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Question: Will a Misdemeanor Show Up on a Background Check Report?

Companies around Buffalo, NY commonly run criminal record searches as a part of their background check process. But what exactly shows up? Do misdemeanor offenses show up on background checks? 

The answer is yes, misdemeanors usually do show up on background screenings – but there are some exceptions.  

Infraction Vs. Misdemeanor

First, let’s define the difference between an infraction and a misdemeanor, because they are not the same thing. An infraction is a law violation resulting in a fine or short jail time (less than five days). Examples include traffic tickets, a fine for littering, or a short jail stay for disturbing the peace. Infractions generally don’t show up on background checks. 

Misdemeanors are broken into three levels: Class A, B, and C, with A being the most severe. All levels of misdemeanors are criminal offenses that result in less than one year of jail time. Offenses like shoplifting, trespassing, simple assault, indecent exposure, and minor drug offenses like possession fall under the category of misdemeanors, and they will probably show up on background checks. 

What Are The Exceptions?

There are occasions in which misdemeanors won’t show up on a background check. It varies depending on the circumstance and the state in which the incident occurred. Some states classify public intoxication, for example, as a misdemeanor, while others only classify it as an infraction. And many states forbid reporting on misdemeanors after a set time frame; in Hawaii, for example, misdemeanors won’t show up after five years. 

Can Misdemeanors Be Removed From Someone’s Record?

Yes, it is possible for a misdemeanor to be removed from someone’s criminal record. Misdemeanor expungement is relatively common – a person can petition to have the charge legally erased. And as mentioned above, the charge may be erased automatically after a certain length of time depending on the state regulation.  

Run Your Background Checks With the Professionals 

Metrodata Services is the leading screening provider in Western New York. We can help you conduct background screenings, including criminal record checks, so you know exactly who you’re hiring. Learn more about our services here and contact our team to get started. 

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