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County Background Checks: Everything You Need to Know

County Background Checks: Everything You Need to Know
Michelle S. May 24, 2022

County Background Checks: Everything You Need to Know

In the United States, there are several types of background checks, that can be performed online and offline. Most of you are probably familiar with employment background checks, that are performed by employers. There are also background checks that the general public can perform, including county background checks. Here we will detail what is a county background check, and how you can perform one.

What is a county background check?

There are approximately 3,150 counties in the United States. When a criminal prosecution takes place, it will be tried in a county or municipal court. A county background check is a search for criminal charges and/or convictions at county courts.

There are county criminal records that are confidential, and there are county criminal records that are public. Today, most counties in the United States digitize their files and records, providing easy access to county records. So, an online county background check is available to you, when you need to find records on a county level.

What information appears in a county background check?

When performing a county criminal background check, you will be able to view a part or all of the following data:

  • Identifying details: the full name, aliases, and other identifying data of the individual in question.
  • Active warrants: active and pending warrants against an individual.
  • Pending criminal case: cases that are currently under review, or that have not yet been tried.
  • Sentences: the legal decisions and consequences of convicted verdicts.
  • Dispositions: information about the outcome of a case mostly if the person in question was acquitted or convicted.
  • Misdemeanor convictions: convictions of crimes that have resulted in a lesser sentence of under 12 months in jail and/or fines, community service, loss of certain civic privileges, and more.
  • Felony convictions: convictions of crimes of a serious nature that have resulted in more than 12 months in prison.

Do county background checks provide information from federal cases?

No; county records do not include federal information. You cannot access federal prosecutions and federal conviction data. There are additional records that the general public cannot access, even at a county level: criminal county records that have been expunged or sealed are not public records.

Also, cases concerning minors and certain cases that have been dismissed are not available to the general public.

How long are county records available to the public?

Generally, county records are available for viewing for 7 years. So, you can perform county background checks on criminal cases that date back no more than seven years. There are certain exceptions, and criminal county records can be available for more than seven years, depending on state statutes.

What is the difference between a county background check and a state background check?

The difference between the two is the level of check; when you perform a county criminal check on someone, you will receive data about criminal charges and convictions/acquittals that happened in that particular county.

However, a state background check casts a wider net: this type of criminal check provides information from state databases, and it is not restricted to one particular county. When performing such a search, you will receive data from state databases.

It is possible that when performing a state check, you will not receive data on all county records. If county record databases are not connected to the state databases, you will receive partial information about an individuals criminal past.

What information is not available in a county check?

County criminal background checks do not provide information about non-criminal records, such as:

  • Petty crimes (according to state definition and statute)
  • Infractions
  • Traffic violations
  • Dismissed records

How to perform a county background check

Criminal records, both country, and state, are filed under the names of individuals. So, to find a county criminal record you need to use the persons name. Note that if the person in question has changed his/her name, you will only receive data that was filed under their current name. To find other records, you will need to use the person in questions previous name/s.

To perform such a check, you can contact the county court in which the case/s of an individual was/were handled. You can also use online county databases to perform the search. A third option is to use a professional public records database, like backgroundcheck.co. On this website, you can find both county and state criminal records easily. To do so, you need to provide the full name of the person in question, their state of residence, and their city of residence. The search will begin immediately, you will receive the results within minutes.

To sum up

County background checks provide criminal case data on a county level. You can find criminal data online, and discover peoples criminal history. Make sure you use a professional and secured directory to get the most accurate results.

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