Online Databases: What is falling through the cracks?
If you want to know something in the information age, it is usually right at your fingertips. Since we are one web search away from knowing the life expectancy of a bob cat or the proper way to install hardwood flooring, it may come as a surprise that criminal records aren’t as readily available.
While some courts do have online databases that an employer or landlord can search for criminal records or civil records, and there are some databases that compile information from multiple sources, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of criminal records – 70% – are NOT available in the form of online searches. Where does this leave you, the employer or landlord? There are two options: first, you could use a consumer reporting agency, such as AAA Credit Screening, for your criminal reporting. AAA Credit Screening’s nationwide, statewide, and countywide reports include those records you DON’T see in your online searches, with the up-to-date information that you need to make your hiring or rental decision.
The second option is to take a chance – maybe your applicant’s legal history won’t be a part of the 70% of assault, robbery, or other records that fall through the cracks of online databases. However, this is a big chance to take when it is your workplace or property at stake – so be sure to choose wisely.