Background Checks

Background Checks

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS

There are so many courthouses across the U.S. that it’s impractical to attempt a truly “nationwide” criminal background check. Instead, pre-employment background checks involve county-by-county criminal history searches. Criminal background checks focus mainly on county criminal records simply because the vast majority of criminal offenses are prosecuted in the states’ county courts. As an added precaution, some employers request searches of federal criminal records as well. An explanation of the difference between state and federal crimes follows.

STATE CRIMES

State crimes are violations of state or local statutes or ordinances. They are prosecuted in the state court in the county where the criminal charges are filed. Each county courthouse across the U.S. is responsible for maintaining a record of all the criminal charges within its jurisdiction.

Examples of state crimes include:

  • Assault and Battery
  • Robbery/Theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Driving under the Influence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Murder
  • Fraud
  • Sale/Distribution of Drugs

 

FEDERAL CRIMES

Any offense that violates the laws contained in the United States Criminal Code is considered a federal crime. Such cases are prosecuted in federal courts. There are just under 100 federal districts across the country, each with multiple divisions.

Examples of federal crimes include:

  • Assault and Battery
  • Robbery/Theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Driving under the Influence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Murder
  • Fraud
  • Sale/Distribution of Drugs

 

KNOWING WHERE TO SEARCH

QI requires that each applicant to be screened provide certain personal identifier information (e.g., date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number). If our investigation turns up a possible record, we use this personal information to help determine whether the record does, in fact, belong to the applicant. We also ask for prior addresses from each applicant. Since an applicant might neglect to list a particular prior address if he or she has something to hide, however, we don’t accept the information supplied at face value. Instead, we begin each criminal background check with a social security number trace and an address and alias search. The resulting list of names and addresses associated with the social security number supplied by the applicant helps us determine which names and courts should be searched.

QI recommends searching for criminal records under the applicant’s primary name, plus all other names used, in all counties where the applicant has resided during the past seven years. Since searches of additional counties and/or names might add cost, we can contact you for pre-approval if you would like. For an even more comprehensive search, consider searching for criminal records in neighboring counties or wherever the applicant has attended school or worked. We also recommend searching federal criminal records when recruiting for positions of higher profile, responsibility, or risk.

VERIFICATION OF EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT

Education and employment verifications are recommended simply because all too often resumes contain material inaccuracies since many job candidates misrepresent their qualifications to gain a competitive advantage. Any employer interested in a candidate because he claims to hold a particular degree, license, or credential — or because her resume reflects relevant job experience — should verify such claims before extending an offer of employment. Another advantage of attempting to verify an applicant’s employment and education is that it helps uncover unexplained gaps in personal histories.

DRIVING RECORDS & CREDIT REPORTS

Employers should always request a driving report on any candidate who will be driving a company car or a personal car on behalf of the company since a driver’s record can sometimes reveal a history of unsafe or irresponsible behavior behind the wheel. A motor vehicle record (MVR) details the applicant’s driver’s license number, address, and date of birth, as well as driving history. You might also consider requiring a drug screen, possibly a test with lower substance cut-off levels, such as a DOT test.

A pre-employment credit check can provide insight into how well an applicant has met past financial obligations and is able to budget and handle money. It can prove beneficial in cases where the employee will have financial responsibility or access to sensitive data, cash drawers, inventory, or other valuables. Employment credit reports include personal identifiers such as payment history information reported by creditors and lenders, including the date each account was opened, respective credit limits or loan amounts, account balances, and payment history, as well as public record information concerning any bankruptcies, foreclosures, liens, or judgments against applicants. Pre-employment credit reports do not, however, include a credit score.

FINGERPRINTING & DRUG SCREENING

QI, through one of its alliances, provides mobile Live Scan fingerprinting at your door. Our Live Scan systems digitally capture fingerprints, making the printing process extremely fast. All fingerprint impressions are sent off within 24 to 48 hours from the day they are taken to ensure the fastest turnaround time. Our Live Scan can be up to one to two months faster than normal fingerprinting.

QI, through one of its alliances, provides mobile drug testing services that are innovative and reliable. We offer a full range of rapid-screen drug tests, lab tests, and hair drug tests for businesses, legal systems, personal use, and schools. Our drug testing service is prompt, reliable, and affordable. We use only the highest quality laboratory procedures and stand behind every drug test we perform.