County Specific Criminal Record Search (Hand Search and Index Search)
County Specific Criminal Record Search (Hand Search and Index Search) This search is performed at the county level to identify criminal records in a specific jurisdiction. Criminal searches are available nationwide including all U.S. territories.
When performing a background check, we recommend criminal searches of all counties of residence identified in the subject’s Social Security number trace. We access the most current information available and report felony and misdemeanor convictions based on applicable federal and state laws. Please keep in mind that searches performed on an Alias (AKA) are considered separate searches.
There are two types of criminal record searches: index searches and hand searches.
An index search is a jurisdiction-specific database search to quickly find all records associated with a name and date of birth. However, index searches generally provide access to less information about the cases on file – for example, an index search may provide the case number, specify the charges and provide a disposition date for a criminal record, but may not provide any data regarding sentencing, which is usually valuable information.
Not all index searches are the same; some jurisdictions offer more information than others and not every jurisdiction has an index available. Many counties in several states do not offer index searches, necessitating the use of hand searches only.
Still, index searches are great for quick snapshots, identifying how many cases exist (within the scope of the databases available) regarding your subject.
However, they are seldom as accurate and never as complete as hand searches. For example, if a case was filed very recently, a researcher could “miss” the record if the case had not been added to the index prior to the time of the search. Depending on the county involved, it may take six months or longer to input this information.
Hand searches are best for finding the specifics of a case: the exact charges for which subjects were convicted, the sentencing, probation violations, settlement terms, etc. We often discover active warrants, etc. in conjunction with hand searching criminal records.
However, these searches are not automated and require labor and travel, and therefore they are necessarily more expensive and time-consuming; a search through 30 years of records, as one might imagine, can take significantly longer to complete than a 7 year search and the cost goes up with the amount of time involved.
It is surprisingly less expensive than many clients expect, however, because we utilize a network of service providers in all 50 states who travel to and pull records from numerous courts, daily.
We recommend performing an index search to identify as many “easy to find” cases associated with your subject as possible, and then running a hand search to obtain significant details not available via the index.
Please contact us to inquire on costs and turnaround times for specific jurisdictions.