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Is it legal for online background check company to divulge my record when it has been expunged?

Fuquay Varina, NC |

In 2008, when I was 16, I had 3 larceny charges and I did the first offender program, completed community service, and got my record expunged. I recently signed up on a job website because I have been having A LOT of trouble getting work when I don't have a friend already working there that will put in a good word for me. This website had a background check, which I agreed to, that came back with the three charges that I had expunged. The job website even suspended my account because of it. I just don't understand how my charges can show up if they were dismissed and supposedly destroyed. Is this legal? I have applied for tons of jobs and I might have been looked over because these charges are showing up in background checks!

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Attorney answers 3


The background check company has done nothing wrong. Your issue is that it appears that your record has not been expunged. You need get a copy of your record to verify the charges are still showing up. If so, and you believe your record should have been expunged, then you need to contact someone with the program you were in to find out why your record has not been expunged. Good luck to you.

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You should speak with the people in the 1st offenders program to make sure that in fact your records were expunged, likely they have not been expunged; if they are not, my suggestion is to speak to criminal law attorney who handles expungments to get this cleared asap, best of luck.

The above answer is for information only; and does NOT constitute legal advice. This answer does not constitute, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship between KaplunMarx, PLLC, Theodor Kapun and any receiver. The information provided on these pages is general only, and you should not act upon this information without consulting with a qualified attorney.


I agree with the other attorneys that have stated you need to ensure your record was actually expunged. Completeing the first offenders program does not automatically get you an expungement, but it does provide a path.

IN this case, if you can verify with the Clerk of Court's Office that your record has been expunged, then you may need to conatc the company that has the information and advise them of the expungement as well.

G.S. 15A-152 is the statute you need to look at for guidance in this situation. If you follow the requirments of the section, you may be able to institute a civil action for the damage the release has caused you. Private companies are very good about updating thier records under this section, so I am inclined to believe you think you have an expunged record when in fact you don't.

I have worked on a number of these issues in the past, particularly for first offenders and G.S. 90-96 participants. You need to just make sure that you follow through.

The information provided herein is general information and not designed to create a lawyer-client relationship, nor is it intended to be all-inclusive. You should seek counsel from an attorney about your particular situation to ensure your rights are protected.

Raushanah Fadqua Rodgers

Raushanah Fadqua Rodgers


If you are certain that your record has been expunged, then the background check company is definitely wrong here. NC statutes make it unlawful for a criminal background reporting company to report expunged offenses. Do verify that the offense was in fact expunged. Contact a lawyer should you need help.

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