Access Public Criminal Records

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Access Public Criminal Records

There are various reasons why anyone, private entity or government representative, would want to access public criminal records. For instance, wouldn't you like to know if someone you are in contact with has public criminal records? And that the fact that you have access to his records could very well save you from any trouble that may occur as brought on by your association with that individual?

Wouldn't you want to access the public criminal records of your ex-husband, new boyfriend, fiancé, business partner, et cetera? Or if you're an employer, wouldn't you want to know if an individual you are considering for a job has in fact a propensity to criminal behavior? Pre-employment screening or just plain old background checks - these reasons are broad but they hit the mark.

Protecting Your Business

Companies today are well aware of the extent of damage that their business may suffer due to negligence lawsuits for issues including negligent hiring, supervision, security, training, and retention. There's a lot that a company can lose due to poor hiring practices. Productivity loss, theft, and at the extreme end, even workplace violence are only a few of the many incidents that arise due to the lack of pre-employment background checks. Thus, to minimize the risk of such incidents, companies are now focusing more on accessing public criminal records and are incorporating it into their standard pre-employment background checks.

As a company, you'll need to protect your business from liability by doing public criminal records checks or simply accessing the records of applicants. The need for access to public criminal records is even more emphasized if the applicant will:

  • Be bonded because of access to money or valuables

  • Carry a weapon

  • Drive a company vehicle

  • Have access to drugs or explosives

  • Have access to master keys

  • Have a great deal of contact with the public, patients, or children

  • Be filling a position that requires a criminal record check under state law

Where to Access Public Criminal Records

Now that you know why you need access to public criminal records, the next step is to know where you can get that access. If you check the Internet, many online vendor sites actually advertise services that include a national public criminal records search for an amount of so and so. However, you should know that there is no such thing as a national public criminal records check.

The only database that comes close to being considered as "nationwide" is the FBI database and even that doesn't have all public criminal records from all 50 states. What's more, the FBI database is restricted to criminal justice agents only and is not accessible to the public. Therefore, your best choice would be to access county databases which are plenty enough.

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