A couple days ago I got caught with cannabis and received a misdemeanor. I was in Missouri at the time so given the new laws on possession, I didn't get arrested. I work and live in Illinois though. The cop said it would only be a fine. My court date isn't until the 21st of April. Just today, I received an email from my employer saying they were running a background check on all employees because of the amount of accidents their employees were having. (I work for a cable company and have a company vehicle.) I was wondering if this misdemeanor would show up on a background check or my criminal record before or after my court date?
First, don't post admissions on public websites. Prosecutors and cops can look at this stuff.
Whether it will show up on a background check is a question of timing. Once the charge is filed it will show up on Case Net. They aren't supposed to but somehow background companies scrape the information up.
You need to get with a local criminal defense attorney ASAP.
The short answer is that criminal background checks show arrests, warrants, and convictions. They may also reveal if a defendant is on probation and what they're on probation for. It's possible that in the past you gave your employer permission to see both open and closed criminal records. If so, that could explain how they could see that you have an open pending case that you haven't appeared in court for yet.
Missouri Casenet is online and lists pending criminal charges. Most municipal courts don't report cases online on casenet, but some do. So if your case is in a municipal court that reports on casenet, that's one way your employer could have discovered your open pending charge.
I suggest you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. The police officer told you it will be just a fine (no jail time), but what he didn't tell you is that if you plead guilty to misdemeanor marijuana possession, you will end up with a conviction on your permanent criminal record. Having a drug conviction will make it very difficult for you to get, or keep, a job. An attorney can help you get the best deal possible instead of just pleading guilty and having a drug conviction.
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