otherwise you could be placing a false reliance on a criminal check you assumed was comprehensive in nature.

Remember this. Other than NCIC, no criminal record system is anywhere close to being comprehensive. Each has limitations of one kind or another. If you don’t want nasty surprises, learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of different criminal record systems here on our site.

Why a Crime Records Search is Necessary for Business

Job hunters should pre-screen themselves

Are you possibly an unknowing victim of identity theft by a criminal? Someone could have a public record that they never knew existed.

A new epidemic, “identity theft” is sweeping the nation. It occurs when an imposter commits a crime or seeks credit using the identity of someone else. Victims of criminal identity theft often have no clue that someone has stolen their identity and committed crimes in their name, giving them a record, until they are stopped for a traffic violation and the officer arrests them on the spot. This silent killer can go on to ruin their ability to find gainful employment for years to come, and unless they check their criminal records they may never suspect why.

Don’t wait until this happens to you. Can you be 100% sure your background is clear? Find out where to look up criminal records online and check your record to ensure there are no surprises in your background.

With the rise in negligent hiring laws and events like 911, employers are scrutinizing the backgrounds of potential hires more diligently then ever before. They will routinely check your references, driving record, credit report, and criminal history to ferret out the prospective employees who interview well but lack the experience and skill set to perform the job, or have a background that predisposes them to violence or illegal activity.

Employers have to. They are being held liable for the actions of their employees and negligent hiring suits can easily run into the millions of dollars. From the perspective of an employer, background screening doesn’t cost, it pays.

Job search not going well? Interviews, but no offers? Check your criminal record and make sure there is nothing barring you. You can bet your prospective employer will.

Employers need to protect their financial interest and avoid costly hiring mistakes

If you hire an individual without conducting a proper investigation of their background, you are setting your company up for potential negligent hiring lawsuits if it is discovered that the employee’s background contained something that would indicate a predisposition for misconduct on the job. Check criminal records before you hire an employee, childcare provider, nanny, babysitter, contractor, or anyone who will work closely with your assets, family, or children.

The best indication of future performance is past performance.

Many states now have negligent hiring laws that recognize that employers have the obligation to run a background check on all current and new hires. Employers can now be held responsible for the actions of their employees when an injury is caused, if it can be proved that the business was negligent in did not investigate their employees criminal backgrounds and other information that would have given an indication of potential misconduct. If negligence can be proved on the employer’s part when an employee causes harm to anyone, they can be found liable. This alone can potentially ruin a business.

Could this be your company?

Tallahassee Furniture Co., Inc. v. Harrison awarded $2.5 million for negligently hiring a delivery man who savagely attacked a woman customer in her home. According to the lawsuit, the employee had a criminal history of violence that could easily have been identified during a background check.