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Performing a criminal background check can help you to evade people who can be perilous, deceitful, and rash from entering your life. A criminal history check can give you all the details you require concerning a person to decide if you wish to invest more time in them.
Luckily, running a criminal background check is simpler than ever with background check services. TruthFinder, Intelius, and Instant Checkmate are a few of the top websites to look up an individual's criminal record fast, easily, and from the comfort of your own home.
Best Criminal Background Check Services
- TruthFinder – Best Overall Criminal Background Check Service
- Intelius – Best for Quick Results
- Instant Checkmate – Best for Extensive Criminal Records Database
- US Search – Best for Ease-of-Use
- PeopleFinders – Best for Reverse Phone Number Lookup
- Spokeo – Best for Affordability
It’s essential to have a solid understanding of the fact that the standards of the Fair Credit Reporting Act are not being met by these businesses. Thus, you shouldn't use them for anything professional, such as screening prospective renters or workers.
What Is a Criminal Background Check?
A criminal background check is a comprehensive review of all the data connected to an individual that can be found in state and federal public records. It’s possible to use any sort of identification details, such as a name, telephone number, or email address, to search for a person in publicly accessible records to unearth more facts.
The information you can come across through a criminal history check may involve personal particulars, occupations and learning, probable family and allies, past residences, criminal records, court records, sex offender information, social profiles, and assets.
But, if you decide to examine public records on your own, it’s improbable that you will be able to access each of these data. Using a criminal background check service increases the likelihood that you will get reliable information about an individual's history.
When utilizing criminal background check services, the ID data you provide is used in order to examine and analyze billions of federal and criminal records stored in their database. This data is then compiled into a report that can be read and distributed with ease.
Such a report may consist of the following:
- A full name
- Age and date of birth
- Criminal and arrest records
- Civil court records
- Educational background
- Employment history
- Financial assets
- Weapons permits
- Professional licenses
- Social media profiles
When a job offer is initially given to a potential employee, criminal background checks are usually undertaken before they commence work. Employers conduct criminal record checks to ensure that the information provided by applicants on their applications and throughout interviews is accurate and to look for any red flags that may indicate problems with the candidate.
Research has revealed that the vast majority of employers are likely to utilize at least one type of criminal history check when recruiting personnel.
The Professional Background Screening Association (formerly referred to as the National Association of Background Screeners) stated that 95% of those surveyed in 2018 had utilized criminal record checks of one kind or another. In addition, it’s common knowledge that companies will do similar checks on the applicant on several occasions while they’re employed by the organization.
What Shows up on a Criminal Background Check
A person's history of criminal charges and convictions, being put on trial, or being convicted may be revealed by conducting a criminal background check. In the majority of circumstances, the main purpose of these evaluations is to establish whether or not a possible employee has ever been found guilty of committing a minor or felony offense.
Employers are mainly interested in convictions, as they show proof of guilt, which an apprehension record or charges pending do not.
Criminal background checks can also frequently include prospective criminal charges or arrests. Given the lack of proof of guilt in the absence of a judgment and conviction, employers are typically cautioned not to place a great deal of attention on the results of criminal background checks. Instead, employers should place more weight on convictions.
In some cases, employers might take into account pre-conviction information and hesitate to make a hiring decision, but keep in mind that some states have laws in place that prohibit or limit employers from considering arrest records for employment purposes.
If you're wondering how to check criminal records, it's important to note that the majority of employers are not aware of the variances in laws regarding arrest records across states. Because of this, background checks omit any arrests that did not result in conviction from criminal background checks.
By removing this information from our reports, we assist employers who use our criminal history check to avoid violating state regulations inadvertently.
Specific details that will be included on criminal background check reports include:
- The accused, or the individual who is being held responsible for a criminal offense.
- The accused individual is indicted with a criminal act, which can either be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the offense.
- The way the charges were initially brought forward, the numbers that identified the charges and other significant information related to the trial were all filed.
- The decision was reached by the court in response to the accusation.
- The punishment could include time in prison or monetary fines.
- The outcome, or any specifics concerning a resolution in the legal matter.
It’s essential to note that a criminal conviction that has been expunged or sealed should not be disclosed in a criminal record check.
Recently, advocates of criminal justice have taken steps to eliminate some of the challenges related to expungement, particularly due to the fact that numerous individuals with convictions for offenses that aren’t illegal anymore have emerged as a result of the legalization of marijuana.
If an individual has succeeded in obtaining a court order to expunge or seal their records, those details should not be included in their criminal record check report. Rules concerning expungement may differ somewhat based on the state.
When it comes to the length of time that may be looked into during a criminal background check, state laws vary greatly from one another. In states such as California, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington, it’s against the law for background check companies to reveal details about convictions older than seven years.
Hawaii is even more restrictive in its regulations, with a seven-year limit for felonies and a five-year limit for misdemeanors. On the other hand, some states have no limitations regarding the length of time for criminal record checks.
How Long Do Criminal Background Checks Take?
Taking advantage of a reliable criminal record check service such as TruthFinder or Intelius will provide you with the outcome of your criminal background check in no time. As an alternative to making you wait for many days, these criminal record services are intended to provide you with results in a timely and convenient manner.
However, if you choose to get a criminal history check physically or through a state or consumer reporting agency, the procedure will take a great deal more time.
Although various criminal record checks can be finished and deliver results in 3 - 5 days, some can take longer. As an example, FBI checks generally require about 30 days for completion. Even though certain federal background checks can be handled more swiftly, it’s best to prepare for the full review that necessitates the 30-day wait.
Time delays with criminal record checks, be it for job candidates or existing employees, often occur due to the various states the individual has lived in. The more states they have lived in, the more databases that have to be searched, resulting in a long time to compile the necessary data. This is the most frequent cause of a slowdown.
Additionally, certain background checks require multiple information points (for instance, criminal record checks and credit checks). It’s possible that the procedure will take significantly more time to complete if several requests are included in the same criminal record check.
How To Conduct a Criminal Background Check
Carrying out a criminal record check can be done in two different ways. The difficult approach is to do it manually, meaning you would need to contact the appropriate public offices to get the records and then look through them yourself.
The easier approach is to use a people search service like TruthFinder. All you need to do is type in the individual's name, city, phone number, or even email address, and the criminal history check service will search through its database. This procedure may take a few minutes, but what you'll get in return is valid information.
How Much Does a Criminal Background Check Cost?
The amount of money spent on a criminal record check can vary significantly, from $10 to $500, depending on the components included in the report.
Criminal record checks on their own are usually cheaper than those that also incorporate employment, education, and drug screenings. To find the best criminal history check, people should compare the different elements included in the report to the total cost.
Before being allowed access to any of its reports, users of TruthFinder are required to register for a membership.
They charge $28 per month and $23 per month (if paid in one bulk payment of $46) for a two-month membership, and $4.99 per month for a one-month reverse phone lookup membership.
In addition, unless the user terminates their membership before the end of the month, it will automatically be repeated at the conclusion of the period. In addition, if a person wants to receive a criminal record check report from TruthFinder in PDF format, they will be forced to pay a price of $2.
Which Criminal Background Check Service is Best for Criminal Records Search?
Having realized how basic it is to implement a criminal record check with background check facilities, let's study the top three services in greater detail. We'll briefly examine each of these services to determine what makes them special in comparison to one another.
TruthFinder – Best Overall for Criminal Background Check
TruthFinder ranks high when it comes to criminal background checks, and its user-friendly website provides the ability to search using names, mobile numbers, or email addresses. It features the broadest criminal public record databases available, which allows for a great deal of accurate information about a specific individual.
Additionally, its criminal record check services combined with its dark web monitoring feature give access to information that is not accessible elsewhere on the internet. Their fees are $28.05 a month, or $46 for a two-month subscription. Our thorough TruthFinder review explains why it is the number one choice for a criminal record check.
Intelius – Best Criminal History Check Service for Accuracy
Intelius is comparable to TruthFinder with regard to criminal record checks. This countrywide people search service is renowned for its remarkably accurate results. It functions similarly to TruthFinder, and contains over 20 billion public records in its database, implying a vast wealth of information about any given individual.
When compared to TruthFinder, Intelius is a tad cheaper with its monthly plan priced at $24.86. The two-month plan has a total cost of $42.25. All in all, the service is analogous to TruthFinder except it does not feature a dark web monitoring tool, hence the relatively reduced cost. Don't forget to read our Intelius review before using their service to check someone's criminal history.
Instant Checkmate – Best Criminal Background Check Service for Speed
If you want an instant outcome from a criminal background check, Instant Checkmate could be the best option for you. This service is ideal if you favor ease of use since it has a mobile application and the background check results are speedy. This is a feature that you’re not likely to find with other criminal background check services.
Instant Checkmate has a significant collection of government records that it utilizes to come up with precise background details.
This service is on the costlier side with its monthly plan costing $34.78. They do not provide a 2-month plan, but they do have a 3-month package that is priced at $83.47. In addition to speed, Instant Checkmate takes pride in making sure your confidential information is safeguarded. For more info, go through our Instant Checkmate review.
Criminal History Check - Frequently Asked Questions
What Fails You on a Criminal Record Check?
If a criminal conviction appears in your history, you can fail a criminal background check. Additionally, if the criminal history check yields different data than what you have provided, you can also be unsuccessful. Furthermore, a bad credit score failed drug and alcohol tests, and a bad driving record can all cause you to be unsuccessful in a criminal background check.
How Can I Check My Own Background for Free?
It’s simple to use TruthFinder to carry out a private criminal record check and obtain one's criminal record as others may perceive it. There’s no way to look up your criminal history at no cost on the web. To obtain personal criminal record check details, you may need to fill out a request to the pertinent official organizations manually.
Criminal History Check: Bottom Line
If you need to find out facts about yourself, your kin, an old pal, or a possible associate, the services we've mentioned can support you to easily get accurate details.
Doing a criminal history check is not a simple task, particularly since you must get in contact with multiple government entities and submit an official document demand to everyone of them. In addition to paying an expense for each query, your job is not finished yet. You will still need to read through the papers that you have obtained in order to find the information that you’re seeking.
But that becomes effortless with the best criminal record check services. It’s sufficient to do a check using the individual's name, contact number, email, or physical address, and the people search service will make a thorough criminal background check report for you rapidly.