What will show up on my criminal background check?

UPDATED: Jul 28, 2011

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What will show up on my criminal background check?

Can a dismissed charge be expunged? A few years ago I was charged with a misdemeanor. The charges were eventually dismissed after I served my probation/community service and so I did not receive a conviction. I was never arrested or fingerprinted. There was a warrant out for my arrest but since I somewhat turned myself in I’m guessing there was no need for an arrest. I can’t seem to find any record of myself through the state police (I’ve done three searches on myself). The only record I have found is the one at the courthouse. I have to go in there and pay a fee to look at my record.

Asked on July 28, 2011 Michigan


G.J., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Technically, if your charge was dismissed, there is nothing to expunge.  "Expungement" refers to removing a specific conviction from your criminal record, and since you did not receive a conviction, your criminal record should be clean.  

Typically, when employers perform criminal background searches, they only search for convictions, not charges or warrants.  While a record of the charges may exist as part of police records, police records are not the same as criminal records, and are only available to law enforcement agencies.  So, unless you are applying for a position in law enforcement, the employer should only be able to access your criminal record, which, according to your information, should have no convictions on it. 

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