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What Shows Up On Your Criminal Background Check

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.

Missouri statutes RSMO 610.120 and RSMO 43.543 explain which entities are entitled to see both open and closed records.

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 andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com