Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long do these searches take?
A: They are instant background checks. Simply enter your data, process payment and
wait for your results.
Q: What is the exact coverage of this database.
A: Please note that NOT all states and counties
report criminal histories online. Having said that, you'll find the answer
to what is covered in this database on
Q: How do I know I can trust this data?
A: We do not change or alter the data we receive from the various
jurisdictions. We do reformat it it, but the actual datum remains exactly as it
Q: If I know there are records in counties that are not
covered in this database, how can I access these records?
A: Go to this
page. You'll find a list of telephone numbers for each
state where you can obtain these criminal records.
Q: Are your criminal searches accurate and do they give me all the information
A: An instant search such as this one is only as accurate as the state
or local agency reporting the data and how often it is updated by the reporting
agency. Our records are updated either daily or monthly from the county courts across
Judicial proceedings are generally open to the public and related documents (paper
or electronic) are accessible to the public.
The degree of difficulty in obtaining records, however, varies from jurisdiction
to jurisdiction. In California, for example, there is no statewide policy establishing
rules for the handling of court records. The rules can change from county to county
and, sometimes, from courthouse to courthouse.
Sex Offender and Prison Records are, by their very nature, conviction records. Court
records, however, are not necessarily so. Many of the court records in our database
are 'filings'. It falls to the end user to call the court in question, give the
clerk the case number, and ask for a disposition to obtain more data. As a rule,
if you have a case number, clerks will be willing to provide the disposition information
over the phone.
Q: Can you guarantee accuracy of these records?
A: There is no such thing as a perfect database. These records are
created by civil servants and they do make human errors before we get our hands
on them. We do guarantee that everything we've received is exactly as we've received
Q: What do the arrest records mean?
A: An arrest does not infer a conviction and third party hearsay
doesn't make the arrest so. The user must pay specific attention to the jurisdictions
covered and their quoted time frames. Except for the F.B.I., no private concern
has 100% of the criminal records in the country in one database and F.B.I. records
are not public records. You would need to contact the county courthouse to determine
if the arrest became a conviction.
Q: What is the difference between an online criminal search and one that is
done on-site at a county courthouse?
A: An online search is instant. The disadvantage is that as a database
search, the records retrieved are often less detailed and not as current as an on-site
On the other hand, an on-site county search is updated as suspects are booked and
court cases are filed, and as a result, has the the most current information. It
also offers more detailed case information. However, please be aware results can
take up to 72 hours to return and costs are greater with a single county search.
Q: When should I use an online criminal search versus an on-site county search?
A: If you already know that your subject committed an offense in a particular
county, it's best to to the county and do a search on-site because you can get access
to the actual case files. If you don't have the right information, for example you
know that someone committed an offense in a certain state but you are not sure where,
or the subject has moved several times, use our online search first.
Of course we recommend that you follow up any online search with an on-site county
search where the offense was committed. Please email us directly for more information.
Q: If I want to research a case further in a state that I am not close
to, where can I call?
A: Go to our National Criminal Records Resource and you'll find the phone
numbers you need there. If you need additional help, there is a free resource for
all states located here.
Q: If I enter First Name, Middle Initial and Last Name without the Date
of Birth, I get a lot of records that don't appear to be my prospect. How can I
tell which records I should pay attention to?
A: First of all, you will definitely get more accurate results if you enter the
person's exact date of birth, as well as fewer records to have to go through.
We provide the name search only for those who feel uncomfortable asking for date
of birth and don't know how else to get it. In this case, you have to compare the
name information with known addresses including city and states. And, there is a
200 record limitation by state on common name searches.
Q: What is the Federal Bureau of Prisons check at the end of your report
A: We throw in this search as a f*ree bonus for you. Please be aware that
this Federal Bureau is responsible for the custody and care of sentenced Federal
inmates, as well as a significant number of pretrial detainees and pre-sentenced
offenders for the U.S. Marshals Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The Bureau also has custodial responsibility for District of Columbia felons sentenced
to terms of imprisonment.
Only persons convicted of violating Federal laws (that is, laws of the United States)
are sent to Federal prisons. Some individuals awaiting trial for violating Federal
laws are also held in Federal prisons. While the Federal Bureau of Prisons (Bureau)
does house a few state inmates, most inmates convicted of violating state or local
laws are sent to state prisons or city or county jails.
The Bureau does not have any information on non-Federal inmates. However, most states
have their own locator systems. Contact the department of corrections for the state
in question for further information.
Please note: It is possible that a record may exist for an individual who was in
BOP custody but never served a federal sentence of incarceration (e.g., a person
was detained pre-trial but criminal charges were dismissed, held as a material witness,
or held for civil contempt).
Q: Are there other checks that I need to be running before I go on a date
with someone I meet on the Internet?
A: Sure, there are plenty more searches that can be done for an in-depth background
check depending on how much and exactly what you want to know. For us, the more
we know, the better.
For example, you can access property records to see if your prospect owns a home.
You can do a person search to locate an individual's current and past addresses.
There are also checks for judgments, liens, uniform commercial code records, bankruptcy,
aliases and maiden names, civil court records, marriage records, business records,
asset searches, professional licenses, boat and vessel registration. If you are
interested in taking your search to another level, please email me at email@example.com
Q: Your disclaimer states that databases are limited in their ability
to give you accurate information, so why do you offer this service?
A: We include this article in our disclaimer for everyone to read so that
you understand the difference between a professional background check and a simple
online database check. In short, a database check is just one step in a process
that often requires much more effort including a first step of positive candidate
Q: I often see online companies offer f*ree background checks. Is this
A: Mostly not. They offer you the ability to search their database by name and they
provide you with what's called a 'teaser' page that lists all of the possible suspects
and then you are asked to choose your subject and typically to pay to run a report