Criminal background checks are searches into federal, state, and local criminal court and law enforcement databases to locate a particular person’s history of criminal offenses or a lack thereof. Potential employers as well as anyone else with an interest in making an assessment of another’s trustworthiness, honesty, and temperament may request such a screening. This information is typically used to base a hiring decision upon. Eliminating the possibility of criminals becoming employees can mitigate risks, keep customers and co-workers safer, protect cash and company assets, and avoid possible litigation due to negligent hiring practices.
Criminal history typically uncovered in a background check will certainly include felony and misdemeanor convictions, arrests, and matters that are currently pending in the courts. These criminal background checks usually include the charges, dates of arrest, dispositions, and the dates that the judges or juries made the decisions.
That said, there are different searches that may or may not reveal some offenses. It really all depends on the particular records that are searched and the laws of your state and jurisdiction. Some states seal juvenile records depending on the severity of an offense. Other areas stop reporting some misdemeanors (and even some felonies) seven to ten years after the offenses were committed. Others do not count arrests that did not lead to convictions.
Another thing to consider is that police precincts and courthouses only carry their own records. A more in-depth picture can be made from making a more comprehensive search. Multiple counties and states should be included for complete accuracy.
That said, because the end goals are different, criminal offenses included on a background check may not exclude a person from a particular opportunity. For, example, a DUI may prevent one from a job driving a truck, and a burglary or theft charge can exclude a person from a cashier job, but the offenses may not be relevant to other opportunities.
However, there are other items that a thorough check may reveal are just as important as convictions with regard to particular career choices. These can include whether a candidate is listed on neglect and abuse registries (pertinent to working with the elderly, children, or animals), as well as the National Sex Offender Registry.
In addition to everything already listed, a criminal background check typically reports a person’s incarceration history, attachments/warrants, and minor infractions, such as speeding tickets or small fines.
Just remember, because there are so many different types of criminal background checks, it is not always known what will be uncovered once research is conducted. Depending on the depth and scope of the query, different personal information about an individual may be unearthed. This is why it is crucial that potential employers and or any other types of searchers know the laws of the area as they pertain to criminal background checks, so they can obtain as much pertinent information as possible.