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Can a deferred case show up on a criminal background check?

Knoxville, TN |

3 years ago I was cited with a charge of theft, and went thorugh a deferred type program with a year of probation /community service and then paid a fee and the case was cleared.Now I am married and have a little girl and want to open a licensed home day care . Will that charge show up when I send in the fingerprint and criminal background check? They told me at the time that if asked on an application I could say no to the question was I ever charged or convicted, but this is different.

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Attorney answers 3


Usually and in general if you have gone through a deferred entry of judgment program and complete it successfully the arrest is sealed and no conviction appears on your record. If you want to be sure, go to your local police department and have your fingerprints run. You have a rightt to your own record and that will answer your question.


I concur with my collegue, but have an additional point you need to consider. In NJ, the fact that you are arrested (not convicted or adjudicated) becomes the point at which the criminal record is created. This record of arrest remains on the NJ record, even if it is resolved by way of a conditional discharge or other type of non-conviction disposition. I agree that the fastest way to check this out is to have your fingerprints run to see what shows up. If the record does show up, discuss this with an experienced defense lawyer admitted to practice law in TN to determine the State requirements to expunge or seal your record. Good luck.

This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice. Given the nature of this website, it is provided solely for informational purposes, for you to use as a starting point when speaking directly with a lawyer in your State. Do not assume that the legal theories I mention that pertain to NJ will apply in your State. I urge you to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State before making any decisions about this case.


Why would you say "no" if you were charged? In short, you were charged but it appears from the facts you have presented that you were never convicted. The charges will more than likely appear on a DOJ background check. You need to be honest at all time that you were charged but never convicted. Always put your best foot forward instead of having to take two steps backs. You can honestly say you were never convicted if that was the outcome of your case, which is much better than just disclosing that you were charged.