@whitesand – In the U.S. criminal convictions are public notices. Anyone can search databases of public records or contact the court clerk for convictions on another person.
However, there are a few circumstances where a criminal conviction won’t show up in the search. One is a plea bargain on a lesser crime that as long as the accused performs certain conditions, their name will not reveal a criminal conviction.
Hiring an attorney to search public records for you is done at your own discretion.