Not having a clean criminal record certainly makes getting some types of jobs more difficult. This is true whether you are a defendant now or went through the criminal courts decades ago. Instead of feeling nervous or uncertain about your employment future because of your background, inform yourself and learn what to expect. Also be aware that the employers requiring these checks usually feel uneasy about the process, too.
Below are three of the most common questions about not having a clean criminal record and having to go through a background check.
How long do criminal offenses stay on a background check?
How long criminal offenses stay on your background depends on several factors. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), there is no time limit on reporting convictions, even when you have an otherwise clean criminal record. Because federal law does not provide time limits, employers can access this information at any point in your life.
However, there are some exceptions to reporting of old convictions. These exceptions include specific laws enacted by some states that provide clear time limits for offenses to show up on background checks. If you live in North Carolina, unfortunately there are no laws like this on the books. This means your potential employer can see your whole criminal history if you seek employment in this state.
Many people see this unlimited reporting as unfair and limiting to those who otherwise deserve a real chance in the job market. This is why some employers enact limits on their own. They request background checks for only a specific number of years to learn whether you have a clean criminal record. How your record check appears also depends on your court’s record limitations, archiving practices and record retention.
If I do not have a clean criminal record, will anyone hire me?
Each employer considers background check factors according to their specific needs when considering job candidates. Not having a clean criminal record can affect your employability. But many hiring organizations are more interested in the actual offense. They look at its severity, relevance of the criminal activity to the open position and how long it has been since the crime occurred. They may also consider whether you were honest about your criminal history, such as when completing a job application with that question on the document.
There are some jobs and industries in which you will not make a good candidate if you do not have a clean criminal record. These include law enforcement, security, finance, childcare, teaching and healthcare. All of these industries rely on background checks when selecting new employees. They typically do not hire former offenders.
Will my current charges affect my otherwise clean criminal record?
If you are facing pending charges now, these will typically show up on your background check. Only in a few states do laws restrict this reporting. In addition, your employer can typically check pending cases online through the court’s public access portal to gain more information. These portals also typically show disposed and closed cases, too.
Experts Help You Keep a Clean Criminal Record or Clear Your Past
If you have past issues on your criminal record, consider hiring a North Carolina criminal defense lawyer. They can help you seek expungement of your criminal charges. The courts often consider these actions depending on certain factors, such as:
- Age during your offense
- Whether arrest happened
- Whether the prosecutor achieved conviction
- The class of your offense
- Prior criminal history
- Whether you had crimes expunged in the past
Besides when seeking an expungement, it is important to have a criminal defense lawyer on your side when facing charges. You also need to get out of jail as quickly as possible after arrest to start working on your case with your lawyer. If you or someone you love face criminal charges and need to bail out of North Carolina jail, call the trusted bail bondsmen of DJ’s Bail Bonds. We serve several counties, including:
Call DJ’s Bail Bonds at (919) 986-1547 24 hours per day and seven days per week to get out of jail and start working to improve your future.