Q. Can you run a criminal history on someone?
A. Yes. The criminal history searches that we conduct differ from those that the police have access to. Civilians are not allowed access to the nationwide criminal arrest database unless they have a signed release. These are also known an NCIC record check. The only way a comprehensive criminal history can be obtained by non-law enforcement officers is with a completed fingerprint card, a signed release from the person being checked, and $25, which is submitted to the West Virginia State Police Headquarters in South Charleston, West Virginia. We can conduct searches at local county courthouses and municipal court clerks. In order to conduct a reasonable search without costing the client a fortune, it is best if you can provide us with the likely places the target has lived, worked, or vacationed. We can usually gather this information from online sources if you do not have it, for an extra fee. Once these locations are identified, a search of the local county and city court systems is conducted, along with the federal court for that area. This is also discussed in my website section titled “Background Investigations”.
You should carefully consider this information before making a hiring decision based on an applicant’s criminal background. Helpful information from the United States EEOC website is as follows; http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm
Q.Can you run a background check on someone?
A.Yes Background checks mean different things to different people. It may be as simple as checking for vehicles owned, identifying a previous address, or something more complex, like identifying every address, spouse, job, and vehicle a person has had for the past 20 years. In most background checks, the client wants to know about previous lawsuits or criminal activity by the person being checked. This is accomplished by checking public records at courthouses, online databases, interviewing acquaintances, etc. The client should specify how much information they are seeking at the outset of the assignment.
Q. Can you get vehicle ownership information from the WV Department of Motor Vehicles?
A. Yes, under certain conditions. Starting July 1, 2011, the WV Department of Motor Vehicles went well beyond the Federal Driver’s Protection Privacy Act requirements, making it difficult even for licensed private investigators to get information. In most cases we can obtain ownership information from a license plate that you provide. The WV DMV will no longer release information to private investigators who are working for individuals, such as in divorce, child custody, or missing person cases.
Q. Can you obtain a history for driver’s license on individuals?
A. Yes, in most cases. We can only do this for attorneys, insurance companies, and people with a legitimate need to know. The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) covers this information. There are several lawful reasons to obtain this information.
Q. Can you work on cases outside of West Virginia.
A. Only if the case has some connection to West Virginia. If a case filed in a West Virginia court requires me to go out of state to conduct an interview, surveillance, or research, then I am licensed to do so.
Q. How much do you charge?
A. Most work is charged at an hourly rate plus mileage and expenses. There are many variables which help determine how much your assignment may cost. These variables include how much information you already have, how much information you are seeking, whether the information is to be used in court or only for your own consideration, the location of the information, and how soon you need the results.
Q. Do you work on court appointed criminal cases in state or federal courts?
A. No. It is difficult to get paid, and the court system will not pay what I consider to be a fair rate.
Q. What forensic tools do you use?
A. We strive to offer the best and most state-of-the-art forensic tools available on the market. Many hours of training and research go into our decision to invest in a particular tool which we feel may be of utmost benefit to our clients. Among the tools we are proud to offer are Cellebrite Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED), Sanderson SQLite Forensic Browser and Internet Evidence Finder by Magnet Forensics for mobile forensic cases. For stand-alone computer forensic cases, we primarily incorporate Xways Forensics and Internet Evidence Finder as well as selected open-source tools. We use some open-source tools for auxiliary analysis and verification. As case needs increases, so will our offering of specialized forensic analysis tools. All tools are independently tested, validated and updated regularly to meet industry standards.
Q. My data is very sensitive. How do you ensure confidentiality and security?
A. In the digital era, most people rely on their devices to hold the keys to the most valuable parts of their lives, such as banking information, passwords and/or client contact information. As part of our mission statement, we will keep any and all findings in our examinations in the strictest confidence and see this as a vital part of our service. As such, a standard non-disclosure clause accompanies all of our engagement agreements wherever appropriate. We go further by not only physically securing digital media evidence, but also by encrypting the acquired data to prevent any outside parties from unauthorized access.
Q. Do you and your expert have a curriculum vittae available?