If you’re expressing interest in a job or an apartment, it’s normal for an employer or landlord to do a background check on you. If you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor, it’s natural to wonder whether the charges will show up on a background check. The answer is: it depends on the type of background check that the employer, landlord, or other party performs. To avoid losing opportunities because of what might appear on your background check, it’s best for you to have your misdemeanor charges expunged from your record. In this blog post, Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney Darwin Overson will explain how background checks work and how to get misdemeanor charges expunged from your record.
The Charges That Appear on Background Checks in Utah
The charges that appear on a background check done in Utah depend on the type of search that the person performing the search does. Essentially, if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor you will only pass a background check if the employer, landlord, or other party conducting the search does not search for misdemeanor charges.
Many employers and landlords only perform checks for felonies. This means that only felony convictions and non-misdemeanors, traffic violations, pending charges, dropped charges, and dismissed charges will not be known to the person conducting the search. Of course, it’s possible that the person performing the search will search for misdemeanor convictions. To avoid having your misdemeanor conviction appear on a background check, you should take actions to expunge it from your record with the help of a Salt Lake City expungement and record sealing lawyer.
How Far Back Background Checks Go in Utah
No matter the type of background check that is being done on you, your misdemeanor might not appear if it happened long in the past. Since most background check services only include the most recent seven years of a person’s life, a misdemeanor conviction that happened long ago is not likely to appear on a regular background check. Also, background checks do not usually include juvenile crimes (offenses that happen while a person is under the age of 18).
However, some occupations require background checks that go back further than 7 years. Commercial driving and trucking companies often perform background checks on potential employees that go back more than 7 years in the past; they are especially interested in DUI charges. Jobs that involve interaction with children are also very likely to perform extensive background checks on potential employees.
How to Expunge a Misdemeanor from Your Record in Utah
It’s natural for anyone that has been convicted of a misdemeanor to worry about the charge showing up on background check. To prevent your misdemeanor charges from appearing on background checks, you can work with an attorney to expunge the charges from your record. While pursuing expungement of your criminal record, note that expungement does not mean that the charge is entirely eliminated from your record. It merely means that your record will be inaccessible to the public. After expungement, records of misdemeanor convictions will only be able to be accessed by certain government officials and Utah courts under very specific conditions.
Expungement Eligibility in Utah
You can only expunge your criminal conviction from your record if you meet certain requirements. You cannot start the expungement process if you have not yet paid the fines, fees, and restitution connected to your charges. You are not able, under any circumstances, to expunge sexual offenses that require registry with a sex offender database, child abuse crimes, driving under the influence charges, charges of felony vehicular homicide, and felonies that are categorized as capital, first degree, or violent. You will also not be able to expunge a misdemeanor charge if you have other criminal cases pending or provided the court with information that is untrue or misleading in your petition for expungement. Committing certain crimes multiple times in addition to the crime that you would like to expunge can also make you ineligible for expungement.
Expunging a conviction of a crime is a process in itself, but you should note that it’s possible to expunge arrests (as well as investigations and detention) from your record, too. It is only possible to expunge an arrest from your record if you meet certain criteria, though. You can only expunge an arrest from your record if more than 30 days have passed since the arrest, you have no current criminal charges filed against you, and one of the following is true: the charges that were previously charged against you were dismissed with or without prejudice, you were acquitted at trial, or the statute of limitations for charging you with the crime ran out.
How Much It Costs to Expunge Your Criminal Record in Utah
There are a few costs involved in expunging a misdemeanor from your record in Utah. Firstly, you must apply for Utah’s Bureau of Criminal Identification Certificate of Eligibility, which costs $65. Secondly, you can only expunge a charge if you have paid all of the fees, fines, and restitution connected with the charges you’ve faced. Finally, since expungement is most successful when the services of a lawyer are involved, lawyer fees are another cost involved in expungement of a misdemeanor charge.
Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorneys Available to Help With Record Expungement
If you would like to expunge misdemeanor charges from your record so they don’t appear on background checks, get in touch with Salt Lake City expungement lawyer Darwin Overson from Overson & Bugden as soon as possible. Expunge your record so you can move forward with your future. Get in touch with Overson Law PLLC today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your options regarding expungement. Call (801) 758-2287.