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If I have a misdemeanor expunged, will it show up on a Federal Background Check?

Saint Paul, MN |

I have a job offer to teach English in South Korea (they only accept background checks at the federal level) and when I received it yesterday, a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charge I received when I was 17 showed up. It was ultimately reduced to a disorderly conduct charge, but because my background check wasn't completely clear, my future boss told me I would be denied an E2 Visa. If I am able to have my record expunged, will it show up when I apply for another federal background check?

To clarify, I received the misdemeanor charge in the state of WI. So it is a state charge, not federal! I'm just trying to figure out a way to still go to Korea, but you cannot get an E2 visa with ANY sort of record. My federal background check MUST come back clear and state "No Record". So if I am able to get my state charge expunged in WI, and then re-apply for a federal background check, will my federal background check reflect "No Record"?

Attorney Answers 2


Unfortunately, if it is a Federal charge, there is no expungement vehicle at the Federal level. If it is a State charge, whether an expungement is available would depend on your state and its laws.

The only Federal vehicle available is a Federal pardon which is a cumbersome process and difficult to come by.

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It may be possible, but since your question relates to a Wisconsin criminal case, it is best addressed to criminal lawyers in Wisconsin. There are some, favorable situations in Minnesota (with Minnesota criminal charges dismissed without a guilty plea, for example) where a statutory expungment may result in a court order to seal government criminal records, which does often seal from public view the federal NCIC record. Whether Wisconsin has such a possibilty, or under what circumstances, would be a question for a Wisconsin criminal lawyer who does expungement cases.

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