A county courthouse database search involves asking a specific county’s courts directly for records related to your subject. In most cases we can access the records electronically, but in some cases, this involves physically visiting the courthouse and obtaining records. This scrutiny can help companies hiring for positions of greater sensitivity or risk create the confidence necessary for an informed decision as you will always received the most up to date records.
In contrast, a multi-jurisdictional criminal database search combines multiple resources into one report. It uses the most recently digitally available county court records, state-level records, offender lists, and other sources. We compile these records into a proprietary database of 650+ million files and keep them updated consistently.
A county courthouse search has a limited geographic scope, and its purpose is to detect the most recent charges or case status changes in any county of your choosing. Even if they are not covered in our database. A multi-jurisdictional search lets you cast a wide net with near-instant results for quick consideration. For a full overview of the sources and jurisdictions that we cover, view our data coverage map: https://www.backgroundchecks.com/our-data/coverage-map
Consider this quick summary of the different individual searches that may go into a multi-jurisdictional search:
- County court data, the most local records available, are reported directly from a courthouse.
- State-level data, which polls a state criminal data repository that compiles data from individual county courts. Not all states have state repositories, and may also include crimes prosecuted by the state rather than a county.
- Federal criminal searches only report crimes prosecuted in federal district court. State and county repositories aren’t part of the federal government, so they don’t contain information on such cases.
Additionally, it is essential to differentiate between criminal courts and civil courts. Criminal courts prosecute crimes that can carry fines, probation, and jail time. Civil courts hear cases concerning possible civil law violations, i.e., traffic infringements or lawsuits between private parties. We report civil court data separately and don’t include them in criminal record searches.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments