Free Background Checks To Find Criminal Records & Arrests
It is an excellent idea to check out the background of any person you plan to hire, or that will have contact with your finances, children or family for criminal records, arrests, convictions, or other offenses.
Imagine your horror to discover that the likable new employee you hired is actually using an alias and is wanted on felony charges by the authorities. Or that the financial planner you have entrusted your children’s college fund to has a embezzlement conviction on his criminal record. Or that the contractor you just hired to remodel your home is a convicted felon, and recently released from prison. Or worse yet, that your child’s nanny, daycare worker, gym teacher, scout leader, or church worker is a suspected or convicted sex offender?
Because individuals with sketchy pasts will and often do lie on employment applications, most state, county, and local businesses have made criminal background checks and drug testing a mandatory part of their hiring process. But the fact is that many convicted criminals move to other states after a prison term is completed or parole conditions have been satisfied. And not all of them will be happy & legally compliant carrying forward the negative baggage associated with their criminal past.
Some convicts (particularly convicted sex offenders) will simply adopt a new persona using identity theft techniques to help them regain close contact with children, money, drugs, and unsuspecting persons.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your family? Insist on complete and detailed personal information on anyone you plan to hire for your business or for any work to be performed at your home, or for anyone who will be in close proximity to your children. It is highly recommended that individuals pursue this same logical vetting process. Anyone that you will have substantial business dealings with; or will be in your home & around your family, or with whom you are developing a romantic relationship with should be properly screened for deceptive criminal behavior.
Request that the individual a simple form requesting their full name, address history for the last ten (10) years, at least three (3) personal references, social security number and date of birth. Then apply some simple but effective verification techniques:
- Contact your local sheriff’s office to see if they have had any law enforcement related contact with the individual. Some offices will even run a NCIC (National Crime Information Computer) criminal records check off-the-record for you! This law-enforcement only report is also known as a rap-sheet, and will list a person’s complete history of run-in’s with the law nationwide. In our opinion, this report should be available free of charge to any U.S. citizen who requests one.Get to know your local sheriff, they can help!
- Contact each of the references listed to confirm that they know the individual in question, and can attest to their character and work performance.
- For each address listed by the individual, call or visit the corresponding county public records repository online. Search the individual’s name through their database to look for criminal records, marriage records, property records, civil lawsuits, or bankruptcy filings.
- Find a source that can supply what is known as a “credit header” report. This report will not list the credit score or payment history of the individual, but will list previous addresses used by the individual & perhaps employment information as well. If any new or different addresses are shown on the report, you should question the individual about the inconsistencies.