What usually shows up on a background check?

Asked about 1 year ago - Buena Park, CA

In two days it will be a year since I was caught/arrested for petty theft in Buena park, the case was dismissed thanks to the DEJ plea deal, no runs in at all with the law since then, I've learned my lesson.

For the past year I've earned money by reselling on ebay but now I want an actual job so I was wondering what usually shows up on a background check for a simple fast food job?

For example the arrest, reason for the arrest and my court dates. I'm very sure my arrest will show but will the reason/code will too?

Also, my brother wants to become a police officer but no one in my family knows about my arrest, will this affect him? He's only 14 so it'll be some time before he looks into it.

Thank you!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Christine C McCall


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your brother's eligibility for employment with law enforcement will not be affected by your criminal record, or lack of one.

    Background checks vary in their reported material based on the extent of the report requested.Their is no single body of reported info. Usually they include criminal convictions from the court records. Order a copy of your Dept of Justice record at any Live Scan outlet (use Google to find a close one) so that you will know the maximum reportable material.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more
  2. Greg Thomas Hill

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Ms. McCall is absolutely correct on background checks and what they show. It is tough to know what the background check will show because there are various levels of background checks depending upon how much the employer wants to spend on such a check. However, for your peace of mind, you can order a copy of your rap sheet at http://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/security so you know what might show up.

    As to your brother applying to become a police officer and your record affecting him, it should not be a problem for him. However, certain branches of the government do investigate other family members' criminal histories, so it is not entirely irrelevant. Your offense was petty theft. It is not murder. Had you convictions for murder, bank robbery, rape, embezzlement, and mayhem, and your parents did, too, your brother might not get the job as a police officer.

  3. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . 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

    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

    Expect anything that is easily available in the public records to 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, there are a number of reasons background checks can contain incorrect information. 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 or misleading manner. Plus, there are clerical errors and other errors that interfere with accuracy. If an employer conducts a background search on you and finds this kind of 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 may need to correct at the source.

    There is not a true expungment process in CA. The best those who have been convicted have is penal code 1203.4, setting aside the judgment. you can make a motion to "seal and destroy" the record of arrest per penal code section 851.8

    @MikaSpencer * * * twitter.com/MikaSpencer * * * PLEASE READ: All legal actions have time limits, called statutes... more

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