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Will an incident which had occurred while I was a minor, without any conviction or arrest, show up in a background check?

San Jose, CA |

1. The incident occurred when I was a minor.
2. I do not believe I was arrested; there were never any handcuffs or riding in a patrol car. No one restrained me.
3. I do not believe I was convicted, or even charged - at least, I never went to court or jail. I never spoke to a judge.
3. But I did receive a letter telling me to take a class. It was just a 1 day 6-hour class. You had to "pass" the class, though it wasn't hard. This should prove there was some record; this is what concerns me. Otherwise why would they send me a letter telling me to do something?
4. So for peace of mind, I requested my record sealed in Summer 2012 (last summer). I do not know if they successfully sealed it; how do I check?
5. A different previous employment background check one year ago yielded nothing.

The above 6 points are to the best of my knowledge. There may be legal definitions of arrest or conviction that I do not know. All I know is that I never went to jail, never went to court, yet still received a letter requiring me to take a class. Since a few months after the incident occurred, I have never heard about it again (except me personally going to seal my record). In addition to the main question, what does this sound like? "Charges dropped?", "Case dismissed?", "Case never prosecuted?" I have no idea.

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Attorney answers 3


Order your CA Dept of Justice Live Scan criminal record (use Google for a listing of outlets everywhere in the State). There is no need to guess whether any record is being reported when you can quickly, cheaply and easily obtain a copy of your record.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

David B Pittman

David B Pittman


Great answer



Just one question: how thorough is this scan? It turns out I have to get this scan for my next job interview. If it does turn out clean (I get a copy of the report), does that mean I never have to worry again?

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall


Are you serious? It's the oficial record maintained by the State of California Department of Justice. What did you think might be more comprehensive? Of course you still have to worry. Any new events will be added within a few days of the incident.


Likely this will never show on background check, unless it is run by law enforcement. You can go to Juvenile Court in your County to view your record.

Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Practicing throughout Southern California
(310) 707-7131

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.


Probably not, but read the other answers.

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