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How Do Violations Show Up on a Criminal Background Check?

Do Violations Show Up on a Criminal Background Check?

You’re in the process of screening or prescreening your employees in Western New York. So, what crimes might you see? Here’s how violations could show up on a criminal background check.

What Is a Criminal Violation?

A violation is the least serious type of crime. In most cases, violations result in fines and/or minimal jail time, but this varies by state. Examples of could include littering, fishing without a license and public intoxication. Violations also may be called infractions, petty offenses or petty misdemeanors.

Do Violations Show Up on a Criminal Background Check?

Violations are less likely to show up on a criminal background check than felonies or misdemeanors. This holds true for three reasons.

  • Reporting Limits
    Some states limit the reporting of violations and/or misdemeanors to a shorter period than felonies. For example, Hawaii restricts look backs to 7 years for felonies but 5 years for misdemeanors and violations.
  • Type of Background Check
    Because they are less serious crimes, violations often are handled at the county court level. Therefore, a state or national criminal background check may fail to pick up this information. This especially holds true for smaller county courts that don’t keep electronic records.
  • Expungement
    Individuals can petition to have a violation removed or expunged from their record. This usually involves fulfilling the requirements of the sentence and paying an additional fee.

What About Traffic Violations?

Many common traffic violations, like speeding and failing to wear a seatbelt, are civil infractions. As a result, this information will not show up on a criminal background check. However, criminal traffic citations, such as DWIs and reckless driving, may be reported.

How Can You Run the Most Thorough Criminal Background Check?

For many positions, a standard criminal background check is sufficient. It won’t matter if a worker was charged with littering or received a speeding ticket or two. In other cases, though, you DO need to know more about your employees. For instance, if someone uses a company car, you should be aware of their driving habits. There are two ways to make a criminal background check more comprehensive. First, run a motor vehicle record search or MVR to uncover civil as well as criminal traffic citations. Second, consider using a combination of county, state and national criminal background checks. This may make the background check process take slightly longer. After all, if an employee has lived in several different areas, you must gather records from each of those counties. However, comprehensive criminal background checks are the best way to collect the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Is Your Company Interested in Running Criminal Background Checks?

Metrodata Services offers employment screening services in Buffalo, NY and beyond. Our services include criminal background checks at the federal, national, state, and county levels as well as MVRs. Give us a call today and we’ll help you design a screening package to best meet your organization’s needs!

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