Background Check Yourself; what does your criminal record say?

Everyone makes mistakes, but that might not matter when it comes time to look for a job. While there are some employers who may turn a blind eye to a prior misdemeanor or felony charge, inaccuracies in your criminal records could cost you a potential job. Failure to list a prior criminal conviction on a job application can result in termination if the employer finds out that you were dishonest. Fortunately, the state of California has one of the strictest set of rules for employers in regards to what they can and can't ask potential applicants about their criminal record. Still, with more companies using complete background checks as a part of their pre-employment screening process, any criminal record which hasn't been expunged will be exposed. If you have a criminal record, or want to ensure your criminal records have been accurately expunged, you may want to background check yourself using a professional complete background check service.

What Do Potential Employers See On Your Criminal Record Search?

Misdemeanors. Depending on the job you are applying for, your employer may or may not ask if you have had any prior misdemeanor convictions. More than 65 million Americans have some type of criminal record, so you are by no means alone. However, some employers care more than others. If you are going to apply for a job working in education, the government, or some other type of civil service, you will most likely have to claim your misdemeanors. Keep in mind that many misdemeanors can be expunged from your criminal record. Click Here for more information about expunging criminal records.

Felonies. Almost every standard application is going to request a history of felony convictions as well as an explanation so it is good to have your explanation ready. Felonies will also appear on your criminal record. Similar to misdemeanors, the records will show any time that you served as well as your probation period. Contrary to what many people think, you may be able to expunge a felony conviction but the process if more complex. It is most successful with felonies which are considered, "wobblers," meaning the court could have decided either/or in terms of a misdemeanor or felony sentence. Once the charge is lessened to a misdemeanor, you can start the process to have the misdemeanor wiped off your record.

Arrest Records. In the state of California, an employer can not ask about your arrest record, nor can they refuse to hire you as the result of one. However, this does not apply to current charges which you are awaiting trial for.

I had my criminal record expunged so I don't have to worry, right?

If you have had your criminal record expunged but haven't ever hired someone to run a national criminal record search, you might have more to worry about than you think. With over 65 million Americans with a criminal record, it's easy for documents to be mis-filed, incomplete, or erroneous. Thought your case was thrown out of court? Your records might not show that. Converted your felony to a misdemeanor? Your national criminal bakcground check might state otherwise. When you background check yourself, you have the chance to make sure your record is accurate and up-to-date. If you see any errors, you will have the chance to make the appropriate contacts and get them fixed before a potential employer sees them.

The good news is that many employers are flexible, understanding, and have a criminal record themselves. With the protections that California has in place, combined with your own efforts to clean up your record, a little diligence on your part should help you to find a job in the near future.

Mike Garroutte is a licensed private investigator and owner of Linked Investigations. He is an Orange County private investigator and also works as a Los Angeles and San Diego Private Investigator. If you would like to hire a private investigator to background check yourself, contact Linked Investigations.

Published on: 
December 1, 2012
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