Why Doesn’t the National Criminal Cover All States?

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” -Albert Einstein


In an ideal world the national criminal includes all states equally and completely. You could rest assured knowing you’re receiving a comprehensive search encompassing the entire United States. This is the illusion in which most pre-screening companies allow their clients to exist. Research Services Four Brothers LLC believes in honesty and transparency with our clients. On more than one occasion we’ve heard the phrase “I thought the national criminal included all the states”? We’ve had the unfortunate role of informing clients that their previous pre-screening company mislead them. Can you imagine the devastation of realizing you’ve potentially hired applicants that could have had serious charges in states you thought were covered, but in fact weren’t? It’s a risk not only to your employees, clients or applicants, but to the livelihood and reputation of your business.


Why isn’t there complete coverage of the United States in the National Criminal Search? The national criminal search requires the courts from all of the towns and districts in each state to update this database. Their reporting varies widely. As previously mentioned, there are some states that don’t update the database at all. An example of this would be New York and this includes the Burroughs. Other states are updated daily, weekly, or monthly. We advise clients to run a statewide or county search to receive a thorough and current report. It’s possible for an applicant to live in a state that’s considered covered well, but may have one or two courts that update monthly instead of daily. If the applicant was convicted within the past month and this information wasn’t updated in the database, you wouldn’t have the most up to date report without having us connect with the local court houses and state depositories. National criminal search also receives weekly updates from a variety of security watch lists Examples include the following: OIG, OFAC, SAM, Politically Exposed Persons, And DEA/FBI most wanted.


What’s the value of running a national criminal report? Some states do offer coverage that’s sufficient to cover where an applicant is or has been. The security watch lists aren’t included within statewide reports, but are included in the national criminal. It’s possible to pick up records in a state where an applicant may have briefly lived or vacationed in that they may not have disclosed on their consent forms. Additionally, an applicant may not have been convicted of a crime in a state yet, but they may have a warrant for their arrest pending, and this could appear as well. The national Criminal search isn’t a complete catch-all, but it’s a search that provides an added layer of security for a meticulous report.


For full details on the national coverage please contact us directly, as the frequency of reporting is consistently changing.

The information provided on this website is not to be considered legal advice. All information on this blog is for general information purposes only.


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