An Important Announcement from Garbo

Garbo’s Implementation of Lookback Periods

February 21, 2022

Since our founding, Garbo has focused on building a new kind of online background check — one that makes it easier to find reports of violent and harmful behavior so people can make more informed decisions about their safety. 

Through our work alongside experts and advocates and analyzing background screening industry standards, we’re implementing lookback periods within the Garbo platform. A lookback period is the length of time in which we include a certain type of offense on our platform. 

Alongside our Offense Reporting Policy, lookback periods will help further reduce the lifelong impacts having a criminal record can cause. 

Designed in parallel, our lookback periods mirror the definitions and designations found within our Offense Reporting Policy.

Garbo’s Lookback Periods

  • All Part 1 offenses have 14 year lookback periods
  • Domestic or sexual abuse offenses have NO lookback periods
  • Offenses with victims have 14 year lookback periods
  • Financial offenses have 7 year lookback periods
  • Disorderly Conduct, Weapon, and Obstruction offenses have 14 year lookback periods

We believe in finding a way to balance holding perpetrators of abuse accountable while advocating for the chance to change bad behavior. 

Studies show that the peak age for crime involvement is younger than 25 years old for all crimes reported across the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (besides gambling) and nine out of ten people released for homicide do not return to prison. 

Lookback periods were designed by criminal justice reform advocates to give those who commit offenses a chance to change. 

With this in mind, we’ve designed our lookback periods around the questions we ask within our Offense Reporting Policy process. 

In our Offense Reporting Policy process, we use the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting handbook to define and bucket different offenses into Part 1 and Part 2 offenses. 

Part I offenses include: 

  • Criminal Homicide
  • Forcible Rape
  • Robbery
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Burglary
  • Larceny-theft (all thefts and attempted thefts are included in this category)
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Arson

All Part 1 offenses, besides forcible rape, have automatic 14 year lookback periods.

Forcible rape is sexual abuse and therefore has NO lookback period (i.e we lookback as far as the jurisdiction enables us to). More information around sexual abuse offenses can be found below. 

Part II offenses include the following:

  • Other Assaults
  • Forgery and Counterfeiting
  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement
  • Stolen Property: Buying, Receiving, Possessing
  • Vandalism
  • Weapons: Carrying, Possessing, etc.
  • Prostitution and Commercialized Vice
  • Sex Offenses
  • Drug Abuse Violations
  • Gambling
  • Offenses Against the Family and Children
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Liquor Laws
  • Drunkenness
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Vagrancy
  • Suspicion
  • All other offenses

Each Part II offense goes through a set of questions to determine if it will be included or excluded on the platform and what its’ lookback period should be. 

Question 1 

Was it domestic abuse or sexual abuse? 

If yes, it is included and will have NO lookback periods attached. 

This means that all domestic and sexual abuse offenses will appear within Garbo as far back as the jurisdiction enables us to show. 

This means we include all of the following with no lookback periods: 

Sex offenses

  • Adultery and fornication Seduction
  • Buggery Sodomy or crime against nature
  • Incest Statutory rape (no force)
  • Indecent exposure Attempts to commit any of the above
  • Indecent liberties

Offenses against family and children

  • Nonviolent cruelty to other family members
  • Nonviolent abuse
  • Desertion, abandonment, or nonsupport of spouse or child
  • Neglect or abuse of spouse or child (if injury is serious, score as aggravated assault)
  • Nonpayment of alimony
  • Attempts to commit any of the above

If the answer to this question is no, then we move on to the next question. 

Question 2 

Was there a victim? 

We define a victim as a human or animal. 

If the answer is yes, then this offense is included in Garbo’s search results with a 14 year lookback period.

This means these offenses are included in Garbo’s search results with a 14 year lookback period: 

Other Assaults

  •  assault and battery
  •  injury caused by culpable negligence
  • Intimidation
  • coercion

Other offenses including things like:

  • Abduction & Restraint
  • Animal Cruelty
  • Harassment & Threats
  • Cybercrimes with a victim
  • Other offenses that have a victim

If the answer to this question is no, then we move on to the next question. 

Question 3

Was it a financial offense?

If yes, we include the offense with a 7 year lookback period.

This means these offenses are included in Garbo’s search results with a 7 year lookback period: 

Forgery and Counterfeiting

  • Altering or forging public and other records
  • Making, altering, forging, or counterfeiting bills, notes, drafts, tickets, checks, credit cards, etc.
  • Forging wills, deeds, notes, bonds, seals, trademarks, etc.
  • Counterfeiting coins, plates, banknotes, checks, etc.
  • Possessing or uttering forged or counterfeit instruments
  • Erasures
  • Signing the name of another or fictitious person with intent to defraud
  • Using forged labels
  • Possession, manufacture, etc., of counterfeiting apparatuses
  • Selling goods with altered, forged, or counterfeited trademarks
  • Attempts to commit any of the above


  • False pretenses/swindle/confidence games
  • Leaving a full-service gas station without paying attendant
  • Credit card/Automatic Teller Machine Fraud
  • Impersonation
  • Welfare Fraud
  • Wire Fraud
  • Attempts to commit any of the above
  • Embezzlement
  • Stolen Property: Buying, Receiving, Possessing

Types of Excluded Offenses on Garbo’s Platform

Based on the above Offense Reporting Policy, the following Part II offenses are completely excluded from Garbo’s platform. This means you should not see these types of offenses within Garbo’s platform ever. 

  • Curfew and Loitering Laws
  • Vagrancy
  • Suspicious person
  • Suspicious character
  • Begging
  • Loitering 
  • Vagabonding
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Liquor Laws
  • Gambling
  • Drug Abuse Violations (manufacture and sell of)
  • Opium or cocaine and their derivatives (morphine, heroin, codeine)
  • Marijuana
  • Synthetic narcotics—manufactured narcotics which can cause true drug addiction (demerol, methadones)
  • Dangerous nonnarcotic drugs (barbiturates, benzedrine)
  • Prostitution and Commercialized Vice
  • Garbo’s platform does include the solicitation, procurring and managing or facilitating prostitution of prostitution because of our Offense Reporting Process
  • Vandalism
  • Suspicion

A Special Note on Disorderly Conduct, Weapons & Obstruction Offenses

Disorderly conduct is often a blanket charge for a variety of offenses — including everything from protesting to gender-based violence. We know this all too well with many of our Advocacy Council members having direct experiences and knowledge of domestic abusers' charges being reduced down to disorderly conducts. 

Because of this, we include disorderly conduct offenses on Garbo with a 7 year lookback period. 

It is widely known that guns are exploited by abusers to exert power and control over their partners. About 4.5 million women in the US today report having been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner. Abusers with access to a gun are five times more likely to kill their female victims. 

Because of this, we include all weapon offenses on Garbo with a 7 year lookback period. 

As it relates to obstruction charges — including but not limited to witness intimidation, evidence tampering or perjury — because we can not know what type of offense the obstruction was occurring within,

Because of this, we include obstruction offenses on Garbo with a 7 year lookback period. 

All Other Offenses

Now we’re left with the “all other offenses” category - which constitute a wide range of offenses at the national, state, or county laws not specifically identified as Part I or Part II offenses, except traffic violations. 

Garbo goes through the same process with all other offenses as an ongoing process. As new offenses appear within the criminal justice system, we put them through our offense reporting policy and lookback process alongside expert advice to determine if an offense should be included or excluded. 

Within Garbo’s platform, you may see offenses categorized as “Other/Unknown” — this is due to our machine learning system’s inability to classify an offense. This is usually due to either an issue on the public record itself (missing data, typos, string of random words) or a new offense being added into a new jurisdiction (like cybercrime laws). 

Garbo actively monitors and manually classifies “Other/Unknown” offenses as they appear in our system. The system is approximately 97.3% precise in its ability to classify different types of offenses. Should you see something you think should be filtered out or not be included because of lookback periods, you can provide feedback on the case directly within Garbo.

If you ever have a question about what is included or excluded on Garbo’s platform or overall feedback on lookback periods, please reach out to us at

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