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Will I fail a background check because of a dismissed shoplifting charge?

Phoenix, AZ |

I got accepted into a program at school and we are required to do a certified background check and also get a Level 1 FBI Clearance Card.
Very recently I was charged with shoplifting, completed a diversion class, and now the charge is dismissed. I know and understand that this dismissed charge will appear on background checks, but will it prevent me from passing? My school isn't looking for the details... they just need to know pass or fail.... and they need passing results by 2 months at the latest. I have tried looking for an answer to this question and I'm not seeming to have any luck. Really, my life depends on passing these background checks. Please help!

Attorney Answers 3


I do not know who will be making a decision on your criminal background check, yet, I know that you do not have a criminal conviction with a successful completion of a diversion class and the only criminal issue remaining is an arrest (provided you were arrested).
Please discuss that further with a local criminal defense counsel for a better opinion.

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It depends on the criteria the agency doing the background checks employs. For some a past due bill will result in a "fail" if that is what you call it. Others a misdemeanor conviction will not result in a "fail." My guess, and that is all it is, would be your school will be less stringent than the FBI.

I do know this - DISCLOSE EVERYTHING! A fail to disclose these types of things WILL be used as a defect in moral character. Everyone makes mistakes - and evaluators know this. However, if you try to hide or omit things - that will be treated as a dishonest act will almost always function as an automatic "fail"

Attorney James R. Fox If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer or select it as Best Answer. It’s easy and appreciated. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.

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In Arizona, you cannot have your record expunged, so although your case was ultimately dismissed, a routine background check will show that you were arrested, charged and that the case was dismissed. It would be impossible to advise whether or not your school would view that as a "fail" as you say. Good luck.

Kaitlin S. Verdura, Esq.
Verdura Law Group PLLC

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