Then read the Virtual Chase's article, National Criminal Background Checks: Myths, Realities & Resources. Here are the article's conclusions:
1. Proprietary fee-based databases offer geographical breadth at reasonable cost to criminal records research that would be time-consuming and prohibitively expensive using local, on-site research.
2. Online searches and on-site research risk missing information for a variety of reasons, and the industry standard maintains there is no substitute for searching court records at the local level. The diligent researcher will pursue every available avenue to search down to the lowest possible local level in conducting criminal background searches -- and will recognize there still can be no guarantee of 100% certainty.
3. Given the inconsistency of data collection among and between local and state jurisdictions, varying standards for updating data and for insuring its accuracy, the lack of any standard for collecting information on criminal offenses, and increasing restrictions imposed on information in public records by jurisdictions concerned about privacy rights, a nationwide criminal records search remains a goal, not a given.