It’s common for a criminal record search to be included when you run an employee background check. It stands to reason that past criminal convictions will show up on this kind of screening. But convictions aren’t the only kind of criminal charge out there – there are also pending charges, or a charge that is still under review in the court system.
Do pending charges show up on background checks, or not? Read on to learn more about this area of criminal background checks.
Will Pending Charges Appear on a Background Check?
Most of the time, yes. Criminal record checks typically include records of convicted felonies, misdemeanors, history of incarceration, and pending criminal cases. But that’s not always the whole story. The truth is that it depends on the state.
Different states have different laws regarding the reporting of pending charges. In Wisconsin, for example, employers may refuse to employ an individual who is subject to a pending charge – but only if the circumstances of the charge relate directly to the circumstances of the job. In Arkansas, pending felonies will appear on a criminal background check but pending misdemeanors won’t appear.
So, will pending charges appear on a background check? Usually. But technically, it depends on the state in which the individual lives and/or works.
Should I Run Federal, State, or Local Criminal Background Checks?
If you really want the full picture of a candidate’s criminal history, you’ll want to run all three. Here’s why: It can take time for records and information to make its way from the local level to the state or federal levels. It’s possible for a state record check to miss a pending charge because it hasn’t been relayed from the county level yet, or vice versa. And pending charges that have been dismissed can still show up on certain levels, simply because of slow record updating and bureaucracy. So, you’ll want to run a combination of state, county, and federal-level searches if you want all the information that’s available.
Background Checks Got Your Head Spinning?
Let us take care of the confusion. Metrodata Services makes the background check process simple and convenient – we’re the PBSA-accredited partner you can trust. Get in touch with a member of our team today to find out more about what we do.