Recently, it has been revealed that nearly a third of American adults have their names listed in an FBI criminal-records database, many of which include arrests without charges. This has become a concern for many people today since numerous companies use this online database for conducting a background check on an individual. If this is affecting you, one way to deal with it legally is to seek an expungement to clear, or at least hide, these charges from your potential employers.
With nine out of ten businesses getting background checks on their prospective employees, some might find it hard to find employment due to existing criminal records. In addition to wreaking havoc on your job search, it also makes it difficult to acquire a loan, professional license, or even getting accepted into college. If you’re among the many people caught in this dilemma, exploring the possibility of an expungement with the help of a trusted Sacramento expungement lawyer might be the right move.
Background Screenings and Expunged Records
According to Katrina Blodgett of the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, background screeners are bound by law to avoid reporting expunged records, since legally these records do not exist. This is why the commission strictly enforces the Fair Credit Reporting Act, requiring background screeners and similar companies to “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy” in collating information about an individual.
How to Expunge Criminal Records
Normally, background screeners will draw information from different sources, including those directly from government agencies, like courts and corrections departments. In the state of California, the expungement process will involve reopening the criminal proceeding and reversing your conviction to a dismissal, thus allowing you to say that you have not been convicted of that crime.
Unlike other states, your conviction will never be completely removed from law enforcement records. California law allows you to report that you do not have a conviction in most circumstances. In other words, though it will remain on your record, it will be hidden from the public. Moreover, expungement in California will show that your case has been dismissed. Only exception is that expunged convictions are required to be disclosed for people running for public office or applying for a state license.
For your record to be eligible for expungement, you must fulfill three requirements: (1) you must be convicted in state court; (2) you did not go to a state prison; and (3) you completed probation. Improve your chances of being successful with your expungement petition by having a Sacramento criminal record expungement attorney, like those from the Chastaine Law Office, work on your behalf.