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Tips for Conducting a Criminal Background Check

Aug 17, 2007
If you're seriously interested in knowing about criminal background checks, you need to think beyond the basics. This informative article takes a closer look at things you need to know about criminal background checks.

A criminal background check can give rise to many types of information about criminal/legal issues including arrests and convictions. If an allegation of child abuse is to be found it will be in the report as well. Criminal records information is not available to the general public in every state. Some states have criminal information online that is accessible whereas other states are more particular and require that a person interested in doing a criminal background check on another individual must fill out and submit a long and sometimes very involved, written application. In the case of written consent there is always a fee attached and fees vary greatly from state to state. There are often other requirements to be met as well including an authorization form and/or specific information to help identify an individual. This information might include, but not be limited to, a full name, address (street and mailing), birth date, social security number and county of current residence.

Statewide record systems for doing a criminal background check are not always the most reliable for two reasons. First of all there are often a minimum number of both courts and offenses that maintain extensive records and secondly, the statewide system often has limited ranges on specific dates. Searches for both "offenders" and "inmates" are for all intents and purposes, meant only for those people who were sentenced to a state prison, not a federal penitentiary. Child abuse registry criminal background checks are only available for public access in a small number of states. To obtain necessary information for your criminal background check regarding child abuse, the best thing to do is to get in touch with the child protective service agency in the state in question. Many states provide website access to sex offender registries (abbreviated to SORs) but the degree of information you can find is very minimal.

Now that we've covered those aspects of criminal background check, let's turn to some of the other factors that need to be considered.

To provide some examples of what different states offer in regard to information for conducting a criminal background check, we first look at Alabama. Alabama has a website for inmate searches but criminal records can be obtained by a telephone conversation. There is a setup fee and calls cost 35 cents a minute. Arizona provides a website for SORs and also takes phone or fax requests. Colorado has a SOR system as well but it can only be accessed by residents of the state. This state provides an Electronic Clearance System (ECS) and charges $6.85 per search. Connecticut on the other hand charges $25 for mail requests only while Florida has online access to their offenders but charges $23 for a criminal records search (with the exception of SORs which are done with no charge).

To continue with the look at the state searches for information for a criminal background check, we have Georgia, which offers an online database to look for offenders but for other searches charges a fee up to $20.00. Hawaii charges searchers $15 for a name search and $25 for a fingerprint search while the state of Illinois charges $12 for a name search and $14 for a fingerprint search and necessitates that the form for this information be ordered online.

If you've picked some pointers about criminal background checks that you can put into action, then by all means, do so. You won't really be able to gain any benefits from your new knowledge if you don't use it.
About the Author
Matthew Bass publishes BackgroundCheckWizard.com He provides more recommendations and information on
Criminal Background Checks that you can research on his website.
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