You can conduct a criminal background search on the Internet with different online resources. The following are some ideas:

Try a broad online search - This is a good idea if you want to verify or discover basic details about the questionable person, such as their contact information. Use a major search engine to help you. To begin with, search their full name in quotations to see what results are returned. If nothing of consequence shows up, try searching for the person's name along with their state. You can also try looking up their name with their age, phone number, email address, and any other identification detail that may reveal a useful webpage, such as a social networking profile, personal website, etc.

Search a states official government site - If you know the name of the current and previous states where the person whose background you are checking lives, find out the official government websites of these states to see if they can provide you with details on how to go about requesting criminal background information. It's also a good idea to find out if the state has its own online criminal justice information center that enables you to perform background investigations online.

Websites that specialize in background information - There are many sites that offer Internet users the chance to run criminal background lookups. These places do charge a fee to those who wish to access their database that is comprised of millions of public records, but the fee is minimal and the results are instantly returned once you have conducted your search. This online search option, though not free, is often the quickest and most effective means for discovering if someone has a criminal history.

You will discover that each of these online resources may be very beneficial to you during your criminal records search, but it really all depends on the type of information you are looking for, why you are looking for it, and who you are searching.

Originally published July 17, 2008 2:34 PM