When people hear the words “background check,” they often think of a computer churning out a neat little report in which everything someone ever did is contained. Unfortunately, in real life, background checks are not always so simple or so comprehensive, and many things “slip through the cracks” of general background criminal reporting.
In order to understand why this is so, you must first understand one important fact: law enforcement in the United States is not a unified, cohesive structure. There are levels and layers of law enforcement agencies that do not necessarily report to or share information with each other. Different police departments have jurisdiction over certain types of crimes. Depending on where the act occurred, a local, state or federal law enforcement agency may be involved. Different jurisdictions may have more than one type of law enforcement agency operating and there may be confusion as to who has prosecutorial rights in a given matter.
This leads to some complex hierarchies when it comes to prosecuting crime. It also leads to confusion when an employer or landlord wants to find out if someone has a criminal history.
How Can I Find Out If Someone Is A Criminal?
Ultimately, you have to accept the fact that you can probably never know all about a person’s past. Fortunately, you do not need to know all of that information. As a landlord or an employer, do you really care if someone had a speeding ticket in Iowa 20 years ago? Most landlords and employers ask, “How can I get a comprehensive background check?” when what they really mean is, “How can I find out if someone is a criminal?”
Finding out if someone has a criminal record first requires determining what you consider a criminal record. For most landlords and employers, this means violent offenses or those involving theft, the two biggest problems facing you if you rent to or hire someone. If you are hiring drivers, you may also be interested in driving history, particularly DUIs, speeding tickets and reckless driving convictions. Finding out this information is not simple but is far easier than finding every single infraction someone may ever have committed.
Discovering Important Information Is Easy With CheckPoint
CheckPoint understands that as an employer or landlord, you want to know with certainty that your employees and tenants are not dangerous and have no serious criminal history. This means that you need a sweep of two basic databases: the federal crime database and a county records search.
CheckPoint offers these criminal background checks as a service to its clients. When you opt for the county record search, you can be sure that you are not seeing only the federal database results, which is often the case with “pay-as-you-go” services.
A background check that includes both federal and county record searches will give you the information you need to determine if an applicant has a history of theft or violent crime. You can also add the DMV record search if you are hiring drivers.
With CheckPoint, you will get the information you need quickly and can be confident in making a hiring or rental decision based on criminal history.
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