You’re conducting a criminal record search on one of your employees. Of course, you expect convictions to appear. So, is that all? Or do pending charges show too?
What Is a Pending Charge?
A pending charge still is under review. In most criminal situations, there is an arrest and then a charge. However, with a pending case, the prosecutor is in the process of deciding what to do. The charges may be kept as is, added to, reduced or even discarded. In other words, nothing is official.
Do Pending Charges Show on Background Checks?
Usually, the answer is yes. A criminal record check may include convicted felonies and misdemeanors, pending criminal cases, and any history of incarceration. Nevertheless, some states restrict the reporting and/or use of pending charges. For example, in Arkansas, pending felonies will appear on a background check but pending misdemeanors will not.
How Long Before a Pending Charge Is Reported?
Pending charges are most often entered into county records. And it may take time for this information to travel from the county to the state. (Keep in mind, there are different levels of criminal record searches including federal, national, state and county.) As a result, a county check could catch a pending charge a state check would miss. Similarly, state records may show a pending charge even after it was dismissed at the county level. Therefore, to ensure you have the most accurate information, plan to run a combination of local and wider-ranging searches.
Can I Use This Information to Make Hiring Decisions?
Pending charges can be a bit tricky. After all, these are open cases that may result in anything from a conviction to a dismissal. Thus, many businesses will delay hiring decisions until the pending charge is resolved. If this isn’t possible for your organization, proceed with caution. Some states have stricter rules than others regarding the consideration of pending charges. A PBSA accredited screening provider or your legal team can offer additional guidance on the regulations in your area.
Does Your Company Need Assistance with Criminal Background Checks?
Metrodata Services is here for you! As a PBSA accredited screening provider, we’ll help you uncover and interpret information, so you make the best-possible hiring decisions. Find out more about all the advantages of partnering with Metrodata Services today!