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I seem to be having issues with my background but cannot for the life of me figure out what. I lost a jobs because of it.

Long Beach, CA |

I lost 4 jobs and 2 apartments. I have a misdemener for criminal attempt for under age drinking when I was 18 but that should not provent me from getting a job. I went to my local coirt house and pulled , my record they found nothing and I asked everyone for copys of what they found and all im getting is that misdemenor. What should I do.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. If you think the misdameanor is hurting you getting a job on the background check you may want to talk to a criminal attorney and see what it takes to get that off your record. If it's not the misdameanor that's hurting you then it may be something you are saying during the interview process.

    It's really difficult to figure out why you're not getting jobs. You may want to consult with a head hunter and say if they can give you some tips.


  2. You should consider hiring a professional background check service, so you can see what your potential employers and landlords are seeing, then make a choice on how to proceeding.

    Depending on what it shows, you should consider hiring a criminal defense attorney to assist with expunging the misdemeanor conviction.


  3. If you Google the term employment background check you will get hits for the several most commonly used background check companies. Choose one and pay to get a background check run on yourself. See what appears. If there is nothing on the report, then assume it is something else. Might be references giving bad information. It might be interview style or content. Be proactive and get to the bottom of it.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.


  4. There are different levels of background checks. Background checks can be superficial or can be detailed and intensive. It all depends on what the employer wants to pay for. Intensive background checks are more likely in certain kinds of jobs, and the areas investigated may vary with the type of job involved. Here is a brief overview:

    In California, private and public sector employers and state licensing agencies most often use the California Live Scan (CLS) for a criminal background check. The CLS is inexpensive and takes only about 72 hours. You can request your own CLS check by providing your fingerprints and the $25 processing fee to the California Department of Justice, and following the instructions here: http://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/security.

    In all states, court records are a common source of information for background checks. These records are open to the public and anyone can gain access to them. Many court records are available on the Internet and can be found easily and without charge. If you have been a party in a lawsuit (plaintiff, defendant, appellant, respondent, complainant, etc.), that information will show up in this kind of background check.

    If an employer conducts a criminal background check, it will probably reveal all adult arrests and convictions for misdemeanors or felonies. Other related information will show up, too, such as diversionary programs, pre-trial intervention, conditional discharges and more. In some states, part of this information can be removed from public records by a process called expungement. Not all criminal records can be expunged. In California, there is no option to expunge criminal records. You may be able to set aside the judgment per Penal Code section 1203.4 or perhaps seal the record per Penal Code section 851.8. These options should be discussed with an attorney in a confidential meeting.

    Expect that anything easily available in the public records will show up in a background check. This includes bankruptcies, residential property ownership, names of officers of corporations, and more.

    Also, a lot of information can by found by a simple Google search. Try searching for yourself on Google. Put your name in the search box within quotation marks. Do a separate search for each nickname you have. For example, if your name is Oliver Wendell Holmes, you might search for yourself under all these names:

    "Oliver Wendell Holmes"
    "Oliver Holmes"
    "Wendell Holmes"
    "Ollie Holmes"
    "Olly Holmes"
    "O. Holmes"
    "O.W. Holmes"

    Finally, background checks may contain incorrect information. For example, many employers use a service to conduct background checks; some of these services operate outside the country and may have little incentive to ensure accurate results. Also, some services arrange information in a confusing or misleading manner. Plus, clerical or other errors interfere with accuracy. If an employer conducts a background search on you and finds inaccurate information, you will probably never know and never have the opportunity to correct it. You just won’t get the job. For this reason, you may want to purchase a good-quality background check on yourself to see what is out there and what you need to do to correct information at the source.

    @MikaSpencer * * * twitter.com/MikaSpencer * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. * * * No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. * * * Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis.

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