Every situation is totally different when conducting a criminal background check. There are so many factors that can totally change your results that it is almost impossible to be totally ready for all of them. As a Private Investigator I have come across so many of these different factors over the years. I have seen how they can change the whole scope of the investigation. In this article I will address the two most common and often disastrous mistakes made during a criminal background check.
The first major, and I mean major, mistake is clearly gathering information on the wrong person. This happens more often than you would think. If your subject has a common name or you have limited information it is very important to have certain things that can narrow down your results. A good way to avoid this situation is to make sure you always have a date of birth or a address the subject has live at. This way once you dig deeper you will be able to identify if you are searching the wrong person.
The second major mistake is not getting as much information as possible. I have coached many people in conducting criminal background checks and have to constantly remind them of this. Once you find one criminal record on a subject it does not mean your investigation is over. The best example I often give for this situation is this; you have a subject that lives in Connecticut so naturally you start at the Connecticut Judicial Web Site and find a few criminal convictions. Awesome! You got some results for your subject. The problem is that before this person live in Connecticut they live in New York and they have an extensive criminal record there too. You would never know this if you stopped with Connecticut.
I am not saying you need to check every state just in case. I am recommending that if you are serious about your criminal background check you don't cut corners. The best way to check nationwide is to subscribe to a criminal records database. These services compile data from across the country and provide you with a central location to search a subject. Of course they charge a fee for this service but it is very minimal compared to missing a big conviction. This is the most time efficient way to do a background check because then you have a starting point to get further records. The key to success in any criminal background check is thoroughness; do not waste your time by not getting all the information!