|Q: How do I decide whether to run a county or statewide
Both of these searches involve criminal records containing similar
misdemeanor and felony conviction information. While both products
generally yield the same case information on a subject, your chances
of finding criminal record information will be greater if you follow
these simple guidelines:
If you are relatively certain your subject was tried for a criminal
offense in a particular county, choose that county for a criminal
records search. This is where the actual court records are filed
and are hand-checked by our qualified court records researcher.
If you are relatively confident your subject was tried for a criminal
offense in a particular state, but are unsure of in which county,
or if the subject has moved around the state several times, try
a statewide criminal search. This search has a much wider geographical
focus and will cover every county courthouse in the state. A statewide
criminal search is more cost-effective than ordering several county
If you are fairly certain that your subject was convicted of a violation
quite recently, then you should order a county criminal search.
The biggest difference between statewide and county criminal records
has to do with how quickly criminal records are made available.
When a person is convicted of a criminal offense the trial takes
place at the county level. When a person has been convicted, this
court record information is generally filed and made available at
the county courthouse shortly after the conviction. However, the
county courthouse may not report this criminal record information
to the statewide criminal repository for several days or weeks.
Each state has different requirements regarding how quickly counties
need to report court record information.
Please note: not all states require their county courts to report
to their statewide criminal repository. Therefore, statewide criminal
record information may not be available in states such as CA,
LA, MA, NV, NH, VT, WV and WY.