Background Checks Weblog

Understanding common criminal industry terms and what they actually mean October 23, 2007

Posted by criminalbackgroundrecords on February 26, 2008

Understanding common criminal industry terms and what they actually mean…

Police Records vs. Criminal Records vs. Background Checks vs. Criminal History
vs. Conviction Records vs. Court Records vs. Arrest Records

What does it all mean?  Are the terms above used interchangeably? Or, are they different?  Is a police record the same as a criminal record?  Are arrest records listed in an online criminal report?  When you are looking up someone’s criminal history, are you really looking for a background check?  And, if so, what information do you think you’ll get back from that criminal background investigation? thinks it is important to break down these common terms, and better explain what to expect in the background search process, as well as what to expect when viewing a criminal background record.

When looking for a criminal background history, the most commonly used search terms are as follows…

Police Records | Criminal Records | Criminal Conviction Records | Background Check
Arrest Records | Criminal History | Criminal Background Search | Court Records
Felony Records | and Corrections Records

First, we will break down some common phrases used in the background retrieval industry and explain both their “real meaning” and their “commonly understood meaning”.  We will parse out the real and the actual from the rumors and the hearsay.

We want to help breakdown these terms to their core meaning in order to better educate the large market of people looking to perform some kind of background check. wants to deepen its customers and potential customers understanding of criminal records, how they are obtained, how they are stored, how they are searched, and what to expect in your criminal report search results…

Since we currently only cater to the US market, we will begin with US law.  In US law, “a conviction is the verdict that results when a court of law finds a defendant guilty of a crime.”  This means that if someone was arrested by the police for a supposed crime, then went to court, and then was found, “Not Guilty” than this record simply stays an “arrest record” NOT a criminal record.  Using an arrest record as part of a decision to hire, fire or otherwise harm or harass an individual is wrong, and also opens you up to huge legal risks.

Criminal histories/backgrounds are maintained and updated by many varying sources.  Typically, criminal history information is first generated by law enforcement agencies such as your local police departments.  Local police departments, sheriff’s offices, and other police agencies usually maintain their own internal databases. On the state government level, state police, state troopers, highway patrol, correctional agencies, and other law enforcement agencies also maintain separate databases. Law enforcement agencies often share this information with other similar enforcement agencies and this information is usually made available to the public in various ways.  Again, as discussed in the paragraph above, a police record may just be an arrest record, and until an actual criminal conviction for say a felony offense is made, there is no criminal record.  Making decisions solely on arrest records is not a good idea.

Sex Offender Records are considered Criminal Records
Registered sex offenders have information about their crimes readily available in state sex offender registries.  With each instant statewide or national criminal record search, includes a free national 50-State sex offender check.  That means that whether you run a criminal search in Texas, Florida or the entire US, you will get a national sex offender check in addition to a criminal check in Texas, Florida or the entire country.  All of instant criminal searches come with a free national sex offender check.

The Department of Correctional Services in many states make criminal records available to the public, and are certainly included as part of a state or national criminal search with  In most cases, juvenile records/files are protected, and their criminal information is typically sealed and not made available to the public.  Correctional information will tell you if someone has served time in prison, currently are incarcerated as inmates, physical characteristics and of course their current status. will give you correctional information, in all our search types, wherever it is available.

State Government
Some states have official “statewide repositories” that contain criminal history information contributed by county, municipal, and other courts within the state.  Court records are the best source for criminal case information concerning an individual.  These state repositories are usually accurate if the state requires supervision of the uploading of criminal data from the local courts (we hope this will be the norm soon). Some states make reporting to a central repository a voluntary activity.   With each state having differing criminal record uploading procedures or no criminal record uploading at all, the information obtained from these repositories can be incomplete.  However, with that said, there have been huge positive steps made in this area of criminal history searching, and for the near future, this means of acquiring and searching criminal records at the state level is getting better and better.

Federal Government
The federal government maintains extensive criminal histories and acts as a central repository for all agencies to report their own data.  The NCIC (National Crime Information Center) is one such database. Generally, and with few exceptions, the records compiled by the federal government in the NCIC are not made available to the public. Some websites and criminal data re-sellers claim to offer an NCIC record search.  These claims are most always fraudulent.  Before ordering a criminal report online, be sure to read the description of the search you are ordering prior to placing your order.  If a company or website does not reveal the description of the search you are interested in ordering, it is probably best to stay clear from ordering from that provider.  The rule of thumb on this is simple; if clear, up to date, descriptions of a criminal search are not available, then that provider is most likely using an old, incomplete database that may or may not have the criminal data you are looking for.

What are the “Terrorist Database Background Check” and “Most Wanted Search??”

All of instant criminal checks include a free terrorist database search and “most wanted” list search.  Below is the breakdown of what these two free criminal searches are and what to expect in your search results.

Terrorist Database Background Check:
We check the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of Treasury with every criminal search. OFAC administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on United States foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. As part of its enforcement efforts, OFAC publishes a list of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers designated under programs that are not country-specific. Collectively, such individuals and companies are called “Specially Designated Nationals” or “SDNs.” Their assets are blocked by law and American individuals and companies are generally prohibited from dealing with SDNs. Results have full name, date of birth if known, address, country, title, program, remarks like AKA’s. These records are screened individually and carefully, and reported to the proper law enforcement entities when a match is made.

Most Wanted Criminal Search:
Comprised of several state agencies most wanted such as: Top Ten FBI Most Wanted, FBI Most Wanted Fugitives, US Marshals Most Wanted, US Marshals Major Cases, Alabama Department of Public Safety, Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Kansas Most Wanted, AFT Most Wanted, US DEA Wanted Fugitives, DTIC Fugitive Top List, US Secret Service Most Wanted, Americas Most Wanted, Connecticut Department of Public Safety and Texas Most Wanted. hopes this article helps its browsers and users become more educated in the criminal data industry, and more informed as to what exactly to expect in a criminal report, and why a criminal report from one company/website can differ from another company/website.


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Employee Screening Employment Background Checks

Posted by criminalbackgroundrecords on February 26, 2008

Employee Screening
Employment Background Checks

Performing a comprehensive criminal background check before you hire a new employee can save your company from big headaches including monetary and legal costs. With repeat criminal offenders applying for work, you need to keep your company and your employees as safe as you can. Conducting a criminal background check with Criminal Background Records is easy, fast and affordable. Our easy to read reports will show if a potential employee has a criminal background record in the state or geographic region searched. Performing a criminal background check reduces your exposure to risks associated with new employees.

Why use for Employment Background Checks?
Superior technology, comprehensive instant criminal background records in many states, national coverage and speedy customer care responsiveness. If that is not reason enough, Criminal Background also has affiliations and partnerships with criminal background researchers, individual state agencies, large-scale public records data warehousing companies, criminal background providers and independent organizations (which maintain large repositories of criminal and other public information). We give you access to all this public and criminal information instantly so that you do not have to waste time in the hiring process (if you find out in 30 seconds your potential hire is wanted in three states). – Employment Backgrounds
Alabama Employment Backgrounds
Alaska Employment Backgrounds
Arizona Employment Backgrounds
Arkansas Employment Backgrounds
*California Employment Backgrounds
Colorado Employment Backgrounds
Connecticut Employment Backgrounds
Delaware Employment Backgrounds
Florida Employment Backgrounds
Georgia Employment Backgrounds
Hawaii Employment Backgrounds
Idaho Employment Backgrounds
Illinois Employment Backgrounds
Indiana Employment Backgrounds
Iowa Employment Backgrounds
Kansas Employment Backgrounds
Kentucky Employment Backgrounds
Louisiana Employment Backgrounds
Maine Employment Backgrounds
Maryland Employment Backgrounds
Massachusetts Employment Backgrounds
Michigan Employment Backgrounds
Minnesota Employment Backgrounds
Mississippi Employment Backgrounds
Missouri Employment Backgrounds
Montana Employment Backgrounds
Nebraska Employment Backgrounds
Nevada Employment Backgrounds
New Hampshire Employment Backgrounds
New Jersey Employment Backgrounds
New Mexico Employment Backgrounds
New York Employment Backgrounds
North Carolina Employment Backgrounds
North Dakota Employment Backgrounds
Ohio Employment Backgrounds
Oklahoma Employment Backgrounds
Oregon Employment Backgrounds
Pennsylvania Employment Backgrounds
Rhode Island Employment Backgrounds
South Carolina Employment Backgrounds
South Dakota Employment Backgrounds
Tennessee Employment Backgrounds
Texas Employment Backgrounds
Utah Employment Backgrounds
Vermont Employment Backgrounds
Virginia Employment Backgrounds
Washington Employment Backgrounds
*Washington DC Employment Backgrounds
West Virginia Employment Backgrounds
Wisconsin Employment Backgrounds
Wyoming Employment Backgrounds
*California includes Contra Costa, Fresno, Indio, Los Angeles, Marin, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Ventura Counties only.
*Washington D.C. may be refered to as a “instant state search”, however it is a US district and not a state.

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New! SSN Validation & Address History Trace April 9, 2007

Posted by criminalbackgroundrecords on February 26, 2008 launches “SSN Validation & Address History Trace” Product

SSN Validation & Address History Trace
The perfect compliment to a criminal background check!

After five years of providing criminal history reports to businesses, organizations and individuals, has now added a new product to compliment their existing arsenal of criminal background record searches. calls this product the “SSN Validation & Address History Trace.”  This new product uses a social security number search to test for validation of the social security number entered and returns all addresses associated with that social security number (SSN).

The Social Security Number Validation & Address History Trace is typically used as an add-on search for a criminal background check, but can also be used as a stand alone search.  As a stand alone search this product is mostly used to find people by the addresses that show up on the search results.  For the tenant screening industry it can also be used as a “skip trace” tool to find tenants that left while still owing money. does not require that its customers run a criminal background check when ordering an SSN validation and address history trace.  For a price of $14.95 you can run an SSN Validation & Address History Trace independently of running a criminal background check.  The validation part of this new search checks for the authenticity of the social security number entered along with when the SSN was issued and to whom it was issued too.  This new search is a great tool for checking against fraud.  It also gives addresses that can be used as a “people search” product or tool to help find someone.

SSN Validation – This part of SSN Validation & Address History Trace Search does the following:

  • Verifies whether or not the social security number entered is valid
  • Displays the name of the person to whom the social security number was issued
  • Shows what US state the social security number was issued in
  • Tells you the date when the social security number was issued
  • It will also give you the date of birth (DOB) of the person associated with the social security number, but only if it is on file

Address History Trace – This part of our SSN Validation & Address History Trace Search does the following:

  • Shows all names connected with the entered social security number
  • Gives all addresses associated with the social security number entered

When you order an SSN Validation & Address History Trace through you get all of the above searches in one comprehensive search.

The SSN Validation & Address History Trace is a tool that provides validation of the social security number entered, along with simultaneously performing a name and address history trace based upon the same social security number entered. This search then returns all names, addresses, and SSN information associated with the social security number you entered.

Cost for the SSN Validation & Address History Trace is $14.95 per search.  This is a non-instant search, where your search results will be emailed to you, usually within 2-hours on business days.

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