What is a criminal record?

Criminal Record defined and what to expect when you order a criminal record report

criminal record The last thing that a landlord, property owner, or business owner wants to find out is that their tenant or employee had a criminal history, especially if the nature of the crime, such as theft or burglary, would have disqualified the tenant or employee from the rental or hiring decision.

To prevent this from happening, you may seek out a criminal record report from a consumer reporting agency such as AAA Credit Screening Services (AAACSS). When ordering the criminal record report, you will be faced with several options, making it worth asking: What is included in a criminal record report from AAACSS?

First, we must define a criminal record.

A criminal record, also known as criminal background, is a list of an individual’s previous criminal convictions. This can include criminal traffic offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies. Things not included in a criminal record report would be non-criminal cases tried in civil court, such as tax liens, civil right violations, or bankruptcies.


All criminal record reports from AAACSS provide the individual’s full reportable criminal record for the specified scope, including all convictions within seven years from the original date of criminal activity. This is to remain in compliance with federal and state guidelines for the use of criminal record reports in rental and employment decisions. These standards apply to all criminal record reports provided by AAACSS.

AAA Credit Screening’s options for criminal record reports include U.S. Countywide Criminal reports, Statewide Criminal reports, Nationwide Criminal reports, Federal Felony Criminal reports, and International Criminal reports.

U.S. Countywide Criminal reports are 7-year countywide criminal checks of one U.S. county or parish. These reports are obtained by searching locally at the county courthouse for the most up-to-date criminal background check possible. Because many county courthouses have restricted hours and turnaround times, the turnaround time for U.S. Countywide Criminal reports can vary.

criminal record Statewide Criminal reports are 7-year statewide criminal background checks, where available, of one U.S. state, including misdemeanor and felony convictions. Statewide Criminal reports have a normal turnaround time of one hour, but because the information is coming from a statewide database instead of directly from the county courthouses, there may be gaps in the information reported, such as if a county has a policy of not reporting to the statewide database. If you request a Statewide Criminal report in a state where all, most, or many counties do not report to the state, customer service representatives will reach out to you before your report is ran, and offer U.S. Countywide Criminal records that could be ran as an alternative, based on the individual’s address history.

Nationwide Criminal reports are 7-year U.S. nationwide criminal background checks, including misdemeanor and felony convictions all over the U.S. Nationwide Criminal reports have a normal turnaround time of one hour and are the widest scope of criminal reports that AAA Credit Screening Services offers.

While Statewide and Nationwide Criminal reports have a normal turnaround time of one hour, there are times that a hit on a criminal record search must be investigated at the county level due to a lack of identifiers or full disposition (adjudicated guilty versus dismissed) information. This can lengthen the turnaround time for these reports.

Federal Felony Criminal reports are 7-year district wide federal felony criminal checks. These differ from Nationwide Criminal reports in that they search for records from a single federal district court (e.g. Southern Florida District Court) only. Federal Felony Criminal report turnaround times, like those of U.S. Countywide Criminal reports, vary.

AAA Credit Screening Services also offers International Criminal Record reports. International Criminal reports typically cover one country or province, and turnaround times average between 5 to 10 business days. Some countries (e.g. Lebanon, Syria) may take longer and others (e.g. Canada, Puerto Rico) may be completed in a shorter turnaround time.

Criminal record reports are only a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to background screening for tenants and employees. For a more comprehensive background screening report, consider ordering one of AAA Credit Screening’s tenant or employment screening packages which include credit reports, criminal record reports, verifications of rental history and/or employment, and more!

For more information on which kind of background checks are right for you, call AAA Credit Screening Services toll free at 1-888-282-0447 or fill out an online new customer sign up form today!

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