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Should I search Nationwide, States, or Counties during a background screen?

Wolfe Background screen

The topic of which level of background screen is best, comes up almost daily with clients at Wolfe Inc. All too often, companies think a federal background check would encompass an individual’s entire criminal history which isn’t completely true. A federal background check would turn up only federal crimes which are those charged by the U.S. Courts.

Most crimes including felonies and misdemeanors are processed at a state or county level. Some states are required to update the database daily, North Carolina is one of those states. At the close of business each day, all counties are required to report to the state of that day’s activities. That means, the North Carolina database is updated daily at a state level which makes background screenings much more efficient. Some other states may not be as timely or accurate as NC. Some States do not provide a State Search. Those states are California, Louisiana, Nevada, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois, Wyoming.

An employer can also request a county level search.  Charges are usually entered into the county level system first. County level searches are the most accurate but can be time consuming.  Some counties are available to be searched online however there are still some searches that require our runner to go to the actual courthouse to search.

Wolfe Inc’s. background screening division doesn’t just set the standard for our industry in pre-employment screenings but also screenings for current employees. Some industries including financial, healthcare, security, among others require current employees consent to random background and credit screenings. When dealing with secure information or patients, it is essential to know your employees and mitigate risks.