Misdemeanor Background Checks Explained
Each year, there are 13 million misdemeanor cases filed in the United States, many of which end up in a conviction. Having a misdemeanor charge and a criminal record can affect your future in several ways, and it is important for you to find out what shows up on your background check and if the data about you is correct.
Misdemeanor Crimes and Criminal Records
Misdemeanor crimes are a lesser crime than a felony that results in lesser penalties. While the punishment is maybe less severe with misdemeanors, they still appear in criminal records, unless sealed or expunged at some point. What this means is that if someone orders a background check on you, misdemeanors will show up in the results.
Where Do Misdemeanors Show Up?
Misdemeanors will show up in background checks that are frequently requested by the following:
- Employers: employers who seek new employees request background checks to learn about prospective employees' backgrounds; the purpose is to find out if job candidates provided the truth about their work experience and education, and if they have a criminal record.
- Loan officers: when applying for a loan for a car, home, or any other kind, the loan officer will conduct a credit background check that includes not only debt and payment history but also criminal records, including misdemeanors.
- Renting a home: many homeowners perform a background check to see, among other things, if prospective renters have a criminal record.
How Long Does a Misdemeanor Show Up on a Criminal Record?
Misdemeanors show up on criminal records indefinitely, in most cases, unless the case is expunged or sealed. Also, the duration of misdemeanors appearing in criminal records depends on state laws; there are states that apply the "seven-year rule" under which charges, arrests, and dismissals that are older than 7 years cannot appear in the background checks.
Misdemeanors of all kinds appear in background checks unless instructed otherwise. This includes Class C misdemeanors that are considered a lesser crime than other misdemeanors. Even though Class C misdemeanors do not require jail time, they still go on criminal records and appear in background checks.
How to Check for Misdemeanors?
Landlords, loan officers, employers, and other people/agencies that perform background checks are required to do so only with the consent of the individual that they are checking. Also, misdemeanor background checks and general background checks must also be performed by professional third-party companies that have the legal authority to perform such checks.
If you want to see what shows up in your background check, you can do so by using a public records search directory, like the one available to you on ProPeopleSearch. The People Search engine on the site will provide you with access to public records that are registered to your name, including misdemeanors, court records, and more.
By conducting a self-background check, you will be able to view your background check report that will be similar to what employers and other individuals can see. If you live in a state that invokes the seven-year rule and misdemeanors still appear in your record, you can request to seal the file.
You can also view other information about yourself, and discover if there are errors in your records that need to be fixed. By having your personal records in order, you will be able to positively affect your future and increase your chances of getting a loan, renting a home, and getting equal opportunities, despite having a criminal record.
While misdemeanors are a lesser crime than felonies, they can carry the same prejudice. Performing a background check on yourself will reveal if all the data about you is accurate, and if misdemeanors that should have been sealed still appear in your record. The quick and professional people search directory on ProPeopleSearch will provide you with a full report about yourself within minutes, so you will be able to view errors, if such exist and correct them by contacting the proper authorities.