Criminal Record Research

Conducting accurate and compliant criminal record research is a primary concern for the employer and the applicant. In addition to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), statutes governing criminal checks and what criminal records can be reported to a potential employer vary by state. It is the responsibility of the background investigation company to understand the criminal record research process in each state, and conduct the most thorough and comprehensive search allowable by law through a primary source. Every criminal record that is developed through our research is reviewed by senior management to determine if this data is reportable to an employer based on FCRA and state guidelines. TABB INC. will conduct additional research at no extra charge to confirm the validity of this information, if there is an issue with personal identifiers in the record or the record is incomplete, prior to reporting results to the client.

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation regarding criminal record research as it relates to the background investigation process. Too many background vendors conduct criminal record checks using cheap, incomplete, and inaccurate proprietary databases instead of conducting criminal record research through primary sources, such as the State Police in each state. Proprietary databases provide instant results and they are inexpensive. However, proprietary databases are often inaccurate, or they are missing information and do not meet due diligence standards. Criminal record research must be conducted through primary sources, the specific state agency set forth by statute for the purpose of conducting statewide criminal record research, not databases.

TABB only conducts primary source criminal research. Forty-two states have provisions to search criminal records through a primary source for employment purposes on a statewide basis for felony and misdemeanor convictions. In the remaining eight states, criminal records can only be researched through the county court on an individual county-by-county basis. In the case of a county search, the only records available will be those criminal cases heard in the county that was checked. A crime that occurred in another county will not be found.

Please click to learn how to protect your company from sub-standard criminal record checks: The wrong vendor can land your company in hot water