Probably the biggest challenge that felons face after their release is to find a job.
Employers typically conduct a background check on applicants, making it even more challenging to find a job.
This blog post will cover whether a juvenile felony will show up on a background check.
- What is a Background Check?
- What is Included in a Background Check?
- Criminal Records
- Juvenile Criminal Record
- Supporting a Felon with a Juvenile Felony on a Background Check
What is a Background Check?
The purpose of a background check is to ensure employers hire the best candidate for a job.
Many employers won’t hire felons, believing they are dishonest and likely to commit a crime on the job. Or employers fear the public finding out they hire felons, damaging the company’s reputation and losing business.
There are employers who will hire felons, but it will still take persistence in completing a number of applications in order to find that job.
There are several reasons why employers conduct a background check on job applicants and even on current employees.
- Negligent hiring practices. If an employee’s actions hurt someone, employers may be held liable.
- Terrorism has caused increased security caution in hiring.
- False information on applications can hurt the hiring policy.
- Federal and state laws require background checks on those working with children, the elderly, and disabled.
- Background checks are becoming easier and cheaper to perform.
Felons can lose a professional license or permit required in their previous line of work. They can’t be denied the opportunity to regain their license simply because they have been convicted of a felony.
That is discrimination.
But they can lose out due to the potential damage or harm or threat they represent for the company with the public.
Of course for positions requiring high security or trust employers want to make certain they make a good decision.
This information allows employers to determine a candidate’s past mistakes, character, moral and financial fitness, and to pinpoint hiring risks for security and safety issues.
While background checks are not mandatory by law, they are required in areas involving an individual’s personal and private information.
These industries are in home healthcare, financial, and insurance companies along with others.
What is Included in a Background Check?
In conducting a background check, basic information from applicants includes full name, date of birth, and Social Security Number.
Among the types of information typically included in a background check are:
- Driving records
- Credit records, including bankruptcy
- Criminal records
- Education records
- Court records
- Character references
- Medical records
- Military records
- State licensing records
- Drug test records
- Past employers
- Personal references
- Incarceration records
- Sex offender lists
- Social media profiles
This portion of the background check involves a search of criminal history files for any criminal activity.
A criminal background check typically reveals the following information:
- Convictions of felonies, misdemeanors, and sex crimes
- Current home address and phone number as well as those within the past ten years
- Arrests and court records (Dockets, orders, decrees, judgments)
- Incarceration records
- Federal and state tax liens
- Federal and civil judgments
- Federal and state bankruptcies
- Age and date of birth
- Any alias’ and maiden names
- Marriages and divorces
Most common is a County background check. This will show a felony criminal history and misdemeanors in most counties.
Then, there is a Federal Criminal Record Check. This shows federal crimes and crimes committed on federal property.
A Statewide and Nationwide check, Sex Offender Registry, and a Global Homeland Security Search reveals if an individual is in any of these databases.
According to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a background check will show all non-convictions. These include cases resulting in these dispositions:
- Nolle prossed (Will not prosecute)
- Deferred Adjudication
- Pre-trial diversion
Non-convictions are reportable for seven years. Convictions can be reported without any limitation.
The exception here is when felons have had their records expunged or sealed at the time of the background check. These records would not appear on a background check.
Regardless of any felony history, it is important for felons to be honest in disclosing any conviction. If they are no and the background check reveals a felony, their chances for employment are gone.
Disclosing felony convictions provides felon the opportunity to explain their situation and describe the circumstances of their crime.
Depending on the nature of the crime and length of time since the conviction, felons have the opportunity to present their case.
Juvenile Criminal Record
Juvenile felonies are as the name implies. They are felonies committed by anyone who is not yet considered to be an adult.
The age when a youth becomes an adult varies from one state to another. In some states, those as young as 16 are classified as an adult while in other states, it ranges from 17 to 19.
In the court system, youth as young as 14 can be certified as an adult depending on the crime and the circumstances. As an adult, the same crime will have a longer sentence with it. Juvenile records can be sealed or expunged so that crimes as a minor will no longer show up on a background check.
The law states that in order to seal one’s juvenile records requires the applicant to be an adult. Also, five years must have passed since the conviction as a juvenile.
More serious crimes cannot be expunged, again according to the state where the offense occurred. If juvenile offenders have committed crimes as an adult, they may not be eligible for record sealing.
There is a process for expunging criminal records.
In the case of juveniles, the court will decide whether to seal a juvenile’s records based on the felon’s age, criminal history as an adult, substance abuse history, the nature of the crime involved, and whether the records would affect public safety.
Supporting a Felon with a Juvenile Felony on a Background Check
For families of felons who have a juvenile felony, encourage them to be honest and ready to answer any questions about the charges.
Being prepared for these types of issues when applying for a job and having a background check can prevent problems later on.
Be there for them and be honest with them in this situation. Help them tell the truth and give themselves the best opportunity for success in their new life.
After all, honesty is the best policy for all concerned.
So what do you think about this blog post about whether a juvenile felony will show up on a background check is? Have you or someone you know had a juvenile felony show up on a background? What was that like and were they successful in dealing with it? Please tell us in the comments below.