When you are getting an employment background check. Arrests show up, but do they show what you were arrested for?
I was arrested for petty theft in Sacramento, CA in 2010. I went to court, plead guilty in order to do a diversion program and get my case dismissed. Of this information, what specifically will an employer see?
3 Answers from Attorneys
First of all, a background check has no legal meaning to the attorneys who participate in the lawguru network. That's because how an employer checks your background depends on the employer and the means they use to verify the employee's application. The FBI, for example can check you're entire criminal history by accessing various state databases. Ralph's lawnmower repair service, however, must depend on some other access or otherwise whatever can be found on the internet.
Second, pleading guilty is a conviction, so whatever you were convicted of will show up when an employer checks court records.
If you plead guilty but were never sentenced, it is not a conviction. While you are not very clear on what happened. You may have entered a "deferred entry of judgement" (DEJ) In such cases you enter a guilty plea but are not sentenced. After a period of time the plea is withdrawn and the record does not show that you were convicted. In such cases, the record should show a dismissal. Your best bet is to go to the police department (assuming you were arrested by the Sacramento Police Department) and ask to see a copy of your record. This is not necessarily what will show up on the background check but it will give you a better idea.
It depends upon how deep a background check someone does.
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