Iowa Criminal Background Check Resources

May 29, 2013

Iowa Criminal Background Check Resources

Iowa businesses need to conduct background checks to ensure they are hiring the right people the first time around. The state of Iowa offers several resources to obtain Iowa court online criminal records.

The resources the state of Iowa provides for these Iowa criminal records are great tools to use but they are limited in their coverage area. An Iowa criminal history record will only reveal Iowa criminal records. Iowa business owners should be aware that only conducting an Iowa criminal history records search may not provide a proper amount of due diligence for protection against negligent hiring law suites.

Iowa Criminal Record Search

Due diligence refers to the attention and research legally expected of a person or company. Negligent hiring refers to the fact that the employer failed to know or did not try to know of an employee’s past.

For example, say an Iowa business hires someone with a criminal past from a jurisdiction outside the state of Iowa. If the Iowa business only conducts an Iowa criminal history record search, and puts that person in a position where they could harm another employee or patron, the company may be sued.

This is because the Iowa business could have known about the persons past and should have known to check for criminal records in other jurisdictions associated with the persons past.
To help Iowa businesses with ensuring proper due diligence is performed 3rd Degree Screening conducts a Social Security Trace/Address History Locator on every background check. The Social Security Trace/Address History Locator will reveal addresses and jurisdictions associated with the persons past. 3rd Degree Screening will also use any information a person discloses on previous addresses and jurisdictions to conduct a criminal record search.

While Iowa has resources readily available for public users to conduct an Iowa background check, 3rd Degree Screening recommends using a third party like 3rd Degree Screening, an Iowa background check company, to conduct the searches. Conducting the searches in house may save money but also increases the liability a company will face.

3rd Degree Screening conducts hundreds of Iowa background checks daily and is familiar with the court system and state laws for reporting records. Doing the Iowa criminal record check in house increases the chances of a possible negligent hiring case, in which the average settlement is $1.2 million.

The resources for obtaining Iowa criminal records include fee and non-fee services. They also vary in information they provide.

Iowa Criminal History Record Resources:

The Iowa Department Of Public Safety, Division Of Criminal Investigations (DCI)

The DCI is the state of Iowa’s central repository for criminal history data and responsible for maintaining all Iowa fingerprint-based criminal history records dating back to 1932. The DCI is comprised of records submitted to the DCI by law enforcement agencies and clerk of court throughout the state.

The database consists of arrest and conviction information for serious misdemeanor and felonies as well as some simple misdemeanors. The completeness of the database is dependent upon the information submitted by law enforcement agencies and clerk of court throughout the state of Iowa.

The DCI cannot guarantee or certify that a person has not been arrested or convicted in Iowa. The DCI will not provide criminal history data on any arrest information that is older than 18 months without a final disposition or any completed deferred judgment information.

The DCI May Include:

  • Serious misdemeanors and above
  • Some simple misdemeanors (i.e. harassment and stalking)
  • Domestic abuse assault
  • Drug charges as long as they were not a Federal offense
  • Theft
  • Possession with intent to deliver controlled substances
  • Serious traffic charges such as OWI
  • Iowa records only

The DCI Will Not Include:

  • Most simple misdemeanors
  • Arrests where DCI has not received a fingerprint card from sheriff or police departments
  • Arrests where DCI does not receive a disposition of the case within 18 months of the arrest
  • Minor traffic charges
  • Arrests with no conviction – the case was dismissed or an acquittal

Iowa Single Contact Repository (SING)

The Single Contact Repository (SING) is an Internet application supported and hosted by the State of Iowa / Information Technology and Department of Public Safety / DCI that allows registered users to perform background checks on potential employees and volunteers.

The searches will provide information from criminal history using the DCI, sex offender registry, and the adult & child abuse registry for the state of Iowa only, and over 40 Public Health professional license types.

Iowa Court Information System

The ICIS allows access to the electronic docket of Iowa’s state court system. The docket is an index of the proceedings and filings in all court cases maintained by all clerk of court offices in the state. Copies of complete documents are not available on this site. Currently, documents can be obtained only at clerk of court offices. Information about confidential cases such as child in need of assistance and mental health cases is not available on this site.

This site is the official court docket, case information posted on this site is current with information posted by clerk of court offices. Iowa clerk offices strive to enter case information on the docket as soon as possible after receiving it. Nevertheless, delays may occur because clerk of court offices are busy handling other important business.

While some counties began entering data as early as October of 1991, all counties in Iowa were moved to the ICIS as of September 1997.

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