We’ve all seen the alarming news stories about workplace violence, financial fraud, sexual misconduct, and other crimes perpetrated by employees against fellow co-workers, employers, clients, and even children.

For this reason, employers across several industries related to the handling of financial or personal information and direct care of vulnerable populations, such as in the fields of healthcare, education, and finance, require that all employees undergo a criminal background check.

If you have been asked by a potential employer to undergo a criminal background check as part of the hiring process, you might be wondering exactly what shows up on a criminal background check? Keep reading to learn about different types of criminal background checks, what information they include, and how they can be obtained.

Why Criminal Background Checks Should Be a Part of the Background Screening Process

There are staggering statistics that show what can happen when employers are negligent in their hiring process. The hiring of employees who are not properly vetted can result in harm to others and put your business in jeopardy.

Results can even be deadly. In fact, The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report at the end of 2017 showing that workplace homicides had increased for the third year in a row, resulting in 500 cases in 2016 alone. Workplace violence is now the second leading cause of death in the workplace behind transportation incidents.

When criminal history checks are done along with background checks into employment history, education, references, civil records, and other pertinent information, employers can find the best, most qualified employees and help keep their clients, company, and employees safe. As an employee, knowing that your employer performs these checks should give you added peace of mind because the odds that you are in a safer work environment increase.

What Do Criminal Background Checks in Nevada Show?

If you have been asked to undergo a criminal background check as a part of the hiring process, the information that comes up will vary depending on the type of background search done, why it is being done, and the laws in your jurisdiction.

In general, criminal records that will show up include felony and misdemeanor convictions, arrests, warrants, court records, incarceration records, and sex offenses.

Listed below are types of background checks and what they include.

Local county criminal searches: These searches are limited to a local county and will display any history of felonies and possibly misdemeanors or infractions, warrants, arrest records, imprisonment, dismissals, and even probations.

Statewide criminal searches: These searches reveal criminal activity in all counties within the state in which you reside, including misdemeanors, felonies, and even traffic violations.

Federal criminal searches: These searches utilize data from all United States district and appellate courthouses, revealing criminal histories for federal crimes including kidnapping, fraud, tax evasion, theft, and others.

International Watch List: If you have been deemed a threat to the country by the Department of State, your name will be found on this list.

National Criminal Database Searches: Also called multi-jurisdictional databases, these types of searches compile data from various databases, county and state jurisdictions, state sex offender registries, and other sources for a broad look at an individual’s criminal history. Some question the effectiveness of these types of data searches since there is no central national database. Furthermore, important information may not be updated frequently by various data sources, leading to outdated or incorrect results.

The Largest Criminal Database in the World: The FBI’s Next Generation Information System (NGI) is working to close the records with the outcome of the charges. The NGI system is also collecting biometric data of criminals from fingerprints, facial recognition and DNA. The old FBI Database Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS ) would commonly show the arrest booking record and did not provide the details if the charges were dropped or prosecuted. This caused several Americans to miss out on employment opportunities before the updates were made.

While criminal convictions will stay on an individual’s record, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), criminal checks can’t contain records of arrests or civil suites beyond seven years.   Certain crimes can be expunged from the record.

If you are a Nevada employer, you should be aware of Nevada’s employment laws as well as those set forth by the Federal FCRA. There are legal limits on what information you can request and how it can be used, namely when requesting information on consumer reports, social media, sexual offenses, and driver’s record information. We recommend using a highly-reputable Nevada background checking facility to help you stay in compliance with these statutes. Whenever you run any type of background check as an Employer or Human Resources, you will want to have a waiver signed by the applicant allowing you to obtain such information.

Name-Based vs. Fingerprinting Criminal Background Checks: Know the Differences

It is important to note that there are stark differences in the accuracy of name-based and fingerprint criminal background checks.

Name-Based Criminal Background Checks

Name-based criminal checks are done using personal identifiers like name, birthdate, weight, and height. This lends itself to several possible issues:

  • As you might imagine, the information provided by those with criminal histories may not be accurate.
  • These types of checks can also trigger “false hits,” which can happen when a name is shared by more than one individual. These inaccuracies are time-consuming to clear up and can even cost some people employment opportunities due to misinformation.
  • State police and other state agencies have determined that fingerprints are the best means of accurate identification and may not underwrite the accuracy of a name-based criminal check.
  • Name-based checks are not accepted by the FBI for non-criminal justice inquiries.

Fingerprint Criminal Background Checks

Fingerprints are unique to each person, so false hits and multiple hits are not an issue—even if the individual is a twin! Criminal background checks based on fingerprinting offer the following benefits:

  • Fingerprints don’t lie, even when people are less than honest. Those who have used alternate names, birthdates, or other identifiers cannot game the system with fingerprint checks.
  • Using fingerprints, a human-body characteristic (biometric) search can be done with criminal history databases, including the FBI’s comprehensive Next Generation Identification database. The NGI stores data on over seventy-five million subjects, including civil submissions and criminal cases from authorized background checks.
  • Fingerprints can be used for inkless Livescan technology, which is the most accurate form of fingerprinting. This leading-edge technology eliminates errors and minimizes rejections that have been found with traditional ink-based fingerprints (e.g. smudging or smearing). Livescan also processes fingerprints directly to the FBI and state agencies for results in days (instead of months using the traditional ink fingerprinting method).

Fast, Efficient, Reliable Criminal Background Checks in Nevada

Whether you are an employee or employer in Nevada, the criminal background check process is designed for your safety and the protection of those you serve. We make the criminal background check process easy, fast, and highly secure! Whether you are an individual seeking employment or a business owner, we encourage you to get in touch with us to learn why Fingerprinting Express is the most trusted background check provider in Nevada.


Fingerprinting Express has four convenient locations in Nevada and are proud to be the exclusive provider of criminal background check services to some of Nevada’s largest employers! Give us a call today at (800) 919-0227 to learn more about our process or to schedule an appointment to have your criminal background check completed.

Other Articles to Read:

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How To Prepare Yourself For Nevada School District Employment

Employment is Possible with a Criminal History – Sealing Records