A Missouri criminal background check can reveal both open and closed criminal records, but the detail of the information disclosed depends on who is requesting the information.
You Need to Know What’s On Your Criminal Background Report
It’s a good idea to obtain a copy of your criminal background report, just so you know exactly what will be revealed to potential employers, colleges, landlords, banks, etc.
It’s very common for someone to have been charged with a crime in the past (shoplifting, marijuana possession, under-age drinking) and think the charge has been dropped or “sealed” but later discover that an arrest or conviction is showing up on their criminal background report.
If you know exactly what is on your criminal background report, you will be prepared to explain to potential employers about a previous criminal charge or arrest. It’s better to explain in advance about being arrested or charged with a crime, rather than look like a liar because you incorrectly claimed to have a clean criminal record.
The Difference Between Open and Closed Criminal Records
A Basic Name Search criminal background report shows open records only.
A Fingerprint Search criminal background report shows both open and closed records.
When you have been charged with a crime but the case is not resolved yet, your case is an open pending case, which is an open record.
Closed records show what happened in the past. So, if you were arrested but the Prosecutor dismissed the charge, you pleaded guilty, or the Prosecutor reduced the charge to a lesser offense, the case is closed and that is a closed record.
EXAMPLE: If you were not arrested but you were charged with shoplifting and you hired an attorney who got the charge dismissed, a Basic Name Search will show nothing. A Fingerprint Search will reveal that you were charged with shoplifting and the case was dismissed, but only if the requesting entity is the type of employer that is entitled to see both open and closed records.
When Do Arrests and Convictions Show Up On a Criminal Background Report?
If an entity that is entitled to see both open and closed records requests just a Basic Name Search criminal background report, that report will show both open and closed records, so arrests and convictions will both show up.
EXAMPLE If you were arrested for marijuana possession and your attorney negotiates a plea bargain deal with the Prosecuting Attorney to reduce the charge to “Littering,” that’s an open record and a Basic Name Search will reveal that the Prosecutor 1) filed charges against you for marijuana possession, and 2) you were convicted of “Littering.” The arrest will not show up but the Prosecutor’s action of filing the charge of marijuana possession will show up.
EXAMPLE: If you were arrested for shoplifting and your attorney convinces the Prosecuting Attorney to dismiss your case, that’s a closed record, so nothing will show up on a Basic Name Search criminal background report. In this situation, if you request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report, both open and closed records will show up, and the report will reveal that you were arrested for shoplifting and your case was dismissed, but only if the requesting entity is entitled to see both open and closed records.
Recent Arrests Will Show Up On a Basic Criminal Background Check
If you were arrested up to 30 days ago, the arrest is considered “fresh” and will show up on a Basic Name Search background check, even if the potential employer is not entitled to see both open and closed records.
Probation Will Show Up On a Basic Criminal Background Report
If you received a Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS) with probation, it’s an open pending case while you are on probation and is considered an open record. It will become a closed record after you successfully complete probation and your case is closed.
The fact that you are on probation will show up even on a Basic Name Search criminal background report because it’s an open record.
If you apply for a job with an “entitled entity” employer like a daycare, the employer can require you to get a Fingerprint Search criminal background check, which will show the following:
- Were you on probation in the past?
- What were you on probation for?
- Did you successfully complete probation?
- Is the case closed?
You Don’t Have to Agree To Disclose All Records, Even If a Potential Employer Requests It
Some employers ask potential employees to get fingerprinted and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report, even though the employer is not an entity that is entitled to see both open and closed records.
In that situation, the potential employee can choose what they want the potential employer to see — open records only, or both open and closed records. So, the person applying for a job who is required to get fingerprinted can request that only open records be disclosed on the background report, if the employer is not an entitled entity.
Some Employers Can Require Job Applicants to Disclose Both Open and Closed Criminal Records
If you are applying for a job with an “entitled entity” employer (criminal justice agency, state government, day care, etc.) and you are required to get fingerprinted and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report, you must agree to disclose both open and closed records.
What Is An “Entitled Entity” Employer?
“Entitled Entity” employers are those that are legally entitled to require job applicants to get fingerprinted and disclose both open and closed records prior to being considered for a job.
Examples of Entitled Entities: day care, nursing home, criminal justice agency, State of Missouri.
How to Get a Copy of Your Criminal Record Check
To order a Missouri criminal record check, go online to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) website or call CJIS at (573) 526-6153.
Or you can go to the state police headquarters in the county in which you live and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report. The Fingerprint Search criminal background report is more thorough than the criminal background report that you purchase online from CJIS.
If you have questions about what is showing up on your Missouri criminal background report, or how to obtain a criminal background report, call the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) at (573) 526-6153.
To get help for your criminal case, call St. Louis criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation. Or email Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 about your warrant.
In general, arrests and convictions show up on a criminal background check but warrants do not. Warrant information is not public information and, therefore, only courts and law enforcement should know if you have a warrant.
However, it all depends on which entity is providing the criminal history. For example, if you purchase a criminal background report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, warrants will not be included in the criminal history, but warrants may appear in criminal background reports obtained from other entities.
How Much Information Will Show Up on Your Criminal Background Check?
The amount of information that shows up on a criminal background report depends on who is providing the report, but it also depends on who is requesting it. If you request your own background report and agree to be finger-printed, you will receive information on all of your open and closed cases. If a potential employer requests the report on your behalf, the employer will only receive information on open cases. However, the employer will also see your arrests and convictions, and the criminal background report will state why you were arrested and what crime you were convicted of.
Also, the criminal background check will be much more thorough if you are applying for a job with the FBI, a prison, police department, or other law enforcement-related entity.
The Record of an SIS May Show Up on a Criminal Background Report While You’re on Probation
If you were charged with a criminal offense and received a plea-bargain deal called an SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) with probation, your case will be an open case throughout the probation period. With an SIS, if you successfully complete probation without any violations, your case will be closed and there will be no conviction on your criminal record.
However, it is still possible that the record of the SIS will appear on a criminal background check. While your case is still an open case, companies that sell criminal background reports can find the record of your case and save it, and then they can sell that information later to any potential employer who wants to buy it.
Therefore, the record of your SIS and probation may appear on a criminal background report if the report is run during the time you’re on probation, but it may also show up even after your probation period is over and your case has been closed.
How to Get a Copy of Your Criminal Background Report
You can buy a copy of your criminal background report online from the Missouri State Highway Patrol: https://www.machs.mshp.dps.mo.gov/MocchWebInterface/home.html
How To Get Convictions Expunged From Your Criminal Record
It is possible to get convictions expunged (removed) from your criminal record, but only a few types of misdemeanors and felonies are eligible for expungement, and only after 10 years (for misdemeanors) or 20 years (for felonies) of good behavior.
Keep in mind that, if you are able to get a conviction expunged from your criminal record, the conviction will still be visible to the FBI and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
For more information, click here to read my previous blog post about Missouri criminal record expungement.
How to Find Out if You Have a Warrant
Most criminal defense attorneys subscribe to some type of online service which allows them to run a warrant search for clients. Your attorney can find out if you have a warrant and can tell you whether the warrant is state-wide, regional, or nationwide in scope. You can also call the court to ask if they have issued a warrant for your arrest.
How To Get an Arrest Warrant Lifted in Missouri
In many cases, an attorney can get your warrant lifted and obtain a new court date for you, and you won’t have to pay the bond. See my previous blog post about how to get an arrest warrant lifted in Missouri.
However, if you have already appeared in court and pleaded guilty, but you failed to pay the fine or complete a court-ordered duty (attend driving school, perform community service, attend a drug education class, etc.), an attorney may not be able to get your warrant lifted without payment of a bond.
If you have questions about an arrest warrant or criminal background check, call St. Louis traffic lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or via email at email@example.com for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation.