Is there a difference between a National Search and a Federal Search?

Absolutely. These searches are completely different. A National or Nationwide search is a consolidation of county and state criminal records that are provided to the Nationwide repository. These records are incomplete at best. There is no law requiring what each County and State reports, if they contribute to this repository at all, and if so, what the timing of this reporting might be.

A Federal search, on the other hand, is a search that takes place in the Federal Court system just as the State and County searches do, but at a Federal level. This is accurate up-to-date information. Federal crimes are legislated and prosecuted under Federal criminal law, vs. state law. Some examples of Federal crimes are: aircraft hijacking, kidnapping, bank robbery, child pornography, obscenity, tax evasion, counterfeiting, violation of the Espionage Act, wiretapping, damaging or destroying public mailboxes, immigration offenses, crimes that cross state lines and assassinating the President or Vice President, just to name a few.