Background searches are necessary and important services provided by private investigators. Clients request backgrounds searches for many different reasons. They may be looking into a person’s criminal history, credit, address history, professional history and social relationships.

Reasons to search are various. They may be used for employment or acceptance into housing. Background searches may be conducted by someone who is professionally or romantically involved with another. Some searches are conducted with regard to granting security clearances.

Most searches focus on an individual’s criminal record. Does he or she have a record or not. Criminal records refer to either felony or misdemeanor charges. When searching these records, investigators must be very careful about their findings. Many databases will indicate an individual having a criminal record, however, a review of the docket is needed to determine the disposition of the case, i.e., was there a conviction or dismissal of the charges.

Traffic records will also appear in the criminal records if they involve charges by the State, i.e. Driving Under The Influence, Reckless Driving and/or violations issued by the State Highway Patrol. Regular traffic tickets are civil citations and can only be located by searching Motor Vehicle Records.

Second most popular requested search is employment history. This search can be tricky. Although there is no law against a former employer disclosing information about a former employee, most will not do so fearing a defamation lawsuit. This leaves the investigator to limited objective information such as employment dates and job title.