Will an expunged crime show up on a background check? 26 Answers as of June 11, 2013

Can I still get a government job in corrections such as a probation officer? I was arrested for petty theft, but not convicted, I served no jail time, and it was expunged from my record. I have to get an fbi background check for a state level government internship and was wondering if this would show up or disqualify me? I have an associates degree in one subject and am now working on my bachelors. This was expunged about 4 years ago? How would this affect me?

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
It will depend on how good of a background check they do. Also, convictions will still show up in the public records sections of newspapers, etc. If in doubt, be honest with your employer as opposed to him thinking you are lying and trying to cover up your past.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/31/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
From your question it appears that there was no conviction, therefore, there is nothing that an employer would have to use against you. There is no reason based on the information you provided that you would not qualify for a job as a corrections officer or a probation officer. The conviction may be expunged, but there may still be a record of your arrest. An expungement would mean that the record of the court proceedings have been destroyed. In some instances the arrest records are expunged and purged, but this is not always the case. It would be a good idea to check on this to see if this has been done.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/4/2011
Berlin Law Firm, PLLC
Berlin Law Firm, PLLC | Lee F. Berlin
It will probably show up on your background check, unless a civil expungement proceeding was conducted under 22 O.S. section 18-19 and the records sealed. Easiest way to find out is to request your criminal history from OSBI. Cost is only $15.00.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 4/1/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
It will show up.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/11/2013
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
An expunged conviction will be visible to this type of job inquiry.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 3/30/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    If it was correctly expunged, it may show up in a background check but it will show that it is expunged. This should not disqualify you from obtaining a government job.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    Various levels of government have different access to aspects of your criminal record and can see different items accordingly. If you were never convicted of the crime then it is unlikely that anything would appear on your record. It is possible however that you would be required to divulge the fact of your previous arrest during interviews and/or applications. While this is not intended to constitute legal advice, your best option is to fill out any paperwork to the best of your ability and if asked to answer questions as specifically as possible. If asked about convictions, assuming that you have in fact confirmed the disposition of your former charges, it would be possible to say that you do not have any. If asked specifically about arrests, then you would likely be required to provide information.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    I'm a little confused since arrests are not expunged, only convictions. Anyway, the answer is that expungements may turn up on a background check if it is a very thorough check. For a job such as you are describing with the government there is a good chance that they are doing a such a thorough search, but you just never know. If they discover a previous conviction, even one that has been expunged, then it is their option to disqualify you. Good luck, you should still try.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    It was not expunged from your record if it was a New York conviction because there is no expungement statute in New York. Expungement means that it is erased completely and you are allowed to lie and say you were never arrested because the computer will not show the arrest. In New York a conviction can be removed from the public records but not from the NYSID computer records that are available to the police and DA. If the case was dismissed you still have to say you were arrested and explain the circumstances, but if the record was sealed no one can read the original paperwork. Your perspective employers may discover the arrest even if it was dismissed as computers are able to search many sources of records and private companies that do background searches know how to find many computer records that others may not be able to discover unless they had access to the police computers. Unless you have a felony conviction you may still be able to get most positions, and if it was dismissed it should not be held against you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    If it is expunged, the rule in Missouri is that it is completely removed from the system so that not even law enforcement can find it. Expungements are sooooooo final that, even if you are under oath, you are allowed to say you have never been arrested for/convicted of that crime.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    The safest bet would be to attempt to secure a copy of the original order of expunging the charges. However, generally, an order of that nature will state that it is as if the crime had never been committed. It would be similar to a pardon. I would be surprised if you were prevented from getting the job based on what you have said here.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    That would depend on the specific rules of the agency to which you are applying. However, in general, if the charge was expunged in Washington, it would no longer appear on any record as long as the State Patrol record has been expunged and notice of expungement was sent to NCIS headquarters in West Virginia.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law | Tracy L. Henderson
    Under California law they are not allowed to use a dismissed conviction against you in the hiring process. If they do, they could be subject to civil liabilities.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick | Karen Kilpatrick
    There are certain instances in which you have to reveal the existence of an expunged record: (1) applying for employment with a criminal justice agency in Florida, (2) if you are a defendant in a future criminal case, (3) in any future petitions for sealing or expungement, (4) applying for admission to the Florida Bar (to become a lawyer), (5) applying for employment or a license with the Department of Children and Family Services, the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, or the Department of Juvenile Justice, or for any other position having direct contact with children, the developmentally disabled, or the elderly, (6) employment or licensing with an educational institution or school board, or (7) attempting to purchase a firearm. Even though certain agencies will be able to see that you have had a record expunged, it will increase your chances of being hired because they will see that a judge granted the expungement of the case. I don't think that an expunged petty theft record will be a huge impediment to obtaining government employment as a probation officer, for example, but each agency will have their own employment/hiring criteria so I can't say for certain the impact it will have. You've definitely done all you can though, in mitigating any harmful effects there may be. As for the FBI background check, my *guess* is that it won't show up but I'm not 100% certain. The federal government maintains its own criminal database, separate and distinct from the states. They do have state criminal defendants in the database, but in my experience, it is for more serious crimes and convictions. If you did make it into the database, the FBI is not required to remove your record based on a state expungement order, but they often will if you request them to.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Office of Martin Blank
    Law Office of Martin Blank | Martin E. Blank
    It depends on who is doing the background check. If it is a law enforcement agency, the record will likely show. If it is a commercial entity, it shouldn't show.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    You should be fine, but it depends on the background check type. We offer free consultations. We are attorneys in Ogden and Salt Lake City, we are Arnold & Wadsworth. Free free to give us a call.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    If it was expunged it was expunged. Who told you it was expunged? You will find out in a minute if it was truly expunged. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    First of all, you must have been convicted, because otherwise an expungement wouldn't have been possible. Second, expungement is basically a withdrawl of the conviction and a dismissal is entered into the records. So it depends on how the job application's question is phrased. Have you ever been convicted? Yes. Do you currently have a conviction? No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland
    The Law Offices of Dustan Neyland | Dustan Neyland
    It depends on the State where the arrest occurred. In Texas, you can legally deny an arrest that has been expunged and it shouldn't show up. If you are applying for a federal job, I would list the arrest because it may show up. They can't hold it against you if you list it, but can deny you the job if you don't list it and they find out about it. The FBI does not have to abide by a State Order of Expunction.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    Even properly sealed records remain available to law enforcement, so if the look they likely will find it. However, whether such a minor offense affects your ability to get this type of job is up to the employer.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    They do not expunge in Alabama. If it was in another state, if it was expunged it should not show up. Further, if there was no conviction, it should not hurt you. The only thing you can do is hope it does not show up.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes, it will certainly show up. Records are forever. Expungement does not 'remove' or erase the conviction, but merely changes the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. When applying for a job in the private sector, you generally do not have to disclose a conviction if it was expunged. However, the conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on any application for government and professional employment and licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The licensing agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing or employment because of the conviction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    You might still have the arrest on your record. Even if you get an expungement, you will still have the arrest on your record until you prove to the court that you were factually innocent of the charges and that no officer could have believed that there was probable cause to arrest you. This is a very very high standard to meet. However, you should still be able to get a government job- you do not have a conviction and this is the only thing that they care about.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
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