Criminal Background Checks-- An Overview

Criminal Background Checks-- An Overview

If you need to run a criminal background check on someone, you may be curious how thorough a check can be made and still remain within the limits of the law.There are plenty of online databases that promise thorough background checks so how is that different than hiring a private investigator? What can private investigators do that a website can’t?  The following is an overview of what a private investigator can do for you and the limits they may face.

All public records are legal to check. Those are marriages, divorces, criminal records, etc. The problem for many people when doing an online background check is trying to find them.  A private investigator can search through court records in many states and find a criminal history that is otherwise difficult to discover by the average person. In some states, there are laws that may limit certain searches, but a private investigator knows what can and cannot be done. Also a private investigator knows the best way to search for criminal records to get the information needed. In addition, many jurisdictions charge a fee for accessing records. Online databases do not include this information in their searches because a request and payment must be made to access that information.

One problem that a regular person off the street will have with a simple search of public records using an online database is they cannot know if someone has changed their name. Anyone attempting to hide their criminal background with a name change can get away with this if someone is only using a simple background search. They won’t be able to get away with this if a professional private investigator is searching. If the name change was done legally, even in another state, this information can still be found.

It is possible for an individual to change their name outside of the courts, but when this is done, it is usually done illegally. Private investigators have techniques for verifying a person’s identity before doing a criminal background check. They can verify social security information, birth certificates and other similar identification. In some cases, this can lead to a discovery that a person is not who they claim to be, and this may mean they are hiding a criminal record.

There are examples of criminal records that cannot be legally accessed by anyone. These are records that have been sealed by a judge. There can be any number of reasons for this, but the important thing to remember is that there is no way to look up this information, even for a private investigator. However, in critical situations it may be possible to conduct interviews of people who may know the background story of the individual in question.

A private investigator cannot break any laws and is therefore limited to doing no more than law enforcement can do with one exception; law enforcement officers can attempt to get a warrant for certain searches. However, the legal techniques that can be used by a private investigator are extensive. Even within the law, our professional investigation firm can perform a robust criminal background check on the individual you are interested in. Contact us, and explain who you need a background check on and why, and we can explain how our services can help you.

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