Pennsylvania Free Background CheckIn the State of Pennsylvania, the general interpretation of an official background check equates it with a criminal history of the individual under scrutiny. Official background checks can only be retrieved by eligible applicants after submission of prescribed documents, information and departmental fees. On the other hand, one can conduct an unofficial background check for free.
It is best to know the advantages of each before deciding upon the type of background check one wishes to conduct. The criminal history of people within the State of Pennsylvania is compiled, collated, stored, updated and issued by the Pennsylvania State Police(PSP).
Furthermore, PSP has an online application called Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History (PATCH) to server the public with access to criminal records. An official record is usually a better alternative because:
- The document is a legally admissible certified copy with all information validated by the issuing authorities as well as the governing bodies that recorded it.
- It is a standardized document that enables seamless and convenient submissions and drastically reduces timelines of intended clerical use.
- Liability of all errors should they emerge, are the sole responsibility of authorities that record, store or issue the document.
- The document is the prescribed submission for the majority of official purposes i.e. loan applications, contractual obligations, employment, insurance, tenancy, etc.
- Despite the payment of a prescribed fee, the applicant saves on the hassle and risks of unofficial background checks.
- Authorization by the subject of the record is not needed.
- The eligibility of applicants is not mandated.
- Essentially, a free background check, no departmental fees are required.
- The researcher can remain anonymous.
- . It is a better option if the errors made by the researched do not result in serious legal risks.
- In-house staff and intensive efforts can save the researcher time and not wait for the processing of official records, end of official holidays or the services of an external investigator.
How to conduct a Free background check?1. Research of Court Records: Court records are reliable documents to source information, especially transcripts of trials, hearings, appeals, notices, and summons towards the individual or an entity for which the individual is liable. These transcripts and documents reveal whether the individual has been summoned, charged or prosecuted for criminal offenses, settled for financial disputes or civil offenses, been registered for marriage and/or divorce and if he/she was notified for driving violations. The aforesaid court records may be accessed online through the official website of the Unified justice system of Pennsylvania.
2. Mining information from Inmate Records: If court records reveal the possibility of criminal history, the researcher can access inmate records from the official website of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. An inmate record provides the researcher with a mug shot, history of arrests, incarceration, and information about parole or probation and their violations by the individual under scrutiny.
3. Mining information from Sex Offender Registries: It is advisable that the researcher conducts a name-based search of the individual under scrutiny in the State Registry of Sex offenders as well as the National Sex Offender’s Registry. If the individual does emerge as a sex offender, the registry also provides the latest area of residence of the offender.
4. Research on financial history can be retrieved from credit rerating agencies, but the same is unreliable or insufficient when done through free channels unless the subject of the background check can voluntarily furnish the information along with bank statements, tax records, etc.