The Investigative Criminal Background Check is a diligent criminal background check, typically identifying about 90% of the criminal records found in PFC’s most thorough background investigation available through Care.com, the Investigative Criminal Plus Background Check. It also includes the driving record from the state where your caregiver is licensed.
The Investigative Criminal Background Check does not include civil protective/restraining orders, national wants and warrant searches, or bankruptcy searches—all of which are included in the Investigative Criminal Plus Background Check.
This investigation will miss all criminal cases prosecuted in the federal courts (e.g., child pornography, kidnapping, interstate drug crimes, insurance fraud, etc.), and most misdemeanors and felonies outside of the research scope. This investigation is just as likely to miss a serious felony record (e.g., sexual assault, murder) as a minor misdemeanor (e.g., theft by check, open container violations). Therefore, the Investigative Criminal Background Check is recommended only for closely-supervised caregivers.
The Investigative Criminal Background Check includes:
Advanced Identity Research: PFC will review information from consumer reference files (e.g., credit bureau records, consumer transactions, and public records) to corroborate the identity information provided by the Individual and determine under which names and in which jurisdictions criminal research should be conducted.
This is not verification that the information provided matches the records of the Social Security Administration or any government entity. Nor is it a verification that the information provided belongs to the Individual, even if the name, social security number, and date of birth records found match those provided by the Individual.
Because the information found in consumer reference files comes from a variety of sources and often contains errors, the raw data will not be included in this report. The appearance of unexpected names or jurisdictions in research should not be assumed to be due to fraud by the Individual.
If the provided identity information is inconsistent with the information in consumer reference files, PFC will place the report on hold and contact the Individual to confirm the information provided.
In the event that the information provided by the Individual cannot be corroborated through this process, PFC will request that the Individual complete a Form SSA-89, providing signed consent for PFC to verify the provided name, date of birth and social security number against the Social Security Administration’s records.
County-level Criminal Records Searches: PFC will conduct searches of the misdemeanor and felony criminal court records of each county associated with the Individual in the past seven years. (The Investigative Criminal Plus Background Check includes all counties in the past ten years.)
The term “counties” also refers to parishes in Louisiana or boroughs in New York.
Counties and names included in research are determined based upon information provided by the Individual and other information developed during Advanced Identity Research.
Juvenile records are generally not included, as these records are typically not public record. Additionally, records of sealed or expunged records are not included.
Each search will cover a minimum of ten years of criminal records in that county – most will cover much longer periods.
Many counties have decentralized court records systems and each city or town in a county may have its own separate system for maintaining records of citations and low-level offenses. Our research is conducted using the records of the primary county-level criminal case indices and may not reflect cases in municipal or other low-level courts not included in the primary indices.
It is also important to note that these are searches of judicial (court) records, not investigation, detention, arrest warrants, or arrest records maintained by law enforcement. Until a criminal case has been filed against a defendant, the matter will not appear in the court’s records.
Some states’ court systems use a single computer network and make it possible to search all county-level courts at once. In those cases, PFC will search all counties in that state rather than limiting the searches to specific counties associated with the individual’s residence history.
Multijurisdictional Criminal Records Database: PFC will conduct this database search under each name associated with the Individual during Advanced Identity Research.
Sometimes referred to as a “national” or “nationwide” criminal history search, this database contains millions of criminal records, sex-offender registrations, the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s (OFAC) list of identified terrorists and other international criminals (often referred to as the Patriot Act list) and other sources.
Some jurisdictions provide limited or no information for inclusion in this database. Half or more of the available criminal records in the United States are missing from this database.
To ensure maximum possible accuracy, any records found in the database are verified with the originating county prior to inclusion in our report. Notations of any records found in the database will refer back to the report entry for the originating county.
USDOJ National Sex Offender Public Website Search: PFC will use this website to conduct a search under all names associated with the Individual during Advanced Identity Research.
This is a search of the US Department of Justice’s gateway to the internet-based sex offender websites of all 50 states and many US territories using each of the names identified during advanced identity research.
While this single search touches dozens of sex offender databases, it is important to realize that each state has its own registration requirements—what requires registration in one state may not require registration in another. Additionally, many states restrict which registered offenders are listed on their public website.
Some search results presented by this website do not include dates of birth to determine whether the person listed on the state website is the Individual. On occasion, many records are found for individuals with common names (e.g., John Smith or Jose Garcia) with no additional identifying information. When this occurs, PFC will limit follow up research to the states associated with the Individual’s residence history based upon Advanced Identity Research.
State Driving History: PFC will retrieve the record of the Individual’s driving record, typically including accidents and citations in the last three to five years, from the state in which the Individual is licensed. Different states provide different kinds of information and records for different lengths of time.
Traffic citations and other matters in states other than that in which the Individual is licensed may not appear on the driving record.
Pennsylvania and Washington require additional paperwork be completed by the employer and, for Washington, the driver prior to requesting a driving history. PFC will coordinate with the Employer and the Individual to obtain the necessary paperwork.
Pennsylvania driving history requests will be mailed to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the turnaround time may be two to three weeks.
The Investigative Criminal Plus Background Check includes PFC’s benchmark criminal background investigation. It also includes the driving record from the state where your caregiver is licensed and additional searches for indicators of potentially red-flag behavior.
The Investigative Criminal Plus Background Check is conducted by PFC's highly trained researchers, including licensed private investigators. All criminal history information included in this report is reported directly from the original records of the relevant courts to ensure the most up-to-date information available.
In performing these searches, the researchers utilize information from county courts, state law enforcement agencies, state bureaus of prisons, statewide administrative offices of the courts, federal courts, and other sources. In all cases, criminal research is conducted manually, often by conducting in-person, hands-on searches of actual records in the courthouse.
This is our benchmark criminal background investigation. However, government regulations, the age of criminal records, local courts’ record retention and disclosure rules, errors in the recording and indexing of records by court clerks, and other human error make it possible that some possibly relevant criminal history information may go unreported.
There is no single source for all criminal records in the United States. This investigation uses database records compiled from sources across the country to identify potential records combined with hands-on research by trained investigators reviewing live courthouse records in jurisdictions associated with the caregiver’s residence history.
The Investigative Criminal Plus Background Check includes:
County-level Criminal Records Searches: PFC will conduct searches of the misdemeanor and felony criminal court records of each county associated with the Individual in the past ten years.
Federal District Criminal Records Searches: PFC will, at a minimum, search each federal district associated with the Individual in the past ten years. Jurisdictions and names included in research are determined during Advanced Identity Research.
The indices for federal court records include only the defendants’ names. They do not include defendants’ dates of birth or other identifiers. This means that the majority of records initially identified by searching a relatively common name are not actually associated with the Individual.
PFC will conduct additional research to determine if the defendant in a federal case is the Individual. This usually does not delay completion of the report more than a day. However, on occasion, this may require more time-consuming effort such as retrieving records from the federal archives or processing a request through the Department of Justice. In exceptionally rare cases, this additional research may take three to four weeks.
State-level Criminal Records Searches: PFC will search the available statewide criminal records repositories, prison records, and sex offender registries in each state associated with the Individual in the past ten years. Jurisdictions and names included in research are determined during advanced identity research.
Not all states make this information available.
Some states offer criminal records from both the state law enforcement agency and the state court system. In these cases, PFC will utilize the system believed to be the most thorough.
Some states require fingerprints or unique signed releases to access their criminal records repository or prison records. Because these processes can significantly delay completion of the report, these sources are not included in this Report.
Civil Restraining Orders Search: PFC will search for restraining orders (also called protective orders or stay-away orders) filed by or against the subject in each jurisdiction where the Individual has lived during the prior two years. Jurisdictions and names included in research are determined during Advanced Identity Research.
Restraining orders are frequently filed in the context of domestic disputes or domestic violence, but may also be filed in non-domestic situations (e.g., conflicts involving coworkers, former employers, or neighbors).
Restraining orders often only contain the names of the parties. In compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, PFC will conduct additional research to determine if a party to a restraining order is the Individual.
PFC maintains “reasonable procedures to ensure maximum possible accuracy of the information” we include in our report. This means we will not report restraining orders unless we are reasonably confident that the party named in the order is the subject of the report. This may mean that we exclude a protective order that is legitimately associated with the Individual because we could not find a means of connecting the order to the Individual.
Restraining orders are routinely filed in divorce or other civil case proceedings but may not be indexed separately from the civil case. In such cases, the order may not be found during our research.
Restraining orders are also sometimes issued by lower-level courts whose records are not indexed at the county level. In such cases, the order may not be found during our research.
Restraining orders are not always considered public information and may not be accessible through this search.
National Bankruptcy Search: PFC will search the US federal courts bankruptcy filings for the past ten years.
National Wants & Warrants: PFC will search this federal database of extraditable arrest warrants that have been reported by local, state, and federal authorities. Many, if not most, warrants are not reported.
If records result from this search, additional research may be conducted to obtain additional information.