Pre-Employment Background Checks and Criminal History

Posted by Keith Hall | Apr 01, 2015 | 0 Comments

When I applied for my first job, there was not even an employment application.  I met with the owner of the business, we had a short discussion, and they told me I was hired.  This was nearly thirty years ago, but things sure have changed!

When people apply for jobs these days, they inevitably will be put through a "background check".  Human resource departments and employers often have every applicant screened, in order to weed out those with criminal backgrounds.  For fees ranging from $10 to $100, a person can run a background check on anyone.

I've often found that these background checks result in incorrect reports, and cause people to lose employment opportunities due to the inaccuracies.  On a regular basis, I receive calls from persons who have never been convicted of a felony, who are told that a background check shows that they have been.  I am often able to show that they were only convicted of a misdemeanor, or sometimes nothing at all.  But the person who was defamed by the background check is still left fixing the errors made by the background check company.  This assumes that they are even told of the error, as some employers do not even inform prospective employees when they fail a background check.  

Of course, I firmly believe that most of us have committed a felony, and all of us a misdemeanor.  You may not have know it was against the law, but I guarantee that if a police officer had been watching every move you made your whole life, you'd have been arrested by now at least once.  

These background checks can keep people that otherwise would be great employees from gainful employment, and further marginalize both youth and adults who are seeking to better their lives.  There was a great news article in The Atlantic this month, that discusses these issues, that you can read here.

If you have been the victim or an inaccurate background check and need help, give us a call, and we'll see what can be done.  For those that have criminal backgrounds that are accurate, we may even be able to vacate their criminal conviction history and get a court order that states the person can lawfully say that they were never convicted of that crime.  Vacating Conviction Page.

About the Author

Keith Hall

Keith is our firm's lead criminal defense attorney.

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