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What will appear on a 7 year background check and how should answer the question if you have been convicted of a felony?

West Chicago, IL |

I was charged with theft by unlawful taking in April 2003 and completed probation in July 2006 in NJ. I was in violation of my probation and received 30 days of jail (Day Reporting) in September 2004. On the job application it asks have you been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in the last 7 yrs? How should I answer that question? Also what will appear on the background check?

The reason I asked because I offered a contract position but have not filled out the application yet. Also this was a felony that happened in New Jersey.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You really need an Illinois employment lawyer for part of the answer to your question (I am not licensed in Illinois).

    However, from a criminal law standpoint, it appears that you were convicted in April of 2003. The probation violation evidently was not a conviction but just a revocation and reinstatement of your probation. If there is any queston about this, you should call your New Jersey lawyer and confirm the details.

    Now, what will show up on a background check is another story. If the employer is able to run an NCIC (FBI) rap sheet, this will show up. Since the conviction was more than 7 years, you still can argue that you technically are not precluded. Of course, the employer can still consider it (unless that is precluded by Illinois law). If the employer cannot run a NCIC rap sheet, it can still order a commercial background check which might turn the conviction up in a computerized commercial check of court records.

    I would check with the New Jersey lawyer for the details of your conviction, then talk to an Illinois employment lawyer. If you do not have to list it, be ready to explain that you no longer have whatever problem ran you afoul of the law. Good luck!

    This is not legal advice. In order to get legal advice, you need to retain a lawyer and establish an attorney client relationship. So, talk to your lawyer!


  2. Since your conviction was in April 2003, you can honestly answer "No" to the questions as stated. It will likely show up on a background check assuming the employer conducts a thourough one, but they are limiting their inquiry to the last seven years. The violation of probation is not considered a separate conviction.


  3. A background check is lifetime. Answering questions about convictions depends on context. You were convicted over seven years ago, however, any background check will disclose your background. Any answer which seems disingenuous may come back to haunt you later.

    Wayne Brucar
    www.brucarandyetter.com


  4. Hello. I suggests that you make full disclosure of this case because of the violation of probation in September 2004. It may help to include letters of recommendation from previous employers, etc. Based upon the fact that you received probation I am assuming that this is a felony in the State of N.J. In the future you should investigate whether you may be able to receive a pardon in N.J. Failure to disclose this information might cause you serious problems, if you ultimately are hired and could result in you being terminated later for not making full disclosure of this case in N.J. My comments assume that you are seeking employment in Illinois. I am not licensed to practice in N.J. and suggests that you seek legal representation there.

    My comments are for informational purposes only. I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. I urge you to obtain legal representation in the State of your residence, if your question pertains to a legal issue outside of the State of Illinois. Even if you are a resident of Illinois this notification serves as a disclaimer with regard to statements made by me. I am not your attorney and as a public service, only,I have commented and given my opinion on the question posed by you on this web site. You should seek formal representation from an attorney of your choice prior to taking action on your matter and you should take the time to meet with that attorney and enter into a formal retainer with him or her if you want them to represent you in your particular legal matter. My comments here are based upon the limited facts that I have been provided with in this online communication forum and you should not rely on my comments as if I am your attorney, but should seek independent counsel to discuss your case.


  5. Hello. I suggests that you make full disclosure of this case because of the violation of probation in September 2004. It may help to include letters of recommendation from previous employers, etc. Based upon the fact that you received probation I am assuming that this is a felony in the State of N.J. In the future you should investigate whether you may be able to receive a pardon in N.J. Failure to disclose this information might cause you serious problems, if you ultimately are hired and could result in you being terminated later for not making full disclosure of this case in N.J. My comments assume that you are seeking employment in Illinois. I am not licensed to practice in N.J. and suggests that you seek legal representation there.

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