If you are looking to run a criminal background check on someone, you may be curious how thorough a check can be made and still remain within the limits of the law. The following is an overview of what a private investigator can do for you and the limits they may face.

Searching Public Records

Public records, by their very nature, are legal to check. Of course, the problem for many people is trying to find them. A private investigator, can search through court records in many states and find a criminal history that is otherwise difficult to discover. In some states, there are laws that may limit certain searches, but a private investigator knows what can and cannot be done, as well as the best way to search for criminal records to get the information needed.

Aliases and Name Changes

One problem that an amateur will have with a simple search of public records using an online database is they will not know if someone has changed their name. Anyone attempting to hide their criminal background with a name change can be found out. If the name change was done legally, even in another state, this information can be found.

It is possible for an individual to change their names outside of the courts, but when this is done, it is usually done illegally. We have techniques for verifying a person’s identity before doing a criminal background check. We can verify social security information, birth certificates and other similar identification. In some cases, this can lead to a discovery that a person is not who they claim to be, and this may mean they are hiding a criminal record.

When Records No Longer Exist

There are examples of criminal records that cannot be legally accessed by anyone. These are records that have been sealed by a judge. There can be any number of reasons for this, but the important thing to remember is that there is no way to look up this information, even for a private investigator. However, in critical situations it may be possible to conduct interviews of people who may know the background story of the individual in question.

A private investigator cannot break any laws and is therefore limited to doing no more than law enforcement can do with one exception; law enforcement officers can attempt to get a warrant for certain searches. However, the legal techniques that can be used by a private investigator are extensive. Even within the law, our professional investigation firm can perform a robust criminal background check on the individual you are interested in. Contact us, and explain who you need a background check on and why, and we can explain how our services can help you.

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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.