In the realm of information, the internet has provided countless free resources. Consequently, this gives people searching for free criminal background checks reason for optimism. After all – criminal records are typically considered public records and, therefore, available for anyone to view.
The reality is that – while some background check information is free, and a complete criminal background can be run quick and hassle-free, it’s rare to be able to procure a complete background check for completely free – and certainly not in a hassle-free way. In fact, most times it wouldn’t be practical to even try.
Public records – while, indeed, public – are not always readily available. Many counties and local governments do not put all their criminal records online and even those that do often don’t make them easily searchable (i.e. by name). You often have to have a case number or other very specific information to access the records that may be of interest to you. Criminal records are also not usually indexed by Google, Bing or other search engines, so there’s no easy workaround to search what are often user-unfriendly county record systems.
Compounding this is the fact that you’d have to know the exact local government courthouses and counties to search. If a person has lived in one town their whole life, you might be able to make some reasonable guesses, but you can’t be sure there isn’t a record in another courthouse – maybe in a completely different state. Especially for instances were the records aren’t available online, searching even neighboring counties usually make this kind of research impractical (and incomplete).
In addition, the fact that records are public doesn’t mean they’re available for free – even if they’re posted online. It wouldn’t be unusual to be charged $10-20 per record – and there might be additional fees for “research” if you go to a courthouse in person.
Fortunately, there are public record companies that have already done the legwork and paid the fees for you. They’ve compiled criminal records – and all other public records – from every county and courthouse in the US and matched it to each person associated with them. As a result, by simply entering a name and last known city and state (or even just the state), you can get results in just seconds.
In addition, you can start a search for free and receive valuable preview information that they provide to ensure that they’ve found the right person before you pay a dime. You can try it below.
The best part is the cost of a comprehensive criminal background check report – which will also include marriage/divorce records, address history, current & past phone numbers and more – comes at a cost less than what you’d likely pay for a single record from a single courthouse (about $10). It’s not free, but it’s most definitely hassle-free and comprehensive – and that makes it a bargain.