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The Nuances of Statewide Searches

There are two types of statewide searches, it is important to distinguish between two types: a staterepositoryand a unified statewide database. It’s important to understand the differences.

A state repository is a law enforcement database that contains some or all records of law enforcement activity related to a given subject. As a general rule, anytime someone is arrested at the local level, there is a robust mechanism to report that information to the state repository. It is this mechanism that in part, makes certain that individuals who are arrested go to court.

By contrast, there is an administrative office of the court statewide database, which is sometimes referred to as a unified statewide database. This is the state court administrators’ consolidated portal by which you can look at the individual case results of some or all of a subject’s state/county court records.

Organizations commonly use a state repository search when there is a statutory mandate that requires them to do so. In some instances repository searches may be limited by a statutory requirement. Unified searches are a viable alternative if there is no requirement or guidance compelling or dictating the nature or scope of a background check. In most instances the turnaround time is shorter and the methods of access are less burdensome.

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