Cursory Nationwide Criminal Index Database Search
The source for information depends on the type of search being performed. Most searches are conducted by directly contacting the appropriate source, such as contacting a county court directly for a county criminal search or contacting past employers for employment verification.
We also conduct nationwide and statewide database searches. In doing this, we may scan a multitude of state‐run databases, in conjunction with county, state, and federal criminal history record searches. A cursory nationwide criminal database search helps identify jurisdictions on a broader scale where a person may have a criminal record. In addition to this, it helps search beyond states and counties where a candidate has worked, lived, or attended school.
Nationwide criminal index database search sources include, but are not limited to:
- Criminal records from state record repositories and some county and township courts
- Departments of correction and probation
- Sex offender registries from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam
- Information from state‐level agencies, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the FBI
- Local, state, and federal fugitive lists
Nationwide Criminal Database Search
This search locates potential criminal records with its nationwide scope. A Cursory Nationwide Criminal Index Database Search draws from over 525 million records from thousands of jurisdictions. This includes counties, department of corrections (DOC), administrative office of courts (AOC), and offender registries from all 50 states, plus Washington DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
Nationwide and Statewide Criminal Database Limitations
There are more than 7,000 significant courts in the United States that maintain criminal records. There is no nationwide criminal record index database that contains all these records. A “hit” on the ‘Nationwide’ or the ‘Statewide’ Criminal Database Check does not ensure that the applicant is a criminal, and a “clear” result does not ensure that the applicant does not have a criminal record. Vital information, such as file numbers, conviction dates, and personal identifiers, are often missing. Any database is only as reliable as its last update. What information is included, when it is included, and how it is included affects the quality and completeness of the database? Even official state repositories are dependent on counties for criminal record information, and counties may or may not be diligent, reliable, or timely in providing updates. For this reason, most state repositories do not have complete or up-to‐date information. The availability of criminal records varies greatly from state-to-state and county-to-county. A true “Statewide” Criminal Records Check is difficult, if not impossible, to find. There are few states that keep a publicly accessible central database of all criminal records. As a result of this, most “Statewide” Criminal Databases are compiled from a range of sources (including county record searches) by private database companies. Most criminal database searches are not compliant with the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) and similar state laws; therefore, any “hits” must be verified with the local jurisdiction.