Product Spotlight: County Criminal Record Check

(Last Updated On: May 2, 2023)

 

[Product Spotlight by Michelle Yoder]

 

Using County Criminal Record Checks in Your Organization:

County court records are an essential component of any comprehensive background screening process. 83% of organizations report that they include criminal record searches as a part of their background screening process

 

What County Criminal Record Checks are Used For:

County Criminal record checks are used to ensure that their candidates don’t have a prior criminal history that may negatively affect their ability to perform their job duties.  Performing a County Criminal Record Check helps organizations to protect their clientele, their workforce and their assets.  County Criminal Record Checks may also be required by organizations to comply with certain state laws.  Organizations use County Criminal Record Checks to help mitigate risk and avoid negligent hiring claims.

 

Why County Criminal Record Checks?

All felony and misdemeanor crimes are tried at local jurisdictions and filed in local county courthouses.  The records housed in these 3,000+ counties contains the most accurate, timely and complete criminal data available.

 

What is included in a County Criminal Record Search?

In the event that an individual has a criminal conviction, the report will include: the case number, full case name, date of birth, file date, disposition date, and number of years searched for each criminal record case that is found.  Justifacts will provide details for each charge included in the case, description of each count, disposition, type of crime, any fines assessed by the court, and court fees assessed, and probation or prison time ordered.  The only information that is NOT available are cases that are not legally reportable such as cases that have been expunged, sealed or handled by juvenile court.

 

How County Criminal Record Checks are Searched

County criminal record checks are typically performed through direct integrations or by a background screener’s personnel accessing court records via online county court records systems.  In some counties, it may be necessary for your background screening provider to use a vendor to physically search records at the appropriate courthouse.  For a handful of counties, all requests for county criminal searches must be done through the Clerk of Courts office.

 

How far back do County Criminal Record Searches go?

County Criminal Record Checks are searched back a minimum of seven years, however, the majority of court indexes go back much further.

 

Average Turnaround Time

County Criminal Record Checks are typically completed in less than 24 hours.

 

Tips for Success

  • Broaden your scope: County Criminal Record Checks are typically a name based search. Courts file these cases using the name of the individual at the time he/she committed the offense.  Likewise, County Criminal Record Checks will only return results on any criminal offenses in that particular county.  If an individual committed a crime in a different county, that information would not show up a single county search.  To ensure that you receive all the criminal information on your candidate, you may want to widen your scope by including all names, all addresses, all addresses in seven years, etc…
  • Make sure that criminal record information is screened to only provide legally appropriate information
  • Make sure that you are using adverse action
  • Consider when in the hiring process it is appropriate to conduct County Criminal Record Check
  • If a person has a criminal record, before making an adverse hiring decision consider: the nature and gravity of the offense, the time that has passed since the offense, and the nature of the job.
  • Consider running County Criminal Record checks on an ongoing/ annual basis for all employees.

 

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