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Will a Class C misdemeanor show up on a criminal history background check?

Austin, TX |

Last month i was caught shoplifting in Texas. I'm 17 years old and the Municipal Court placed me on deferred disposition. I had to do the theft classes and community service. Once i complete this, will my case be dropped? I have to do a criminal history background check and im wondering if this will show up.

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

That's hard to say--it might or might not, depending on who's running the check and how intensive it is. If its not for something that's security sensitive or government-related, hopefully not, but the case being dropped wouldn't be the reason why. Traditionally, Class C cases haven't been reported to the state criminal history database, and that's where most of the background check info comes from. But it is still out there and available if someone looks hard enough. The good news is that you'll be eligible to apply to have your case records expunged, and at that point, they'll be destroyed and completely unavailable. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

So I need a background check for school. I'm about to be a senior in high school and I'm taking nursing classes that involve interacting with people in our community so a background check is necessary. Do you think these kind of background checks look hard enough?

Asker

Posted

So I need a background check for school. I'm about to be a senior in high school and I'm taking nursing classes that involve interacting with people in our community so a background check is necessary. Do you think these kind of background checks look hard enough?

M Elizabeth Gunn

M Elizabeth Gunn

Posted

I doubt that kind of background check would be all that comprehensive, but I'm afraid I just can't tell you whether the case will show up or not--there are way too many unknown variables. I can tell you that in my experience, companies interviewing people for nursing jobs apparently are mostly concerned about people with histories of assault and drug use. Depending on exactly what you mean by "nursing", though, I think it's true that the home health care companies would perhaps be more concerned about any history of theft.l, since there's obviously more of an opportunity there.

Asker

Posted

I'm already a certified nurses assistant, and I'm taking a class to get an internship in pharmacy tech and phlebotomy. I'm worried that they'll kick me out of this class if they see that on my record. So are you saying that they're able to choose what kind of crimes to check up on?

M Elizabeth Gunn

M Elizabeth Gunn

Posted

No, I'm not saying that at all, and I doubt you'd get kicked out regardless (you don't have a conviction, after all). What I meant was that different types of crimes are sometimes more or less of a concern, depending on the specific job you're trying to get. If you do end up having a problem with this, be aware that the decision they make is not the final word, and that if you push hard enough to have your case reconsidered, you may be able to get somewhere. But most of all, remember that you are going to have to be the one to do something about getting your case expunged two years from now--just because this one situation ends up being okay does NOT mean that those records are not still out there, waiting to be found on the next background check. Your right to expunction is also not something you're going to get any type of notice about, which makes it very easy to forget about until it does end up causing a problem, in which case it's typically too late for that job to work out.

Posted

I agree with Ms. Foley.

Posted

I also agree with Ms. Foley. Keep in mind that having the case dismissed is not the same as having it expunged (erased) from your record. A dismissed case still shows up as having been filed and later dismissed, so it's not a conviction, but that information is still on your record, unless you later take steps to have it expunged. That means filing a relatively simple civil lawsuit to put a petition before a judge asking her to issue an order for the record-keepers to expunge the records designated in the petition.

However, the effect of a court order for expunction is not necessarily complete erasure of all records everywhere. Certainly, the government agencies at the state level and lower (county, city, etc.) should comply, but the federal government is not subject to state court orders, and some private background-checking companies may not update their records. I believe that's part of what Ms. Foley is referring to when she says the records may be "available, if someone looks hard enough."

This answer is intended to be taken as general information and not as specific legal advice. You should always consult a qualified attorney and make him familiar with all the relevant facts in order to get proper legal advice. Every case is different, and they must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. David N. Smith Austin, Texas dasmithaus@gmail.com (512) 457-0100

Posted

Class C misdemeanors do not generally show up on a criminal background check, but they are still out there if someone looks hard enough (usually, the municipality would have to be contacted directly). They will also show up in the municipality whenever a police officer or the local district or county attorney pulls your criminal history.

Even if the case is dismissed, the arrest will still show up and it is possible that the fact that you completed the deferred probation might show up. In order to clear your criminal history as best as your can, you would need to get either a non-disclosure or an expunction. An expunction might not apply to a deferred disposition, but if it doesn't then a non-disclosure would.

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