National Criminal Database
There is only one official “national” criminal database – the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC). This database is restricted to authorized users only and is not available for use by the public.
As an alternative to the NCIC, Justifacts offers our National Criminal Database search. This database has been compiled from a variety of sources, including state court information, department of correction information, federal sanctions lists and statewide sex offender registries. Offering a broad range of information that is not available from an individual county or state search, our National Criminal Database search is a highly effective tool in locating criminal record information throughout the country.
National Criminal Database Searches include:
- Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (OFAC)
- Health & Human Services (OIG)
- Excluded Parties List System (GSA)
- US Department of Commerce (BIS)
- Bank of England Consolidated List
- 35 other national searches
Justifacts’ National Criminal Database offers benefits that are not seen in a typical county or state criminal record search.
- Quick Turnaround Time: usually available within a day.
- Wide Geographic Area: contains records from many states in a single search.
- Cost-Effective – helps to direct additional searches.
While a useful tool, the National Criminal Database has some limitations, which must be recognized. First, there is no such thing as a truly “national criminal history database” available to the public. Second, a database is only as good as the information received from the various government agencies. County information may be incomplete or lack sufficient detail about the offense or the defendant. In addition, department of corrections information relates solely to cases that involved the department of corrections, not the county jail system. Third, records in a database are not always current. There is a lag time before the information is submitted from the originating agency, and many states will only provide information that is updated at specific intervals, such as monthly or quarterly.
Finally, it is important to note that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA – Sec. 613) requires that any information reported which is a matter of public record must be complete and up to date at the time the information is reported. Because the information in the database is “static” and is not updated as changes occur to a case, the information contained in the database does not meet this requirement of the FCRA.
Our Answer to FCRA Compliance Concerns
To overcome any FCRA compliance concerns, Justifacts’ policy is to verify the accuracy of any case information found in the database with the originating jurisdiction, and Justifacts does not offer our database search as an “instant court records” or an “on demand court records” search. Our in-house staff screens all case information found in a database search and provides only the legally reportable information that can be matched to your applicant.
Generally speaking, the National Criminal Database Search should be thought of as a broad sweeping net or locator, as opposed to a pinpoint tool for finding criminal records. It should not be used as a replacement for criminal searches at the federal, state and county level, yet it is a versatile tool that can provide a breadth of useful information when used in conjunction with these other searches.
To learn more about our National Criminal Database services: Request Information