How Much Does It Cost to Do a Criminal Background Check?
Many people who try to track a person’s criminal history ask themselves the question how much does it cost to do a criminal background check. The answer to that depends on whether it is a federal, state or county background check and on the type of record you are seeking.
Federal criminal search
Prices are between $18 and $30. Using the U.S. Public Access to Court Electronic Records costs $30 per person search and additional $0.1 per page.
An audio file of court hearing demands a fee of $2.4 per file.
Retrieving a criminal history record from the FBI requires an $18 fee per person checked. For instructions on how to submit an identity check request, go their IDHSC page.
Statewide Criminal Background Check
Prices range between $10 and $25. Some states offer cheaper prices; others will charge you more. There is no apparent reason for the different fees as you will usually get the same type of information.
For example, information on GA arrest records (provided by the Georgia Technology Authority) requires users to pay $15 per person checked. Tracking a person’s criminal history in Florida using the FDLE’s database costs $24 per search.
How much does it cost to do a criminal background check on a county level?
Tracking a person’s criminal history on a county level is usually cheaper. The average price is $5 – $10. Bear in mind that some records will be provided for free by the authorities.
Price per record type
Arrest records – County arrest records are given with no cost. More than that, many sheriffs include an online free inquiry tool on their websites. For instance, you may search for South Carolina, Greenville County arrest records here.
Warrants – You can garner information on your county’s wanted people for free either at the sheriff office or at the Magistrate office. Some counties present the information online. For example, NC, Mecklenburg County warrants can be sought using the sheriff’s electronic free inquiry tool.
Court records – In most cases you will have to pay less than a dollar per page. All in all, a full record (of course, depending on how big it is) costs approximately $8 – $10. Be advised, if you want a certified copy, price may increase to $15 – $25. In North Carolina, for example, they will demand $25 dollars for a certified record.
What can be revealed in a background check?
Each record reveals information related to its specific type.
Arrest records are issued every time a person is apprehended by the police. They display the detainee’s personal details, a mugshot, booking and release date, the offence the detainee is charged with, court dates, arresting agency and bond amount.
Warrants are issued by the court or Magistrate when the police suspect a person has been involved in a crime and so wish to investigate him or her. Warrants include the suspect’s personal details, case number, the agency that issued the warrant and charges.
Court records detail a person’s history of prosecutions and convictions. They specify the defendant’s personal details, case number, charge information, dispositions and hearings (e.g. arraignment), court’s verdict, fees and the attorneys that took part in the trial.