Frequently Asked Questions

 

1

Even though I am doing searches for a corporation, can I use a company credit card rather than setting up a billing account?

 

2

How long does it take to get a company billing account?

 

3

Should I decide to open a company billing account, do you offer training on your system?

 

4

How secure is the Argus Search, Inc. web site for requesting searches when using my charge card?

 

5

I am not clear on how to read the 'jurisdiction fees' link. Can you explain?

 

6

My search request was sent back with a note asking me to enter a county and state. Can you explain?

 

7

How will I know when my requests are completed? Will I receive an e-mail notifying me when they are done?

 

8

What is your average turn-around time?

 

9

Can Argus Search, Inc. provide me a full National Criminal Background Check?

 

10

What is a Civil Offense?

 

11

What is a Criminal Offense?

 

12

What is a Misdemeanor?

 

13

What is a Felony?

 

14

What is a State DOC?

 

15

Why should I check a potential employee's background?

 

16

Is it illegal to check someone's background? When is it necessary to have a signed release form?

 

17

Is it illegal to ask for a date of birth before you hire someone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers

 

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Yes. This service is available for both companies and private individuals.

 

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Typically you will receive the information almost immediately; however, we ask for one business day to complete the setup process.

 

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Yes. Send an e-mail to
info@argus-search.com, or call 509-893-9330 and our informed staff can assist you.

 

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Since all of our pages contain sensitive information, they are encrypted on our secured server utilizing SSL. We also have an extensive fire wall to prevent any unauthorized access. Please review our
'Privacy Policy' link for additional details.

 

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Since the on-site manual checks require a court clerk to pull the record, there might be either State or County jurisdiction charges, depending on the search requested. Argus Search has created a database for both County & State fees that will automatically add the total for you before you check out. This way, there will never be any hidden costs. (Many of our competitors do not offer this convenience.) -- To see what jurisdiction fee will be applicable, if any, click on our 'jurisdiction fees' link. Reading across a row, you will see which searches are available in a given state, as well as any associated state fees. To see the charges at the county level, click on a state abbreviation. You will then see the fees that are required in order to do these on-site county searches.

 

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In order to run a County check, the county and state must be entered into the appropriate fields.

 

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The requests take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours to complete. Unless you advise us differently, we will e-mail the completed report to the person who made the initial request.

 

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We generally advise our clients that turn-around times vary between 24 to 72 hours, depending on the search being conducted and the availability of resources (previous employers, reference checks, educational response,etc.).

 

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No. and Yes. Only the FBI and law enforcement agencies have access to the National Crime Information Center database for criminal records. They can access this for official investigations only. At the present time, private companies and individuals cannot access this information.
However, Argus now offers a multi-state criminal search that will return results from 46 states. Please refer to our "jurisdiction fees' link for state-by-state detail.

 

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According to Black's Law Dictionary, Civil Offenses are described as "violations of statutes that make the act a public nuisance." A civil offense is a disagreement between two parties. Civil suits can include real estate and estate matters, divorce, money matters, non-performance of a contract, etc.

 

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Per Black's Law Dictionary, a criminal offense is defined as "conduct that causes any social harm which is defined and made punishable by law." A criminal offense is one that occurs between an enforcing agency and an individual who is suspected of committing a crime against property or a person. Individual states, municipalities, and federal agencies determine what is considered a criminal offense.

 

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According to Black's Law Dictionary, Misdemeanors are "any offense other than a felony." Misdemeanors are 'minor' crimes, usually with fines up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. These crimes might include theft, littering, speeding, possession of minimal amounts of marijuana, 1st-offense DUI, trespassing, burglary, etc.

 

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"Under most state statutes, any offense punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year." Felonies are major infractions, including domestic battery, 3+ offense DUI, kidnapping, possession/sale of drugs, aggravated assault, aggravated robbery, aggravated battery, rape, blackmail, attempted murder, murder, treason, etc. These crimes carry major fines with long jail terms.

 

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All criminal charges are handled at the appropriate court level, depending on the jurisdiction. If a person is convicted at the state level, it will be monitored by the State Department of Corrections for supervision, typically for felonies and higher-level misdemeanor convictions. Each state determines its procedures. Not all states consider this information to be public record and will not release. See our 'jurisdiction fees' link for state-by-state detail.

 

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40% of applicants falsify responsibilities, salaries, and accomplishments on job applications. -- Helps reduce the high cost associated with turnover. -- Ensures that you hire the most qualified applicants. -- Reduces your risk of a negligent hiring lawsuit. -- Provides the information needed to create a safe and productive work place.

 

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If you are doing a background check for personal purposes, this is allowed by law, as long as you are using the information for "Due Diligence". The information cannot be used for any unlawful purpose or to harm an individual in any way.
On the other hand, if you are considering hiring someone, you may conduct a "consumer report" background check on that prospective employee, but you will need an FCRA-compliant release form, signed by the applicant, that gives you permission to conduct the background check. (Refer to our 'release form' link to get a sample form from which you can create your own form, should you not have one.) The FCRA states, in part: The term "consumer report" means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living which is used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing the consumer's eligibility for (A) credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes; (B) employment purposes; or (C) any other purpose authorized.

 

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No. But it is illegal to discriminate based on age of an applicant. There is no law that states a date of birth cannot be obtained to verify background information. If you or your attorneys have doubts about asking for the date of birth from an applicant, explain to the applicant that it is easier to obtain criminal history or driving records with one. Consequently, placing people in positions of trust without checking background information may place your company in a high-risk category of suffering from the repercussions of a negligent hiring lawsuit.