What Records Can Still Show Up On My Background Check?

Posted by Josh Valentine | Mar 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

In December, North Carolina made significant changes to the state's expungement laws. These changes make it easier to wipe your criminal record clean and get a fresh start. Under the newly amended law, the process for getting your record expunged is accelerated and much easier to navigate. One primary benefit of expungement is keeping your criminal past hidden from future employers. What, if anything, will still show up on a criminal background check?

What Goes On a Criminal Record?

Contrary to popular belief, your criminal record reflects much more than the crimes for which you have been convicted. Your criminal record will reflect any arrest, criminal charge, dismissal, and conviction that occurs during your lifetime. This is true even if you were arrested for a crime you never committed. The fact that you were arrested by police will be clearly stated on your criminal record.

What Happens When a Record is Expunged?

The process of expungement allows you to petition the court to have certain items removed from your criminal record. When your record is successfully expunged, it is as if your run-in with the law never happened. All records of your infraction are erased from state criminal databases and cannot be found during a search.

For example, if you have an arrest expunged from your record, you can truthfully say on a job application that you have not been arrested. When your employer runs a background check, no evidence of your arrest will show up in the state system. Your record is not gone completely, however. North Carolina allows law enforcement officers to search and review criminal records that have been expunged, when necessary.

What Can a Crime Show Up on a Background Check After Expungement?

While the purpose of expungement is to wipe your slate clean and allow you to move forward without the burden of your criminal past, there is no guarantee that a background check will not find evidence of your run-in with the law. State law enforcement databases will scrub any database and public record of your past.

However, there are multiple websites out there that collect information about local arrests and criminal proceedings. These private websites may contain mugshots, copies of previously-available public records, and other incriminating details about your past. It is possible for details of your expunged offense to show up on a background check because of these sources. It is important to note that many of these sites will agree to take down information about your criminal record if you can provide a record of expungement. You may want to consider running a quick search on the internet yourself before applying for a job. If you find information about your past, you can take action to get it removed.

Get Help Expunging Your Criminal Record

Your record will not expunge itself. Once you have satisfied the waiting period (5 years for a misdemeanor, 10 years for a felony) you must take action and petition the court for an expungement. This is the only way to ensure that your criminal record is wiped clean. Contact the North Carolina expungement attorneys at Caulder & Valentine online or at 704-470-2440 for help expunging your record today.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person that was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer.  So that's why I became an attorney.  I understand what you are going through—and I'm here to help you.  Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life. Before attending law school, I worked for a law firm focused on record clearing services, including expungements, pardons, and motions for appropriate relief.  The vast experience and understanding of North Carolina's expungement laws that I have acquired has given me an advantage in defending criminal charges, because not only do I fight for the best possible outcome in your case, but I am also continually conscious of the long term effects that a criminal charge or conviction can have on a person's life.  As such, I will do whatever I can to insure that my clients will not end up with a criminal record.  I was born in New London, Connecticut, but spent the first few years of my life in Dallas, Texas, before moving to Rutherfordton, North Carolina in 2001.  Upon graduating from high school, I attended Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, where I majored in Accounting.  Eager to finish school, I began law school at Charlotte School of Law the day of my graduation from GWU, and completed my law degree in two years (instead of the typical three). During law school, I studied hard and strived to acquire the most experience possible so that I would be practice ready upon graduation.  The opportunities I gained included prosecuting criminal defendants through an externship with the Burke County District Attorney's Office, defending criminal defendants through Charlotte School of Law's Criminal Justice Clinic, and interning with Farmer & Morris, PLLC. I am blessed with a beautiful wife, Gabrielle Valentine, who is an attorney at Farmer & Morris, PLLC, in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.  In my free time, I enjoy helping with the youth group in my church, playing basketball and softball in our local church leagues, serving in the prison ministry, and spending time with my family.  Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar


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Are you still not sure whether you qualify for an expungement? Do you have specific questions about your record you would like to discuss with a North Carolina attorney? Or are you ready to get started with the expungement process? Give us a call or send us a message today!