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Do expunged records show up on background checks?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2021 | criminal defense |

A criminal record can create difficulties. For example, employers and landlords commonly ask job applicants and rental applicants whether they have ever been convicted of a criminal offense. If the answer is “yes,” many employers will choose not to hire and landlords often chose not to rent to someone with a criminal record.

Some of the nation’s largest employers have been sued by current and former employees after background checks revealed criminal records that, in many instances were outdated and irrelevant to the job. For example, a group of Amazon drivers sued the e-commerce giant because they were fired when a strict background check discovered criminal charges that were minor and 10 years old.

Getting a criminal record expunged is often the best way to handle such matters.

Expungement is the process of asking the court to remove certain court and police records from public view. It mostly applies to records that did not result in a conviction, but several types of convictions can be expunged. A Baltimore expungement lawyer can provide more details.

Generally, expunged records don’t show up on a background check. In most instances, expungement completely removes a criminal case or civil offense or infraction from public inspection.

As a matter of fact, one background check company has said that it is unethical for background check companies to report on convictions that have been erased. The general thinking is that individuals generally earn the right to have their records cleared, so it’s not fair to report on crimes that the courts deem erasable.

Another benefit of expungement is that, after the criminal record is expunged and you are asked if you have any criminal convictions, you can answer “no.”

Under Maryland law, employers and educational institutions are not allowed to require disclosure of expunged information about civil citations and criminal charges in an application, interview or through other means.

Maryland law also states that the refusal by a person to disclose information about criminal charges or civil offenses or infractions that have been expunged cannot be the sole reason for an employer to discharge or refuse to hire the person. So, if you refuse to provide information about expunged civil or criminal records an employer can not use that refusal as a reason not to hire you or to terminate your employment.

However, there are instances where expunged information might show up.

If a private database has information about your public record, expungement will not remove it from that database.

In Maryland like most states, state expungements mean that no publicly available information will show up on a state website such as Maryland Judiciary Case Search. However, Maryland does not have authority over federal governmental organizations such as the FBI. A Maryland case that is expunged could and likely will very well appear on an FBI record and could appear on a background check that uses federal records in its search apparatus.

The Law Office of Thomas J. Maronick is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh criminal record expungement needs. A Baltimore expungement attorney can help you to get your record cleared. An Ocean City expungement attorney can provide more details. The consultation is free.

We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410-881-4022 or through the website for a free consultation.



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