Does a pending misdemeanor charge show up on a criminal background check for employment?

UPDATED: Aug 9, 2011

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Does a pending misdemeanor charge show up on a criminal background check for employment?

I was arrested for a misdemeanor of theft by taking at the beggining of last month. I have not gone to court as of yet. The court date is in 10 days. I recently got a job and they are doing a background check. I am just wondering if it will show up or not.

Asked on August 9, 2011 Georgia


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

While criminal background checks may vary from state to state, generally the criminal background checks will show the same things, just reported from different agencies.   Generally, once you have been fingerprinted and arrested for a crime, that charge will appear on a criminal background check.  This offense will be reported to an employer.  Even if you have not appeared in court yet for your offense, the charge will appear in your criminal background history as an arrest with a pending disposition. 


Once you have had your day in court and the case has been disposed of, the criminal background report will be updated and it will note that there was a trial, plea, or other disposition.  The bottom line is that your employer will find out about the arrest, and your best chance of saving your job is to be forthcoming about the incident, before they find out from another source.  Again, you can tell your new employer that this was an arrest and you have not been convicted and the case is pending.  However, they will be updated once the case is closed.


It may be beneficial to contact a criminal attorney in your area to assist you with your upcoming court date so that you will have the best outcome, which will be eventually reported to your employer.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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