Criminal Background Checks - What Shows Up?
You just interviewed for a job. You know you are very qualified but you
worry your potential employer will do a background check and find a skeleton
from your past. Criminal background checks are a necessary tool for employers
in Los Angeles seeking to hire the best candidates for their company.
An effective criminal background check will eliminate employees that may
have a criminal history and ensure that the employees hired will not pose
a risk to other employees.
WHAT IS DISCLOSED ON A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK?
In California, criminal background checks reveal the following information:
Arrests: The date of the arrest; the charges filed (misdemeanor or felony); and
whether the person was detained or taken to jail and the amount of bail.
Arrests with no prosecution or conviction will show on a background check
unless the arrest was sealed and destroyed in California by way of a Petition
for Factual Innocence.See
Factual Innocence-California Penal Code section 851.8.
Convictions: The date of conviction; the criminal charges and the classification of
the charges (misdemeanor or felony); the sentence (jail, state prison
or probation); and participation and successful completion of a diversion program.
Warrants: Warrants do not always appear on a criminal background check but do appear
in most cases. Bench Warrants are issued by the court directing law enforcement
to make an immediate arrest (if the person is located) based on the failure
of a defendant to appear in criminal or civil court. An Arrest Warrant
is a signed judge's order to law enforcement, directing them to arrest
and bring to court, the person named in the warrant. Civil Warrants are
issued by a civil court when a person failed to comply with a court order
such as failing to pay a money judgment or when a person does not pay
court-ordered child support.
This data is maintained by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) or
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and is available to law enforcement
and government agencies. The unauthorized use of this information is illegal
and can result in criminal prosecution.
Can Employers Obtain Your Criminal Record?
Yes! Private employers, landlords or the public cannot request and access
your criminal background information from the DOJ or the FBI. The exception
to this includes government employers; state, county and city agencies
dealing with licenses or certifications; schools; and eldercare agencies.
However, employers and landlords can obtain criminal background information
by hiring a private investigating reporting agency that searches, compiles
and sells information about people. Employers and landlords can gather
information on individuals by using public records and databases maintained
by courts and news reporting agencies. Any criminal court case is a public
record maintained by local, state or Federal courts. The Internet is also
a source of background information even though the information found on
the Internet may be inaccurate.
What Will Not Show on a Criminal Background Check?
Sealed arrests, pardoned convictions, juvenile offenses and most infractions
will not show up on a background check. If you have questions regarding
your criminal history, contact the California Attorney's office and
speak to a representative in the Records Review department (916-227-3849).
Clean Your Criminal Record
Given the criminal background information readily available in California,
it would be advantageous to clean your criminal record as best as you
can. There are several ways a criminal attorney can help clean your criminal
history which include:
- Expungments - this legal process sets aside your conviction;
- Recalling and quashing Bench and Arrest Warants;
- Reduction of felony conviction to a misdemeanor per Penal Code section 17(b);
- Sealing and Destroying Arrest records per Penal Code section 851.8;
- Sealing California Juvenile Records;
- Certificates of Rehabilitation; and
- Governor's Pardon.
HELPING YOU CLEAN YOUR CRIMINAL RECORD
If you are interested in cleaning up your Los Angeles criminal record,
call the attorneys at the office of Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners
to discuss your legal situation and find out what options are available
to you. Backed by over 70 years of combined criminal law experience, you
can be confident in our ability to assist you.
Contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule a confidential in-person consultation
by calling (213) 481-6811.