Whether you're a business owner or just a person looking for more information on some individual in your orbit, you need to know just what you'll find when you invest in a criminal background check. These checks can be valuable. They might set your mind at ease or satisfy some requirement of due diligence for your company. You need to go into the process with the right expectations, though. Criminal background checks don't show everything about a person, so you'll need to follow up to fully understand who and what you're dealing with. Here's what will and won't pop when you conduct a criminal background check.
Arrests that haven't been expunged
Most criminal background checks will give you more than just convictions. You'll also see every time a person was arrested and charged with a crime. This can be helpful because many people will wiggle out of criminal charges through some pre-trial diversion program if they're a first time offender. Reviewing the arrest report can help you understand who you're dealing with.
You should know, however, that some arrests might not show up. If a person successfully completes a program or is acquitted of a crime, they may be eligible for expunction. When a record is expunged, it does not show up on many criminal background checks. Unless you have access to a serious FBI background check, you'll have a hard time finding out about these hidden arrests.
Dispositions for adult crimes
When a person is charged with a crime, he or she will go through a trial process or plead guilty to the crime. This will lead to some sort of disposition. That person might be found guilty with punishment assessed in some way. The person might be found not guilty. In some cases, the jury may hang, and the state may decide in those cases not to re-try the case. When you conduct criminal background checks, you can find out what a person was charged with and how the case ended. While you won't get the specific facts of the criminal activity, you may be able to look up an appellate record for the person to get a better sense of the actual crime.
Juvenile records will not be listed on most criminal background check results. Even if a child was convicted in some juvenile court, the record will likely be sealed unless the child was tried as an adult. Whether or not your company wants to use juvenile arrests against a child is your own choice. If you do, you'll have a difficult time finding this information, though. In some cases, it might require the person to disclose their own juvenile criminal information.
Criminal background checks can be effective and important. They can help a company get a sense of who they are hiring, and they can be effective tools for thinning the herd. Are you doing everything you can do to fill your company with the right people? Without a criminal background check, there's plenty you won't know.