Does My Criminal Record Appear on Background Checks?

May 23, 2022 by Madison Ferguson in California  Criminal Defense  
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Does My Criminal Record Appear on Background Checks?

The simple answer is yes.

Depending on the intensity and how far back the background search goes, your criminal record will most likely appear on it. Let’s dive deeper…

Who Does Background Checks?

There are various reasons why people conduct background checks, and frankly anyone can do it if they have your name. Employers, landlords, creditors, banks, neighbors, potential mates, and a variety of other bodies are particularly fond of conducting background checks.

This is because background checks allow them to be privy to certain private information about the person’s financial, criminal, education, and several other things the individual has done in the past. This information allows them to establish the trustworthiness and reliability of the person they want to hire as their employee, rent a house to, or give a loan.

Now, while background checks are usually a reasonable idea for landlords, employers, and creditors, it can be a stressful experience for individuals with a criminal record. It is a relatively known fact that having a criminal record does not usually bode well for the individual.

It can affect their opportunities when trying to find a job, a house, or even when trying to apply for insurance. Thus, it can be harrowing for a person who has a criminal record to hear that they have to undergo a background check as they fear that it can affect the opportunities afforded to them.

What Exactly Will Be Revealed Of Your Criminal Record During a Background Check

What is revealed in a criminal record during a background check can vary, particularly depending on how far back in the past the background check goes. Thus, your criminal background check will reveal:

  • Sex offender status
  • Past criminal convictions and whether the convictions were a felony or a misdemeanor
  • Warrants
  • Parole and probation records
  • Incarceration records

Now while it can be scary to think that your potential employer or landlord will have access to this information, and probably put the chances of getting hired or leasing or renting a hope in jeopardy.

Nonetheless, you should know that there are certain criminal records that employers and companies should legally not gain access to.

These criminal records include:

  • Arrests that did not lead to convictions
  • Convictions that date more than seven years from the date the background check was done
  • Convictions from which the defendant was pardoned
  • Convictions where the defendant successfully completed a diversion program
  • Convictions that have been sealed or expunged
  • Convictions for certain marijuana offenses

Plus, there are laws in California that protect individuals who have a criminal record from being discriminated against by employers. These laws include:

California’s Ban The Box Law

Also known as the California Fair Chance Act, this law applies to all employers in both the private and public sectors with five or more employees. It is meant to ensure that applicants with a criminal record have higher chances of getting past the interviewing stages of the hiring process.

It prohibits employers from asking about the applicant’s criminal history before making a conditional job offer is made.

This law also demands that the employer cannot take back their offer made simply because they find out about their applicant’s criminal past. Instead, they are required to perform an individualized assessment and take into consideration the nature and severity of the offense committed, the time passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job they are applying for.

The employer still retains the right to deny the applicant employment, but they must ensure their actions are based on business necessity rather than the candidate’s past criminal record.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

This law demands that employers and companies must get a candidate’s written consent before they decide to run a background check on them. The employers must also inform the applicant if they choose to reject them because of any information discovered in the background check.

However, FCRA only applies if the employer hires a third party to run the background checks for their candidates.

The California Information Privacy Act (CIPA)

This law puts similar rules and regulations as the FCRA, such as ensuring that employers get consent from the candidates, but is mainly focused on employers that conduct in-house background checks. Nevertheless, this law also states that the employer must give the candidate the option to view their background check report.

All in all, even if you have a criminal record, you still have options such as sealing or expunging your criminal records to help improve your chances…

Expunge The Conviction from Your Criminal Record

The best option is to remove the risk of having a prior conviction on your record by expunging it from public view. It will essentially be hidden from background checks, and therefore will not pose a risk to your employment opportunities. To accomplish this, it’s best to contact an expert expungement attorney and have them campaign for you to the courts.

Need Further Assistance?

If you have been charged with crime, it is important to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney right away. Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

Need an Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Attorney who has over 21 years of practice defending a variety of cases.

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Lara S.
December 3, 2019
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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