Doing a Pennsylvania Criminal Records Search? Follow These 4 Tips!

Pennsylvania Criminal Records SearchWhether you’re hiring a new employee, renting your home out to a new tenant, or checking up on a friend’s new romantic interest, a good Pennsylvania criminal records search can tell you everything you need to know.

But if you want to get the very best results, you need to follow these 4 tips:

  1. Hire a licensed private investigator

Unfortunately, it’s simply not possible to get the whole story about the person in question all by yourself. Many of the records that you would need to look at aren’t available to the general public — and that’s where a licensed private investigator comes in. His license gives him access to information that’s normally just reserved for law enforcement, meaning he’ll be able to give you much more thorough results than anybody else can.

A word of caution — most of the websites that you see offering Pennsylvania criminal records searches aren’t run by licensed private investigators. In fact, they’re not run by anyone with any kind of investigative background whatsoever! So, before you turn over your search to someone, find out what their credentials are.

Pennsylvania Criminal Court Records

  1. Never rely on instant results

It sounds so convenient, right? After all, you need the information as quickly as possible, and there’s nothing quicker than instant! However, those instant results tend to be outdated and inaccurate.


In order to give you instant information, all of the data needs to already exist on the website’s server. As a result, the website won’t be able to tap into the most recently updated information. (In Pennsylvania, most criminal and court records are updated every few weeks.)

And, since the vast majority of people who run these instant websites aren’t licensed investigators, they don’t even have access to everything you need to do a proper search. Instead, they buy up old public records to fill their servers with. Relying on outdated information that only tells part of the story is not how you want to make an important decision about someone!

Pennsylvania Criminal Search

  1. Find out which specific resources your search will take advantage of.

OK, so we’ve talked about the special access that licensed private investigators have. But what exactly are they doing to dig through to do your Pennsylvania criminal search?

The good ones will go through:

– Records from Pennsylvania’s Administrative Office of Courts, which includes all criminal case details from the state’s courts. These records will tell your investigator what the person in question was charged with, where the crime took place, how he pled, and the specific disposition.

– Records from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, which contain specific details for everyone who is currently under the Department’s supervision.

– Records from the Pennsylvania Sex Offender Registry, which includes sex offenders and those who the state has deemed to be a sexually violent predator.

– Indexes of previous criminal records searches done throughout Pennsylvania, including those done via a county, state, or federal request.

– Criminal court records for certain traffic offenses.

When you look at it this way, it’s easy to see why instant searches could never give you all of the information that you need! Plus, a good investigator will go through all of these resources by hand, which gives him a chance to verify all of the data so that you don’t end up with any false positives.

Luckily, though, all of this work doesn’t take very long. Good investigators have the expertise to perform an efficient search, without cutting any corners. You may not get instant answers, but you’ll get the lowdown on your person in question quickly. (For example, here at Docusearch, we can run your Pennsylvania criminal records search and get the results to you within one business day.)

  1. Get the lowdown on price before you agree to anything else

As if it wasn’t bad enough that so many websites churn old, unchecked information, those websites will likely charge you far more than you were ever planning to pay.

How do they do that?

The vast majority of them offer dirt cheap — or even free — searches. What they fail to mention, though, is that the deal only applies to the search itself. You’ll be able to type someone’s name into the search box for free, but if you actually want to see the results, you’ll have to pay for them. Some websites will even make you sign up for an expensive subscription service that you don’t need or want just to see your results!

Things couldn’t be more different when you work with a reputable investigator. Instead of combing through the fine print for hidden fees, you’ll be able to see exactly what the pricing structure is before you commit to anything. Good investigators will charge a one-time fee that you pay before the work begins, and after that, you’ll never be asked to spend another cent.

Want to take full advantage of these tips? Hire the team of licensed private investigators at Docusearch to handle your Pennsylvania criminal records search!

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