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The importance of a Criminal Background Check

criminal background check requestUnfortunately, we live in a crazy world. We live in a world where trust has become a luxury. We live in a time when people lie to get what they are after. So it is no wonder that there is a need to search criminal records in some particular situations.

Whenever you feel offended that your landlord gets a criminal background check on you, ask yourself why. There is nothing personal about it. Maybe that landlord did not check the public criminal records on a previous tenant, and he got in trouble because that same previous tenant has conducted criminal activities from that house/apartment. Which is why he has become a skeptic. You cannot blame him, now can you?

Employers conduct a free criminal background check whenever they want to hire a new applicant. Again, there is nothing personal about it. It’s just that people lie in their job applications every day. If that employer wouldn’t ask for a background check, he may get in trouble. Annually, there are billions of dollars paid in damage due to labor fraud. That criminal background checks the employer requests are just a way of eliminating liability. You can’t blame him for that.

As you can see, and these are just two examples, two out of many, there is a legitimate reason behind a background check and criminal record check (keep in mind that there is a huge difference between the two). People get in trouble because of lying and cheating. If there is a way to overcome all that, why not do it?

Requests for a criminal background check have risen in volume lately. This is the reason why there is an entirely new industry on the rise. Apart from the government agencies that used to be the sole source for such information, now there are more and more third party companies that engage in the very same activity.

Each time you request criminal records search from one of the government agencies you have to pay a nominal fee. Don’t dream of thinking that you will get it for free. The same goes with these third party companies. The difference is that some of them offer a free background check. This applies until a certain point.

Unlike the government agencies, the private companies have levels. Your fee will depend on the extension of the information you require. Depending on the depth of the background, the whole thing can get a bit pricey.

All in all, I believe you can see the practicality of a criminal history check. Nowadays, we must accept it as something normal whenever we want to rent a new place to live or apply to a job. There are a whole lot more domains where it uses, but I believe this is a good thing. This way people may learn to be more honest, or even better, not to commit crimes in order to have a chance at a better job, a better home, a better life in general.



Why do people need online criminal records?

A criminal record, also known as a rap sheet, is a record of a person’s criminal history. Everything from simple misdemeanors and felonies to pending charges or even acquitted charges can be found in this record for whoever is interested to see. You can even try to find criminal records online if you know where to look.
Usually, the criminal record depends on the geographic location and the agency that holds it, and it doesn’t include expunged convictions (not a set in a stone rule).

Unlike free public records, criminal records cannot be seen by anyone, and it’s not like you can just make a simple Google search. There are only a few categories of people who have access to them and only under certain circumstances.

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Use Of Criminal Records

There are various agencies and organizations that require a criminal record for a more thorough background check. The criminal background check is often the most important for some of these organizations, such as the United States Military.

Below are a few examples of institutions which require a criminal record for various reasons:

  1. Certain job applications – there are jobs that require sensitive work, especially government agencies, to which only people with a clean criminal history can apply. Certainly, you can see the need for this condition. Keep in mind that employers are bound by law to inform you that they will perform a background investigation and they need to have your permission before doing so.
  2. Immigration – if a person wants to immigrate to a new country, he or she will have to have a clean criminal record. Of course, not all countries have this rule, or, if they do, the rule only applies to certain categories of felonies. For example, just because you were you got a speeding ticket once, that doesn’t mean you cannot move to Great Britain.
  3. School admittance – there are schools which prefer their students with a clean background, including no criminal record. Here I refer to famous schools that do not wish to ruin their reputation by admitting students with a rap sheet. Of course, any private school has this choice.
  4. Military Service – I don’t believe I have too much explaining to do on this. When you say United States Military, it is self-explanatory.
  5. Firearm purchase – this is another self-explanatory example. What I wish to add is that not all felonies discard your chance of buying a gun. The usual offenses that do are assault (all forms), especially if committed with a firearm, robbery, basically, almost anything that involves violence.
  6. Adoption/Fostering a child or animal – any form of abuse will, by default, ruin your chances of adopting a child or animal. I suppose you can see the logic in that. As for me, I totally agree with this rule. You cannot give a child or a pet to someone who used to (or still does) abuse them.
  7. Visa or passport application – let’s just put it this way: if I were a country, I wouldn’t allow every criminal to come to me. I would do a criminal record check before I would allow you cross my border.
  8. Special licenses – there are some types of licenses that require a criminal history check. For example, you cannot obtain a commercial driver’s license if you have two or more traffic violations in your records.
  9. Financial loans (mortgages) – banks require a lot of background information such as past loans and whatnot. And, of course, they will not grant a loan to a person who has committed financial crimes. You can obviously see why.
  10. Law enforcement purposes – a police background check is very common. As you may very well know, a criminal record can make the difference between being a suspect in a certain investigation or not. People who have committed crimes in the past are more prone to do it again, so a criminal record may come in handy when something bad happens.
  11. Voter registration – there are states that do not allow convicted felons to vote (disfranchisement). The criminal record of a person who is not authorized to vote must be extremely “rich”. The restriction can be for a specified period or even for life.

Who Can Access Criminal Records?

As I said above, unlike public records, criminal records cannot be accessed by anyone. Only certain categories of people (agencies) have the possibility to do so.

Government Agencies

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Any government related agency, such as law enforcement, the military or justice departments (in some cases the DMV) have access to your criminal records without any problem. In some voluntary situations they need your consent for viewing your criminal records, but most of the times any authorized person can see your rap sheet.

I know it sounds peculiar, but thanks to the National Driver Registry, your driving habits are known to the public and anyone can access your driver’s license status. Everything from a parking ticket to a driving under the influence is there. So the next time you want to get a job as a driver but you have a few traffic incidents, it would be better for you to have full disclosure. Your future employer will find out about them anyways.

Non-Government Agencies

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People, organizations, and agencies that are in no way connected to the government or law enforcement cannot gain access to your criminal records without your consent. Employers, some schools or gun dealers will do a criminal record search (with your consent, of course) if you want to get a job, be admitted, or buy a firearm. You can refuse the background check, but usually, a refusal is a bad sign and a deal breaker.

General Public

As for the general public, the issue is a little more sensitive. It’s not like you can find criminal records online. Some of them are available for you to see and some aren’t. It all depends on what you actually need. If you need a person’s criminal record, in some states, you can get it. What you cannot get is a person’s background check. It’s a bit confusing since a criminal record tells you what you need to know, meaning felonies and whatnot, but a background check will only tell you that a person lived on a certain street 5 years ago. As I said, it depends on what you need to know.

Of course, every rule has an exception. There are crimes that MUST be known by the general public such as sex crimes. Every state has a sex offender registry and accessing it is as easy as looking a name on the internet. In some states, there are special rules, depending on the classification of the sex crimes, so the registry may be, at times, limited.

Yourself

I don’t believe you are unaware of the crimes you have committed, but if you are curious to see how your rap sheet looks, all you have to do is request one.

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Request for Criminal Background Check Form

Any agency (with your permission) or yourself can make a request for a criminal record. In order to obtain it, there are three options:

  • The county sheriff’s department or court clerk’s office (keep in mind that you can get the criminal records for that county only)
  • The Department of Public Safety, State Police Department, and State Bureau of Investigation, for a more thorough, extended criminal records
  • The most reliable and detailed can be obtained through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. An FBI background check will contain a broader criminal history and also contains fingerprints.

Getting Criminal Records Online

There are various third-party institutions that offer criminal records online. It’s the easiest way to do a background check, especially if you are trying to find out something about a person who is out of state and you don’t want to go through the trouble of contacting the FBI in order to get the information you need.

As you can see, criminal records have a broad usage. Anything from tenancy to simple schools admittance is sometimes governed by the idea that you need to know everything there is to know about the person in question. It’s not a bad thing being a skeptic. Quite the contrary actually. It’s a crazy world out there and you never know who you may end up with, so a quick, simple background check can’t hurt anyone.



Employment Background Check

Each year, billions of dollars are paid in damages due to fraud in the workplace. People lie and cheat, but employers have come with a viable solution that would save them the trouble caused by fraud: the pre – employment background check.

What is a pre – employment background check?

Background Check ScenariosIf you are not familiar with the concept, a job background check is a process of investigating the background of a potential employee, as well as the claims from the applicant’s resume. Usually, the most valuable information is that about a person’s criminal history.

One information you must have in mind. If an employer wants to administer a background check on you before hiring, he/she must first ask for your permission. It is forbidden by law for companies to conduct an employment background check without the applicant’s consent. However, refusing will raise a red flag for your potential employer. Refusing means not getting the job.

You may be wondering what an employment background check contains. Well, it may include, among others, information about your criminal history, financial reporting (although the credit score is irrelevant), immigration status (if need be), social security number, medical history, past jobs, and education. The list can go on. It mostly depends on the job you want to apply to. Don’t think that an applicant for a minimum wage job will be as checked as a candidate for a high-security government job.

What you need to know about the source of such information, you should be aware that it may differ. Since Freedom Of Information Act, a lot of private companies have flourished. Government agencies are no longer the only ones that can provide sensitive information about people and organizations.

Government agencies are the ‘go to’ source for an employment background check, but they have a huge downside. Their requests take forever to process. It is true; they may be cheaper than third-party companies, but they are at slug speed. In case you are curious, the fee a government agency asks for a background check is nominal. Not that it will make any difference. They are still very slow.

What you also need to know is that when going to a government agency, it depends on what level you need the inquiry. Small amounts of information can be found at a county sheriff’s office, whereas if you need an extended, in-depth background check, you need to go to an upper level. Sometimes, the level can go as up as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Nothing can top an FBI background check.

With private companies is much more simple. They even provide some information for free (usually, information that can be found in public records), but their price per background search varies. It depends on the extent of it. If you need a small piece of information, then you may not pay so much. But if you need extra sensitive, confidential information, then an employment background check can cost you a small fortune.

What I find extraordinary about these companies is that they are online. It makes everyone’s life so much easier. You won’t have to go somewhere, stay in line, and then wait for 30 days. All you have to do is submit a request online. Chances are you will get the information on the spot.

I hope that this article helps you and it is the information you were searching. Employers really take advantage of this tool, but I believe that it is a good thing. Trust may sometimes be a luxury some people cannot afford.



Should be free arrest records available to everyone?

Criminal Records FileAs you may well know, if you are in need of such a thing, you can access the arrest records of a person or an organization. If you don’t know where from, keep in mind that you can get them through various government agencies for a nominal fee. But what about free arrest records? Is it a reality? Or a complete scam?

The truth is that there is the possibility of getting free arrest records. Where? Private companies, of course. In the last few years, this industry has thrived considerably. All of this because of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). They take already free information from public arrest records/other sources, and they post it online.

After FOIA, the requests for information has increased dramatically. Everyone has found themselves with a new right and decided to use it. Actually, beyond use. Better said abused. Why do I say this? Let me explain it to you.

I know that sometimes there is the necessity of having some background information about someone. But this should be due to exceptional circumstances (job application, special licensing and stuff like that). But regular people gaining access to free arrest records? That’s a bit too far.

Although I have to admit that most criminals will continue to commit crimes (that’s what statistics say, not myself), there are people who will not. And they want to have the opportunity of starting a new life. They want their past behind. Buried. But no! Here come private companies that offer free arrest records. There are records that you must pay for, but still.

I agree with FOIA. There is a legitimate need of information. But what happens when it goes too far? What happens to a young man/woman who did a bad thing but isn’t a bad guy/gal? He/she will not get a good job. He/she will be an outcast. His/her chance at a better life would be stolen by the highest bidder. What will he/she do? Quite possibly will be returning to a life of crimes (again statistics).

One thing that makes me happy is the part with the sex offenders. In this situation, free arrest records sound pretty good. I know that there is a national registry for sex offenders, but you never know, right? The safety of our children should be an absolute priority.

These being said, there is a whole controversy around the access to free criminal records. The opinions are both pro and against. Each of them with their own arguments. But in the end, this a subjective matter. Everyone is free to believe what they want and do what they want with their freedom of information.

It is true that there are third party companies which offer both free arrest records (to a certain extent), and records for a certain fee (depending on the extent of the requested information). If this is a good thing or not, I will let each and every one of you decide. You are the only one able to decide what is best for you (and your family if you have one).



The Importance of the Screening Process

When the time comes to hiring a nanny, anxiety settles. You feel lost. You don’t know if you will be able to find someone to your liking. Your child’s safety is the most important thing in the world right now. One sentence keeps wondering in your mind: I cannot mess this up! It is entirely understandable. That is why I want to help you. There are many steps towards hiring a nanny, but here are a few suggestions that I believe to be the most important.

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Strategy

I want to help you. There are many steps towards hiring a nanny, but here are a few suggestions that I believe to be the most important. You can add up anything you want; it’s your plan. However, make sure to include these steps.

  1. Define your expectations!

    You must know exactly what you are looking for. Do you want a full-time nanny or just a part-time? Do you want a stay in nanny or you would like her to go home every night? You must know all these things before start looking. Your chances of finding the right nanny are far greater if you know all the traits you seek. So make sure to establish all this at the beginning of the process.

  2. Start looking for candidates!

    People usually find their nannies going through the ads. It’s not a bad idea. It works most of the times. However, I believe that the safest way to find candidates is through nanny agencies. Chances are the people from the company already vetted their candidates. You will do a background check yourself at a certain point anyway, but two are better than one. Am I right?

  3. Conduct the interviews!

    Anyone can look better on paper. But you have to know intimately the person who will take care of your baby. You must see the way she talks, her thoughts and opinions on fundamental principles after which you guide your child’s education. After all, depending on your career, the nanny will spend more time with your child than yourself. You must make sure that you both are on the same page.

  4. Do a reference check!

    In my opinion, the reference check is one of the most useful tools. The candidate can look great on paper, she can say all the right things during an interview, but to truly see how a person is, ask the previous employers. They will be able to tell you everything you need to know: behavioral problems, vices, trust issues. As a parent, you must know all this before hiring someone to be your child’s keeper. After all, that is why references have been invented; for these particular situations.

  5. Conduct a background check!

    It wouldn’t hurt! Trust me when I say this, but knowing if a person has a clear criminal record goes a long way. No nanny will ever disclose this aspect in her resume.  It doesn’t have to be something big. But even simple misdemeanors can show a slight problem with authority. To conduct a background check, you can either check public records or hire a company that does that on a regular basis. Some agencies can provide background information for you. For a fee, of course.

Conclusion

Nobody is telling how to hire a nanny for your child, but if I were you, I would at least listen to any suggestion anyone may have. Experience goes a long way and this is not the time to be proud. You have to do anything to keep your child safe. Following these tips will surely help you on that path.



How to check criminal records of someone

online background checkChecking someone’s criminal records is not so hard. All you have to do is contact a government agency and make a request or search police records. Sounds easy, right? But what if there are simpler ways to acquire one? Like a search for criminal records, for example?

A criminal record lookup is a mere reality. Since the industry of background checks have flowered, companies started to put their entire business online. We live in an era when technology can be found everywhere, so why not? It’s easier, faster, and as reliable.

Third-party companies that are in this business have come to the conclusion that people are more prone to come to you if you make yourself more accessible. So what can be more accessible than the internet? Nothing, at this point. It is much easier to search and find for something from the comfort of your own home, isn’t it? This is the exact principle they are basing their business on.

Moreover, people are even willing to pay even more for a look up criminal records than making the effort of going to any government agency, stay in line, and get what they want. It’s the same with food delivery. People are hungry. They can go to the store and buy groceries. But instead, they prefer to pay more and have their food delivered. It is precisely the same principle.

Now, the question is: is a criminal record check as good as the one gotten from the government agency or the arrest record of that person? The answer is ABSOLUTELY. These companies make billions of dollars each year. This is what they do. The only thing they do. People are making a living of searching and finding information about other people or organizations. So how is it different from a government agency?

In my opinion, these third-party companies are even better. Why? Well, government agencies deal with a certain number of tasks, whereas a company specialized in checking criminal records have only one activity. They are paid to search the information you require. And they are even giving some of that information for free. So, of course, an online background check is at least as reliable.

Just to go back a little, I said above that these companies are even giving some information for free. When you go to a government agency, you have to pay a nominal fee for the information you ask. Private companies ask fees too, but not nominally. There is some information they are giving for free (for instance, basic information you can already find in free public records). However, if you desire some in-depth information, extended information, their fees will vary accordingly. In my opinion, this sounds just about right.

As you can see, there is the possibility of getting an online background check. All you have to do is contact the web page of a company that offers this type of services and makes a simple request. There isn’t an easier way than this. Once again, technology has proven itself to be the best thing that has ever happened to humanity.




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