Along with many other countries in the world, background check is performed for a variety of reasons in the United States as well. They are performed mainly prior to employment, signing a lease document, or rental agreements. It is also normally called background or pre-employment screening for employment which determines the traits of the person and helps in providing insights into his life.
Do arrests show up on background checks? Whether you have a past history or not, a background check can be daunting. This is why as a potential employee or employer; it is necessary to know what a background check entails? How will it impact your ability to get employment, a new home, or hire an employee?
The Process of conducting a background check
Background check processes vary from organization to organization and country to country. Most of the time it requires the applicant to fill and submit its information in a detailed form in person or online. The information is then verified usually by a third-party enterprise and returns the results to the employer or the landlord who has asked for it.
Before the applicant provides his sensitive information in a background check process, he should ask the employer or the landowner about the authenticity of the third party in handling the sensitive data securely.
What information do you need to provide in a background check?
Based on the reason for a background check, there can be a variety of information that background checks demand you to provide. Oftentimes, this is the same information an employer has asked an applicant to apply for the vacant position. They are just needed again to authenticate from a third party. Similar goes for a lease agreement, where a tenant is required to provide the information needed for a lease or rental agreement, third-part will analyze it and determine its authenticity.
Regardless of the reason, you can expect to provide this information on a background check;
- Social security number
- Criminal Records
- Driving records
- Past employment history
- Past convictions and arrests
Some employers also ask for your past educational, medical, and financial history. But this information cannot be pulled out easily from the government departments. The applicant has to provide a written permit to have the records from the concerned departments.
Do arrests show up on background checks?
Looking at the list of the required information above, it shows that your arrest and convictions will show up in your background check. However, it does not need a written application, so anyone performing a background check can validate whether there’s a criminal conviction in your background check.
This is because criminal records are usually public records just like the traffic cases, bankruptcy, or civil cases filed against you. This particularly means that they can easily be obtained by anyone including agencies, lenders, and potential employers.
But even if you’re wrongly convicted and accused falsely, do arrests show up on background checks in these cases? Regrettably, no matter if you are convicted or arrested wrongly in a case, it does appear in your criminal history. This also needs to be put into consideration that it does not matter how your case(s) ended – convicting you guilty or not guilty – it does show up in your records.
The records will include the charges regardless if they returned in plea bargains or convictions and if they were dismissed or dropped. Even if you are incarcerated for a speeding ticket, it will show up in your record.
Information that a background check holds
Background checks are relatively transparent and have a detailed version of an individual’s commitments. To have relevant information, an interested party can request a federal, state, or criminal search across jurisdictions to witness public records of past criminal convictions, arrests, traffic violations, bankruptcies, and even divorces.
You can expect the following information in a criminal background check of a person;
- The charge
- The time and date of the offense
- The court schedule dates
- Disposition of the case
- Jury panel of the case
- The details of the defense attorney(s)
- The bond amount, penalties, court dates, names of the involved parties, and every docket information.
How does a criminal conviction in your background check impact your life
Having deep stains of criminal charges and convictions in your history can easily become major hurdles in achieving anything in your life. Indeed, they can;
- Impede your career – after knowing your arrest, your employer can fire you, after a background check, the potential employer won’t hire you. Also, you may lose the professional membership in significant organizations
- Get you expelled from the institution – Students can be kicked out of their schools and colleges in the event of a criminal conviction. There may be no admission facilities available for convicted students or students with a criminal history.
- Limit your renting and housing options – Every time when landers and house owners see your criminal records, they will deny providing you the privilege to have a house on rent.
- Tarnish your public, professional, and personal reputation – No matter what outcome you faced against your accusations and convictions, an arrest record in your background can hit your personal and professional life harder. Exes can use them against you for having a divorce or child custody, organizations might cancel your memberships, proposals may take time to review, and might not get accepted.
FAQs regarding a Background check
It is undoubtedly scary to be shown up on a piece of paper either positively or not. If you are applying for a lease or need to grab an employment opportunity, you may have some questions in mind about a background check. Let’s hear them out.
The amount of time in history to check a criminal stain for a person can vary across states. Usually, it can go up to last seven years to check someone’s criminal history.
Whether the dismissal of the criminal case shows up in the history or not, it depends greatly on the organization that is processing your criminal check. Generally, if there’s any dismissed case in your history, it is clearly written in the records that the convictions were dismissed or if the charges were removed without any conviction.
It also varied from one jurisdiction to another. Your pending cases may show up in your criminal records if you live in North Carolina. Depending on the location of the company treating your background check, your pending criminal convictions may show up in your records.
Generally, regardless of the reason why you were arrested i.e. vandalizing, speeding, or traffic violation, your arrest will show up in your records. It also does not matter if your arrest ended up in conviction. However, it again boils down to the organization that is performing your background check.
Here, you can have peace of mind, if your criminal charges are sealed or expunged, they won’t show up in your records. In this case, if you are asked by your employer if you have been convicted, you have all the right to deny it.
Yes, misdemeanors and felonies that you faced in the past seven years of your life will be displayed in your background check. Unless you successfully went through the convictions and worked with an attorney to expunge from your records, they will show up in your background check.
Usually, the warrant cannot have a place in your background check until the law enforcement takes an action against them and file the proper paperwork needed against it. Unless the arrest is executed, the warrant won’t show in your background.
It varies according to the situation. Restraining orders given during a criminal trial can show up in your criminal background. However, restraining orders other than criminal trials might not show up. And then again, it will also depend on the company processing your background check and the associated jurisdiction.
Having a legal representation at your back
It can be difficult for someone to deny the information that showed up against you in your background check. It is also said that you have the right to take legal action if your background check is conducted without your consent or knowledge.
You must go through The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to have all the information about background checks such as when and where they can be used.
However, it is always suggested to have legal backing when there are background screening concerns and you fear your criminal records to be shown up.
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