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

Asked over 2 years ago - 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.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. M Elizabeth Gunn

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . 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.

  2. David N. Smith

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . 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... more
  3. John Michael Phillips

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . I agree with Ms. Foley.

  4. Lewis Cooper Giles

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . 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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