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By doing a criminal history check, you can keep risky, dishonest, and careless individuals out of your life. A criminal background check may provide you with all the details you need to assess a person's suitability for further interaction.
Fortunately for you, criminal background checks with reliable results have been made easy. Some fast and convenient sites are Truthfinder, Intelius, and Instant Checkmate.
Best Criminal Background Check Services
- TruthFinder – Best Overall Criminal Background Check Service
- Intelius – Best for Quick Results for Accuracy
- Instant Checkmate – Best for Speed
- US Search – Best for Ease-of-Use
- PeopleFinders – Best for Reverse Phone Number Lookup
- Spokeo – Best for Affordability
What’s a Criminal Background Check
The term "criminal background check" refers to the search of local, state, and federal databases for information on an individual. You may search for someone on public records using any ID information, such as their name, mobile number, or email address, to find out more about them.
A criminal record check might turn up a variety of data, including personal details, employment, and educational information, potential relatives and acquaintances, criminal records, court records, and location history. Moreover, it provides details on sex offenders.
But if you want to search public documents, access to all of this data is a long shot. If you employ criminal background check services, your chances of discovering correct background information on a person increase.
Background check services employ the identification information you supply to search through their databases, which include billions of federal and state criminal record checks, in order to discover the information that’s relevant to the query.
The information is then compiled into an easy-to-read report on the background check that they may share with others.
An average criminal history check report contains:
- Age & date of birth
- Civil court records
- Employment history
- A full name
- Criminal and arrest records
- Social media profiles
- Professional licenses
- Educational background
- Weapons permits
- Financial assets
Before someone works, a criminal background check is often conducted after an initial employment offer has been made.
Background checks are performed on job applicants by employers to make sure there are no warning signs and to verify the accuracy of the information given during the interview and in the application. The research indicates that an overwhelming majority of companies do background checks, although they do so for a variety of reasons.
95% of the companies questioned in 2018 employed one or more forms of screening, according to the Professional Background Screening Association (formerly known as the National Association of Background Screeners).
According to the same survey, employers check on employees from time to time while they’re working for the business.
What Shows Up On a Criminal Background Check
Any information on crimes for which the individual has been accused, tried, or convicted may be revealed by a criminal history check. In most instances, the main objective of these checks is to determine whether a candidate has ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Employers are particularly concerned about convictions because they provide evidence of guilt, an arrest history, or a charge that’s still pending. Criminal background checks may contain information about current or past arrests or charges. Due to the lack of evidence of guilt in the absence of a judgment and conviction, employers are sometimes urged not to place as much weight on these results.
Certain businesses may use pre-conviction information when making a hiring decision, however, keep in mind that regulations in some jurisdictions prohibit or forbid employers from taking criminal record checks into account.
Some background check sites don’t include any arrests that didn’t result in a conviction since the rules governing criminal record checks differ from state to state.
Specific details that’ll be included on criminal background check reports include:
- The accused person's name, aka defendant
- The crime for which the defendant was prosecuted & the degree of the offense
- The manner of filing, including the case numbers assigned to the charges
- Pertinent information regarding the court case
- The decision or result of the charge
- The judgment, including any fines or prison term imposed
- Any specifics of a settlement
An expunged criminal conviction is one item that should never appear on a criminal history check. Since marijuana has been legalized throughout the country, activists for criminal justice reform have taken action to eliminate some of the obstacles to expungement. As a result, many ex-offenders hold convictions for crimes that are no longer punishable by law.
A subject's criminal record check should no longer include information on their records if they’ve been successfully petitioned by the court to have them sealed or erased. Every state has a somewhat different set of expungement laws. State laws also differ in regards to how far back in time criminal history checks may go.
Services that check criminal records are prohibited from disclosing information regarding convictions that are older than 7 years in California, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Washington, and Montana among other states.
This legislation is harsher in Hawaii, where misdemeanors are only punishable for five years and felonies for seven. The amount of time that criminal background checks may look back is uncapped in several other jurisdictions.
How Long Do Criminal Background Checks Take
It should just take a few minutes to get the findings of criminal history if you choose a reputable background check provider like TruthFinder or Intelius. This is so that you don't have to wait days for results, instead, you can get them fast and easily with these services.
It may take a lot longer if you want to get a criminal background check personally, via a government agency, or through a consumer reporting service. Many criminal record checks may be completed and the findings returned in 3 to 5 days, but others may take longer. For instance, FBI investigations typically take 30 days to complete.
Despite the fact that certain criminal record checks may be conducted more quickly, it’s essential to prepare for the thorough analysis that necessitates the 30-day wait.
Criminal record checks for prospective workers or existing employees are sometimes delayed depending on how many states the individual has resided in. The more states there are, the more databases there are to search, and the longer it could take to get the required data.
Additionally, certain criminal record checks need many pieces of information (e.g., criminal background checks and credit checks). The length of the criminal background check may increase with the number of requests you submit.
How to Conduct a Criminal Background Check
There are two ways to do a criminal history check, one is challenging and the other is simple.
Going the manual path, contacting the appropriate governmental agencies in order to get public records, making a request for these documents, and then sifting through those records to locate the information are all components of the difficult approach.
The simple method is to use a criminal record check service like TruthFinder to do a criminal history check. By doing so, you may quickly do a criminal history check by just inputting the name, city, and phone number of your target person. Even using their email address, you may seek someone utilizing reverse phone lookup software.
To do a criminal record check, all you need to do is input the information you already know about a person into the service's search bar. The procedure could take a few minutes, but if it takes more time, you can be confident that you're getting a lot of real information.
How Much Does a Criminal Background Check Cost
A criminal background check normally costs between $10 and $500. The cost is determined by the elements included in the background investigation. Criminal background checks that solely include criminal record checks are often less costly than reports that include job, education, and drug testing.
When comparing providers, you must weigh the cost of the criminal background checks against the overall report cost.
If you want to utilize TruthFinder to do a criminal history check, you must register before receiving any findings. Customers are charged $28 per month by the website, and $23 per month (paid in a single payment of $46) for a two-month subscription.
For $4.99 a month, the business also offers a one-month subscription for reverse phone lookups.
If you don't cancel your membership before it expires, it’ll be automatically renewed. It's also worth noting that TruthFinder charges an extra $2 for access to the PDF version of the criminal background check.
Which Background Check Service Is Best for Criminal Records Search
Now that you’re aware of how simple it is to use a criminal background check service, let's examine the top three services in more detail. To understand how these services differ from one another, let's quickly review each one.
TruthFinder – Best Overall for Criminal Background Check
In terms of criminal background checks, TruthFinder is the first pick. You may easily do a variety of searches using names, mobile numbers, or mailing addresses on its very user-friendly website.
It has access to one of the largest databases of criminal background checks, allowing it to gather a substantial quantity of precise information on a specific person.
With the use of TruthFinder's criminal background check services and dark web monitoring tool, you may acquire data that isn't available online. The cost of TruthFinder is $28.05 each month, or $46 if you choose a two-month membership.
Intelius – Best Criminal Background Check Service for Accuracy
In terms of criminal history checks, Intelius is comparable to TruthFinder. The nicest part of this countrywide criminal background check is its very precise results.
It functions virtually identically to TruthFinder and features a database with over 20 billion public documents, giving you access to a vast amount of information about any person.
When compared to TruthFinder, Intelius offers a monthly package for $24.86. The total cost if you choose the 2-month plan is $42.25. Overall, the service is quite similar to TruthFinder but lacks the dark web surveillance capability, therefore the somewhat reduced cost.
Instant Checkmate – Best Criminal Background Check Service for Speed
Instant Checkmate can be your best option if you need the results of a criminal background check quickly. Because it delivers results in a flash and also provides a mobile app, this provider of criminal background checks is an excellent choice for those who place a premium on convenience. This is a feature you won't likely discover with another criminal history check service.
To provide a precise criminal background check, Instant Checkmate employs a large collection of public documents. With a monthly plan of $34.78 for this service, it’s on the more expensive end of the range. Instead of the 2-month plan, it provides a 3-month bundle for $83.47.
In addition to speed, Instant Checkmate takes pride in protecting the privacy of its users.
Criminal Records Check - Frequently Asked Questions
What Fails You On a Background Check?
If a prior conviction appears on your record, you may be disqualified from undergoing a criminal background check. Failure is also possible if the criminal background check reveals information that differs from what you said.
A failed drug or alcohol test or driving record might also result in a negative criminal background check.
How Can I Check My Own Background for Free?
TruthFinder makes it simple to do a criminal background check on yourself and see how your criminal record check appears to the public.
There’s no free internet option to check your personal criminal history. To get information on a person's background check, you may need to submit a manual application to the appropriate governmental authorities.
Bottom Line - Best Criminal Background Check
The services we've described above may assist you in finding correct information with ease, whether you want to conduct a criminal background check to examine your own information, on a family member, or an old acquaintance, or to learn the truth about a spouse.
The process of doing criminal background checks isn’t simple, particularly because you must contact many governmental agencies and file a request for public records with each of them. You still have work to perform besides paying a charge for each request.
To locate the information you need, you must still scan the papers you get. With TruthFinder, everything is simple. Run a search for your target person using their name, phone number, email address, or physical address, and the criminal background checks service will quickly put together a thorough criminal background check report for you.