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You can reduce the chances of interacting with unethical people if you investigate their criminal records. Doing so will give you all the details you need to decide whether you want to carry on with them. Employers usually carry out criminal checks on potential workers to make sure they don't have any dubious background.
Fortunately, nowadays it’s easier than ever to use background check services. There are several reliable online resources such as TruthFinder, Instant Checkmate, and Intelius which can make it a fast and effortless process.
Best Criminal Background Check Services
- TruthFinder – Best Criminal Background Check Service Overall
- Intelius – Best for Accurate Results
- Instant Checkmate – Best for Speedy Results
- US Search – Best for Ease-of-Use
- PeopleFinders – Best for Reverse Phone Lookup
- Spokeo – Best for Affordability
Criminal background checks aren’t in line with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, limiting their utilization to non-business purposes.
What Is a Criminal Background Check
The phrase "criminal background check" is a description of an elaborate examination of databases held by local, state, and federal governments to produce data on a particular person. Anybody's name, number, or address can retrieve their public record and discover more facts about them.
A criminal records search may unearth a variety of information, including biographical information, prior occupations, and education, likely connections to the person, former addresses, criminal, and court files, sex offender information, social profiles, and even real estate.
It may be possible to discover this data if you manually search public records, yet it’s unlikely and tedious. If you use an agency to do criminal background checks, you have a better chance of obtaining precise background information on the subject you’re studying.
A background check service utilizes the data that you provide to investigate countless federal and state criminal records to find what’s applicable to the investigation. This information is assembled into a comprehensible and accessible background check report.
Generally, a criminal background check report will include:
- Social media profiles
- Financial assets
- Professional licenses
- Employment history
- Criminal and arrest records
- Weapons permits
- Educational background
- Full name
- Age and date of birth
- Civil court records
After a job offer has been presented to a potential employee, employers commonly conduct criminal background checks to confirm the information provided by the candidate in the application and during the interview process.
In 2018, a poll by the Professional Background Screening Association (formerly known as the National Association of Background Screeners) showed that 95% of businesses take part in some type of employment background screening.
This survey also concluded that criminal background checks are carried out frequently while the employee is employed with the organization.
What Shows up on a Criminal Background Check
A criminal background check could reveal information about any legal proceedings, hearings, or punishments that the individual may have encountered. The most common cause of performing a criminal background check is to find out if the candidate has a criminal record.
A sentence is the most significant factor for employers to take into account since it supplies proof of culpability, but an arrest history or an instance that’s still open doesn’t.
Accusations and detentions that haven’t been resolved yet will also appear in criminal background checks. Since there’s no verification of guilt in the absence of a ruling and sentence, employers are sometimes encouraged not to put as much emphasis on these results as on convictions in criminal background checks.
It’s essential to remember that some regions have regulations that either forbid or greatly limit how businesses may utilize arrest records from criminal background checks when selecting someone for a job, even if those files have been removed.
Some background check sites don’t contain arrests that didn’t end in a conviction as the typical employer doesn’t comprehend how the regulations concerning arrest records differ from state to state. By leaving out this data, it’s made sure that customers aren’t unknowingly violating any laws in the areas in which they are running.
Specific details that will be included on criminal background check reports include:
- The accused or the defendant
- The alleged crime that led to the defendant's arrest (whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor)
- The initial filing and any associated case numbers for the charges
- The judgment rendered by the court on the charges
- Chosen penalty, sentence or monetary fines
- Outcomes of the case
Criminal Background checks should never include criminal convictions that have been expunged or sealed. Despite this, some individuals with convictions for offenses that are now lawful are still unable to have them removed, so campaigners for criminal justice reform have been striving in recent times to reduce the challenges that stand in the way of expungement.
A person's criminal records shouldn’t be included in a criminal background check if they’ve been successful in their petition to the court to have them sealed or expunged. It’s essential to keep in mind that each state has distinctive expungement rules.
The extent to which criminal records are legally accessible for criminal background checks is subject to variation across state laws. Companies conducting such checks in California, Kansas, New Hampshire, Maryland, Montana, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington aren’t allowed to provide information concerning convictions that are more than seven years old.
This legal requirement is even stricter in Hawaii, where felony convictions are limited to seven years and misdemeanors to five years. In some states, there’s no legal limit on how far back criminal history checks may go.
How Long Do Criminal Record Checks Take
Using reliable criminal record check sites like TruthFinder or Intelius, it should only take a few minutes to get the results of a criminal history check. This is because these services are designed to give you quick results instead of making you wait for days.
If you're wondering how to check criminal records, doing it yourself or through a consumer reporting agency or the government could take much longer. Most criminal background checks can be completed in 3 to 5 days, but some may take longer.
For example, an FBI background check usually takes 30 days to process. Even though you can speed up some federal criminal history checks, it’s best to plan for the 30-day wait period for the entire review.
The process of conducting criminal record checks on potential or current employees may be slowed if they have resided in multiple states. This is due to the need to access a sizable amount of databases, which can be time-consuming.
Additionally, if a criminal record check requires numerous pieces of information (e.g. criminal and credit reports), requesting them could also lead to a longer wait.
How to Conduct a Criminal History Check
Investigating a person's background can be done in two ways, the tedious route or the convenient way. Going through the laborious process of reaching out to the appropriate government bodies, asking for documents, and going through them to acquire the needed information is the hard way.
On the other hand, you can use a criminal record check such as TruthFinder to investigate criminal records. All you need is a name, address, phone number, or email address to carry out a background check swiftly. Reverse phone search software can also be employed to locate a person's contact information.
To perform a criminal record check, you simply need to enter the details you’re aware of regarding a person into the search bar of the service. It may take some time to complete, however the longer you wait, the more reliable the results will be.
How Much Does a Criminal Background Check Cost
The price of a criminal record check can range from $10 to $500, based on the extent of the investigation. Typically, criminal record checks are more affordable than those that include verifications of employment, education, and drug testing.
To make the best decision, you should take into account not only the overall cost of the report but also the cost per search or report.
For TruthFinder's criminal background check service, people must first sign up for a subscription. The cost is $28 per month or $46 for two months of access ($23 each month). The service also offers a one-month subscription of $4.99 which includes a reverse phone lookup.
If the member doesn’t terminate their membership before the expiration of the current term, it’ll be automatically renewed at the conclusion of the current period. Additionally, there’s an additional expense of $2 for obtaining the PDF version of the background check.
Which Background Check Service Is Best for Criminal Record Checks
Once we understand the ease of utilizing a criminal record check service, we’ll look into the three most popular services in closer detail. We’ll quickly go through the basics of each service so you can recognize their distinctions.
TruthFinder – Best for Criminal Background Check Overall
In terms of a criminal background check, TruthFinder ranks among the best. You can quickly and easily search using a range of criteria, such as names, telephone numbers, and email addresses. It has access to one of the most extensive collections of criminal public record data, so it can offer a great deal of accurate info about a person.
Using TruthFinder's criminal record check services along with its dark web surveillance technology, you have access to info that cannot be accessed publicly. To use the service, it costs $28.05 per month or $46 for a two-month subscription.
Intelius – Best Criminal Background Check Service for Accuracy
If you desire to have a criminal record check, Intelius is just as effective as TruthFinder. It has the highest success rate of any people search service, making it the optimal choice. It’s very similar to TruthFinder in operation, and its database of over 20 billion public documents provides unprecedented access to information about almost anybody.
Intelius's $24.86 monthly package is cheaper than TruthFinder's $27. If you sign up for a two-month plan, you’ll be charged $42.25. Generally speaking, the service is very comparable to TruthFinder, but without the dark web surveillance tool and therefore significantly more affordable.
Instant Checkmate – Best Criminal Background Check Service for Speed
If you're searching for speedy criminal background check results, Instant Checkmate is the ideal option. It stands out from other criminal record checks due to its mobile app, which makes it especially convenient.
The company compiles its data from a comprehensive list of public records, but its fees are slightly more expensive at $34.78 per month, with a minimum of three months for $83.47. It's reassuring to know that Instant Checkmate ensures your confidential information is secure.
Criminal Background Check - Frequently Asked Questions
What Fails You on a Background Check?
A criminal conviction in your past could disqualify you from passing a criminal record check. Additionally, if the criminal record check reveals discrepancies between the statements you made and the facts, you’ll not pass. A negative credit report, a failed substance abuse test, or an accident on your driving record could all lead to a failed criminal background check.
How Can I Check My Own Background for Free?
TruthFinder provides a straightforward way to check your criminal background and find out how it looks to the public. Unfortunately, there’s no way to do a free criminal history check on the internet. To get a personal criminal history check, you would have to submit a request to the relevant government institutions.
Bottom Line - Criminal Background Check
You can use criminal background check services for a variety of purposes, such as to look into your own data, to research a relative or an old friend, or to check up on a potential spouse.
Retrieving the data you need is a complex process that requires you to contact many government organizations and submit a public records request to each one. Additionally, you’ll have to pay a fee for each request. Once you have the paperwork, you’ll still need to go through it to find the information you are looking for.
Fortunately, criminal background check services like TruthFinder and Intelius have made the whole task much easier. If you have the individual's name, phone number, email address, or address, you can use these details to start a search with a criminal history check, which will generate a comprehensive criminal history report quickly.