There are courts at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels, each with its own set of criminal records. A county may be considered as a province or a specific region, and there are almost 3000 counties in the United States. Each and every county court maintains its own set of criminal records. Normally the cases held at the county level include misdemeanors and felonies that are not reported at the federal level.
Accessibility to county criminal records is relatively fast when compared to the records of state and federal courts. A person called a court record retriever takes 72 hours to retrieve information and search most of these records manually.
Federal court criminal records include the data relating to drug crimes, immigration crimes, and crimes relating to weapons. It is highly difficult to have the accessibility of these records online. Even if a person has the accessibility, he can have the data only to a limited extent not covering the personal information of the accused and the witnesses. In the USA, federal court criminal records are compiled by a very popular agency called National Crime Information Centre (NCIC), which maintains computerized index of the criminal records prepared by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. Employers routinely conduct federal criminal checks before employing potential candidates for some of positions.
State court criminal records, on the other hand, have high accessibility via the Internet.
Some state courts prescribe a range of fees for accessing their records online and some state courts do not. These records contain the data given by county indexes. These records also exclude the sensitive personal information of defendants like federal court criminal records. The best option in the hands of a searcher is to make countywide and statewide index search combined to have the full spectrum of the criminal record.