Background checks can be nerve-wracking for potential applicants. Questions about the history of companies that have checked background checks on applicants whose past includes criminal activity are common. This question might be asked if you are not a criminal and have been convicted of a traffic offense or bankruptcy. It is possible to wonder if these issues could affect your chances of getting a job.In most cases, potential employers consider several factors when making a decision. Employers conduct background checks that are applicable to the job in hand. If you are not going to drive a company vehicle, you don’t need to worry about traffic violations from three years ago.

If you are applying for a job where you will be managing money or company finances and have a bankruptcy or significant debt, this could raise red flags with the employer. They will also look at the date in the event of bankruptcy.

They may need an explanation about the debt. You can be prudent and answer any questions that your employer may have about debt.

What far back do background checks go?

It’s not a simple answer. Nationally, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), there’s no limit to how many years an employer can go back when searching during a background check for a conviction. They can also access information if the verdict was made more than twenty-five years ago.Because states have different laws, screening rules can vary depending on where you live. Each state has its own laws that regulate how background check companies can create reports. Most states won’t allow background check companies to share information about criminal history that is older than seven years.

Some states permit background check companies to share information up to 10 years ago. This includes any conviction, felony or misdemeanor. At the very least, all states have one of these limitations. At some point, criminal convictions should not be included in background screening.


States that have reached the seven-year limit

  • California
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Washington

However, there are exceptions to this seven-year limit. If you are looking for a job in California with a salary of more than $125,000, your employer may check your history for up to ten year. The employer is not required to keep you from looking for work in Colorado or Texas if your salary exceeds $75,000. In the US, there is a $25,000 income exemption in Kansas, Maryland and Massachusetts. This applies to New York, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Montana, New Hampshire and New Mexico. Washington has an income exemption of $20,000.

Some states will forbid the inclusion of these records in background checks if you are not found guilty of a crime. These states are:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Indiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

Some states also have strict background check reporting laws. They will show both guilty and non-guilty verdicts, for an unlimited number years.

If you have a conviction for a felony and are living in one of the above states, it may be difficult to find a job. This may be your experience. It might be more advantageous to move to a state with more relaxed reporting laws.


There are still convictions

The conviction may not be shown on screen anymore, but that does not mean it is no longer there. It is important to note that this record may not be visible anymore or it might not be accessible anymore. It doesn’t necessarily mean that potential employers won’t find it again if it is older than ten year.This is because the conviction remains on your record. It’s possible for someone to locate it. It could be found by employers on the Internet, in a court case, or in a newspaper article. During any questions about your past, it is important to be truthful.


Is Your Conviction Featured?

Do you wonder if your conviction will show up in background checks? You can do a search to see if your conviction is going to appear in a background check. This will allow you to determine if your criminal history is sufficiently old to be allowed to report beyond the seven-year or ten year reporting restrictions in your area.If you see your conviction, you may consider expungement. You cannot erase other convictions than felonies. Some crimes may be eligible for parole.

  • If you have not been convicted of any other offenses.
  • A certain time has passed since the crime.


Why do employers order background checks?

Background checks are required for applicants who apply to positions in the financial, healthcare, or insurance industries. Any business can conduct background checks if they wish. They’ll ask for your criminal background check.

  • Date of birth, full name, and age
  • Maiden names, aliases, nicknames
  • Current address, phone number, as well as addresses from the past seven to ten year period.
  • Convictions for all felonies, misdemeanors and sex crime
  • Court records and arrests (Decrees and docket numbers judgments and orders, as well as decrees and docket number)
  • Federal and civil tax liens
  • Federal and civil judgments
  • Bankruptcy in Federal and State
  • Records of inmates
  • Warrants


Concerning Pending Charges

Remember that background checks will show any pending charges against you. There is an exception. Arkansas is an exception. The state will however still disclose pending charges.Remember that pending charges can only be found for certain counties. Employers may only run background checks for one county, but not for the entire state. Your pending conviction will not show up if it is in another county. This is a rare situation.


Always be honest about your past

Although this might seem frightening and may make it difficult to get a job, honesty is the best policy. You should know what you can expect. This will help you mentally prepare for any questions about your past.Do not try to justify your actions. Instead, be open and honest about your mistakes. Talk about the changes that you are making in your life, and how you plan to improve. This will show your potential employer you are trustworthy and honest.


What are Level 1 and 2 Background Checks?

In most cases, people with a felony know the difference between level 1 background checks and level 2. These terms are only applicable to Florida. They are not used in any other place. According to Florida, they are:

  • Level 1: This refers to checks that are performed by the state’s name only, in addition to a check of employment history.
  • Level 2: A state and national fingerprint test are performed. These checks are performed when applicants seek positions of trust or responsibility.

If you are a felon in Florida, you will most likely have a Level 1 background screening.


Are Felonies Found Elsewhere?

There’s a possibility that your criminal record from one state could show up on your background check. All employers in the United States have access to full criminal records. The following information is available to them:

  • They may use your current address in order to locate criminal records in your current location.
  • They can search for criminal records in other locations if additional addresses are found in their searches.
  • Employers may conduct a Federal Criminal Records Check, which will reveal crimes committed on federal property and other federal crimes.
  • Many companies also conduct nationwide searches to find sex offenders and homeland security personnel.


Ban the Box

Due to the fact that it’s a problem for lots of with a felony conviction, mostly when the concern emerges relating to exactly how far back employers are looking when carrying out a history check, the Restriction the Box effort pertained to fulfillment. Companies are asked to remove the box asking possible prospects if they have actually ever been founded guilty of a felony. This makes sure that every candidate is able to present their skills and also credentials, and land an interview before background checks happen.People with convictions don’t automatically get branded criminals when they apply for jobs. Potential employers see them as equals and will not reject them. Since its inception, thirty-eight states have implemented this initiative.


Last Thoughts

You may wonder what information will be displayed on your background check, and how far back the potential employer will go. Make sure you are familiar with the laws in each state and how they are handled by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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