This article will help you:
- Understand what happens in a US County Criminal Search
- Decide when to include US County Criminal Searches in your background check package
Most felony and misdemeanor cases are filed in county courts, so county criminal record searches are one of the most complete sources for criminal records. All felony and misdemeanor criminal records, and all cases tried in local jurisdictions, regardless of disposition (guilty, dismissed, etc.), are housed at the county court.
County criminal records, which make up the majority of criminal offenses, are available in all counties in all 50 states, and are located in county courthouses across the 3,200 counties in the US. These records are not reported to the federal database, and will not be found in a federal search. Often, the existence of a county criminal record is determined by conducting a search in the National Criminal Database search, which is used as a pointer to county or state records.
The following items may be reported on a county criminal record search:
- Defendant’s Name
- Case Number
- Charge Classification (Felony/Misdemeanor)
- Charge Type
- Disposition (Guilty, Dismissed, etc.)
- Disposition Date
- Sentencing Information
The process of searching at the county level varies from county to county. Some county searches are returned the same day, while some take several days or more, depending on the search methodology. Most counties provide a Public Access Terminal (PAT) where records can be searched, in real time, at the court. Slower counties typically require a court clerk assisted search be performed, whereby an employee of the court conducts the search on Checkr’s behalf.