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What appears in a background check?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | criminal defense |

Seeking a new job or pursuing other major opportunities in life may require a background check. What these checks reveal depends on state and federal laws.

Learning more about background checks can help you protect your rights and privacy. It is beneficial to understand what information can legally be disclosed about you and how you can potentially correct or dispute inaccuracies in your background report.

Background checks

Criminal history is a key part of nearly all background checks. A criminal background check lists past convictions, arrests, sentences and court records. Most states, including Maryland, only report this information for up to seven years.

Some background checks also verify past jobs and employment history. They check your past positions, the duration of your employment and your reasons for leaving. This part of the background check helps employers confirm an applicant’s experience and honesty.

Education history checks confirm an applicant’s qualifications. This involves verifying their degrees, schools and attendance dates. Educational background checks ensure that applicants have the required qualifications.

Maryland and federal law

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, a federal law, sets national standards for employment screening. According to the FCRA, most background checks can report on civil suits, civil judgments, arrest records and collection accounts. They can report these items for up to seven years and report convictions without any time limitation.

Maryland state laws also play a major role in determining how background checks occur within the state. You must have an authorization number from your employer or licensing agency. This number is necessary as it permits the execution of the background check, ensuring that the process complies with legal standards and respects your privacy.

If you need fingerprint cards for your background check, your employer or licensing agency must provide them. Residents within Maryland can obtain fingerprinting services at authorized locations. This process is critical for visa applications, Gold Seal Letters and personal reviews.

Expungement of charges

Consider contacting an attorney if you have concerns about your background check or need to address specific entries. They can help remove past criminal charges that meet expungement requirements. A lawyer knowledgeable about Maryland and federal law can review your record and advise whether any charges are eligible for expungement. Eliminating charges from your record can positively impact your future and improve your chances of finding a job or applying for housing.

While employers in Maryland can conduct background checks to verify a candidate’s identity and criminal history, they must adhere to both the Fair Credit Reporting Act and specific Maryland state laws to ensure the process is legally compliant and respects individual privacy.



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