When you make an arrest inquiry, you want the utmost in accuracy. Imagine running a public records check but the search did not state that he or she was arrested for burglary, or worse, was a sex offender.

Arrest Records

These are issues that no one wants to deal with and is the main reason people check arrest records. When checking a record of a person, you’ll find that a lot of these records are not created equal. In fact, public records are often:

  • Outdated
  • Contain wrong information
  • Do not include all of the details

And this information goes both ways. Sometimes, a free background check will tell you that a person was arrested for a crime, but they won’t tell you that they were exonerated. This is a major issue and one that is growing more concerning thanks to the digital age.

With anyone able to conduct a criminal background check for free, it’s easy to judge a person off of the wrong information.

Why You Cannot Trust The Local County Jail Inmate Search Software?

When you conduct a local county jail inmate search, you’ll find that you may have outdated information. Why? There are a slew of reasons why this search software is outdated or simply unreliable.


Take for example, an HCSO arrest inquiry conducted on a local county’s website.

Outdated Information

Much of the information does not provide a clear picture of the person you’re searching for. In fact, many police departments have missing or incomplete data, which causes a major issue when conducting an arrest inquiry.

Information is outdated for a variety of reasons:

  1. Lack of training. Many police departments suffer from lack of training with inmate systems. This leaves some police inputting a criminal’s record properly, and others completely ignoring the system. While this isn’t an issue in big cities, it is a major issue in smaller cities.
  2. Lack of funding. Many police departments have seen their funding decrease in recent years. This leaves systems outdated. If data is lost, many of these systems will miss vital information about a person.

Information that is outdated or incomplete is simply unreliable and virtually useless.

Lack of Tracking

An inmate lookup does not provide a full picture of a person. Why? Oftentimes, a police department will only have the records from their facility on file. If you were to conduct a CMPD arrest inquiry, you’ll find that the information contained is only from that specific department’s arrest records.

For example,

  • John Doe is arrested in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • John Doe is arrested in Miami, Florida.

When you conduct an arrest inquiry in Raleigh, the results may not show the Miami, Florida arrest. Why? The system may only show arrests of current inmates in a specific facility. In other words, you’ll need to have a lot of information to find the potential inmate’s accurate record. If you don’t know where they are incarcerated down to the specific town or county, you may not find their accurate records.

Lack of Thoroughness

Another prime example why all arrest record checks are not created equal is that they are not thorough. Using the example above, let’s say that John Doe was arrested on a burglary charge and was awaiting trial.

John Doe states that the whole situation is a big misunderstanding and that he wasn’t even in the state at the time. However, based off of a witness’s testimony, John is arrested.

Now, John calls a lawyer and the lawyer has definite proof of John’s innocence. John goes to trial and the judge finds him not guilty. This is terrific news for John.

One of two things may occur during an inquiry on the local level:

  • The arrest record is still present, leading you to believe John is a thief.
  • The arrest record doesn’t state the outcome of the trial.

In either case, John is not in a good situation. In fact, John is being viewed as a criminal. Sometimes, a person may even have to fight these records just to get them removed from their record.

You may only find part of the person’s information, such as they were arrested, without knowing the rest of the story. On demand court records would be able to clarify the problem, but this is a step that most people miss along the way.

What a Paid Background Check Provides

best background check service

When the person’s arrest inquiry is extremely vital, it’s better to pay for a background check than use a police department or county records search. Why? Let’s take a look:

  • Nationwide search: Using a big nationwide database, these larger sites are able to find information past the local and state levels. As a company, paid background check services have a lot broader search radius and will be able to collect far more information on an individual.
  • Data points: Arrest records do not provide a lot of information on a person aside from their name, date of birth and why they have been arrested. Most services will have 30 data points including employment, addresses, phone numbers and other pertinent information about a person.
  • Accuracy: Continually updated – often in real-time – a paid search will have all of the information you need about a person. You’ll know when and why they were arrested, if they went to court and were convicted, and when they were found guilty or not guilty of a crime.

Criminal conviction records need to be provided along with arrest records to see if a person’s arrest was actually valid. It’s a web of complication and one that will not be fully answered on the local or state level.

It’s also very important to know that if an arrest occurred overseas, you may not be able to get any information pertaining to criminal conviction records. Many countries will not release this information, so even with a paid search, many of these sites will have missing information when a person has been arrested outside of the United States. However, many paid sites are offering some overseas record where legal.

When it comes to arrest records, public and police records simply do not have the same level of completeness as a premium search provides. Due to lack of funding, many of these free systems provide incomplete information that is not able to tell the complete picture of a person.

If you’re using a free background check to verify someone’s past, you know it’s worth the peace of mind for you to be sure you know the facts. Many premium arrest inquiries will allow you to conduct a search on a person and provide you with more than enough information to truly know the person’s background history.

PRS_728_90