You really can do your own free background checks in many states. It's actually not nearly as hard as you think. You've seen the sites that promise you the information at no charge, but they fall short, asking you to pay for the data. Why would anyone do this? There's really no reason for it at all. You can perform your own free background checks and save tons of money. So whether you're an employer, a landlord, or just curious, you can do it on your own, in most states. There's absolutely no charge if you use these methods to see criminal and civil details.
To do your own free background check online you'll want to visit your state's judicial website to see criminal details. These are really hard to find, so you need to search in a manner that is more likely to yield results. For the purpose of an example, let's use Wisconsin for free criminal background checks. Enter something like "Wisconsin Judiciary" in the search engine. You'll get many results. Generally, the sites ran by the individual states will end in a dot gov, not a dot com. This isn't absolutely true in all cases, but in general, it is. This makes is a little bit easier to do free background checks for absolutely no charge.
On the state's judiciary site, look for court records access to do your free background checks. Many states offer this information online, but certainly not all of them. Generally speaking, you'll need a first name and last name only. The middle name of the subject, along with date of birth will narrow your results, but are generally not required. This is the first step in doing free background checks on your own.
Keep in mind that you will need to complete the process for all states that the subject lived in. This may include many, many states, depending how much moving the subject did. Still, it's generally worth the effort to get free background checks and save some money.
If you aren't having much luck, you may want to visit your local courthouse. Some states will run free background checks, but the results may be limited to state or local court cases only. Still, if the person has lived in only one state or area, it may be a very effective way to do absolutely free background checks.
Sometimes you can at least get a good feel for someone by checking with local law enforcement officials. While this falls short of a free background check in most cases, it won't cost you a dime, and it could give you some valuable information.
While these methods aren't very exciting for free background checks, they are really about the only way to get what you're looking for at absolutely no charge. Sites will generally charge for any criminal details on any person. Use caution, and absolutely refuse to pay until you attempt the no cost methods.