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How does a deferred judgment show up on a background check?

Denver, CO |

I was charged with a misdemeanor theft (shoplifting) in October of 2011. After speaking with the DA, I plead guilty under the pretense that I will receive a deferred judgment, which will be reviewed 12 months from my court date.

In applying for new jobs, how will a deferred judgment show up on my background check? What will it say? And if I do comply with the terms of my deferred judgment, will the charges be dropped?

Any help on this subject will be most appreciated.

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Attorney answers 3


Once the period of deferred is successfully completed and your case has been dismissed, you will need to file a civil petition to seal criminal arrest record in order to get the records of this case sealed from private individuals and background checks. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you with this.


During the period of the deferred Judgement it will show the crime you plead guilty to and the sentence is deferred on your criminal record. After you complete the deferred you will be allowed to withdraw your guilty pleas and then it will show up on your criminal record that the plea is withdrawn and case is dismissed. This is provided it was a straight deferred. In such case you will have file the civil petition to seal and pay the fees. Until the Court grants the petition your record is not sealed. Note sealing only prevents private parties from knowing of the deferred and the dismissal. As far as the government and law enforcement is enforced they will be able to see your full record includung those records that were sealed.

If it was a split deferred then you cannot seal immediately after you complete the deferred but have to wait some years, if eligible, to seal. During this period you will have to be squeaky clean with no criminal charge. There are other conditions you may have to meet before you can deal.

All the Best

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The answer to your question depends on which background check service is being utilized. On misdemeanor theft cases like this, often times CBI and other services will simply have a record of the arrest or citation and no further information on a deferred. Other times, it will show as a guilty plea during the deferred and only after the term of deferment will it show as an arrest or citation that was ultimately dismissed. Just as my colleagues have stated, you will need to file a petition to seal to have the charge erased from the background checks.

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