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Do misdemeanors show up on a background check?

Lancaster, PA |

I got a misdemeanor a year ago for harassment. I am now 20 years old. I had to pay a fine for it and I'm confused. I applied for a job and they did a background check and I guess this showed up on the background check. I had no idea that it would so naturally I answered no to the question of "have you ever plead guilty or have been convicted of a felony?" on my application. Well I didn't get the job because of this. Why did this show up on my record? I don't understand why this doesn't just resolve itself after paying the fine. I am very frustrated because I should not have gotten this charge to begin with. I also should mention that I did not have to go to court. The fine was already on the citation sheet.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. Summary offenses, misdemeanors and felonies are a matter of public record in PA accessed by an easy search at the Unified Judicial site on the Internet. If your case is heard before a District Justice, it will show up even if the charges are dismissed. By paying the fine, you plead guilty to the charge. Because the question in the application asked about felonies, you did not answer the question incorrectly. it sounds like you may have even had a Summary Offense, a charge less than a misdemeanor. You may want to start disclosing the charge up front, even if only felonies are asked about. You will look like you are being by open about it and you will weed out the employers that care about such matters. You will also avoid looking like you are trying to hide something.

    This answer to your legal inquiry is based upon the limited facts stated in your question. Accurate legal advice is based upon an exchange between a lawyer and a client. The lawyer can then ask about other facts that may change or confirm the answer. Without that exchange, this reply should be considered limited in value. You should rely on this answer only at your own risk. Direct consultation with a lawyer is always recommended. Answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. The answering attorney is licensed in Pennsylvania and all answers are given pursuant to Pennsylvania law, unless otherwise indicated.

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