How To Be Your Own Investigator by Marc Hurwitz
Have you ever wanted to practice your private investigation skills? The Crossroads Investigations resource section includes many links to free databases.
Here are four tips on how to be your own investigator using free resources:
- County Criminal Records. If you suspect a subject has been involved in a crime in a specific county, simply Google the county name and the phrase “Clerk of Courts.” For my fellow south-Floridians, links for Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties can be found on our website.
- State Level Criminal Records. Sometimes county searches are just not enough. To check if a subject has been involved in a crime at the state level, you can do so via that state’s Department of Law Enforcement.
- Federal Records – PACER is the online system to search federal court cases. You can either set up an account for yourself, or find an attorney or an investigator who already has access.
- International Criminal Records – To investigate a subject’s international criminal history, check out the Interpol website and the Department of the Treasury’s Foreign Asset Control Restrictions list. The latter is an unclassified list of whom the US government deems bad guys. Mind you, these databases won’t tell you if someone has a record within their foreign jurisdiction, but it’s a good start.
- Professional Discipline. If you’re investigating the background of a professional, you’ll want to know if they’ve ever been disciplined by their own professional organization. For example, you can find a link to check on Florida lawyer disciplinary records on our website.
You can find all of this information and more at www.xinvestigations.com/resources. When in doubt or when you’d like to cover all of your bases, it’s a good idea to hire a private investigator to conduct a more detailed background check.