Skip to main content

How does a misdemeanor treated as a violation show on a background check?

Salem, OR |

I was arrested for theft 3 in Oregon. I was never taken to jail/fingerprinted. When I went to court the DA offered me a plea deal dropping it to a violation. I was told I would have no criminal record and could answer accordingly on job applications. But from what I understand now from doing some research is there is still an arrest record. My question is how does this show up on background checks? Is it true I have no record? I feel as if I answer no perspective employers that run a background check will still see the arrest record and it makes no difference that I took the plea deal vs just pleading guilty to the misdemeanor I was originally charged with. Thank you in advance for any answers.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


The idea behind that treatment was so that it would not show up. I'd be interested to know what the information is that leads you to believe it is on there. If you went to arraignment and then had to go be booked afterwards, that would show as an arrest.

You should call a local attorney, have them look it up for you and discuss your options for removal if there is an arrest on there. Most of us aren't going to charge you much for that. Best of luck to you!



I was under the impression that even though I wasn't taken to jail when the police were called, I was still considered "arrested", just cited and released, which is where my concerns of an arrest record came. I was never booked, no mugshot, none of that. Again thank you for your time and answers there are very helpful.

Justin N Rosas

Justin N Rosas


For some purposes that can mean arrest but it usually is not going to show up on your record. You should have a lawyer check and make sure for you.


Are you sure that it is showing up? Consult a local criminal law attorney for assistance - many loffer free consultations. Good luck

This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.


Depending on the type of background check, the arrest will still show up on your record as an arrest and also as a conviction for theft as a violation. You can get the conviction expunged but you will have to wait three years per ORS 135.225. You can, however, indicate on applications that you have not been convicted of a crime because a violation is not a crime.


It sounds like you have two issues to figure out: 1. When an employer does a background check comes up? 2. If anything comes up--the arrest, the conviction, or both--then what are your options for cleaning up your record. Even though the charge was dropped as a violation, you must remember that the da and judge are not your attorneys, so hints might not have turned out exactly turned out as you expected. An experienced criminal defense attorney will do some detective work to help you figure this all out. Good luck.

***This is NOT legal advice, please consult an attorney for an answer tailored to your situation.***

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer