When You Sign Waivers for a Criminal Background Check in Pennsylvania
You’ve reached the final stages of a job application and you’ve been asked to sign waivers for a criminal background check. For some, this represents more than a little anxiety. Could you be out of the running in either case?
Truth be told, there’s a chance, depending on what’s actually on your record. You should know that answering anything with false answers could discredit your application. After all, one of the reasons for checking your criminal record is to ensure you’re an honest and upstanding citizen.
There are a few ways that employers perform a criminal background check. If you’re going to work for a major corporation and hold a job with a great deal of responsibility, they may request records on a federal basis. However, this type of search will only bring up federal crimes, such as large-scale embezzlement, tax evasion or racketeering convictions.
For the most part, a federal records search focuses on “white collar crimes.” As you might guess, this could prove to be a negative if you’re under consideration for a managerial or executive position in either the business or government worlds.
Criminal Background Checks on a National Level
In the meantime, you should note that there is a difference between criminal background checks on a national level and federal record checks. Rather than just checking federally based databases, the national criminal check covers many local and state jurisdictions.
Not every municipality or state government participates in the release of information. However, the odds are that your criminal convictions will be picked up in this manner. If you’re inclined to lie on your application and take the chance that old charges won’t show up, you may be in for a surprise.
Keep in mind that there is a difference between an arrest and a conviction. All things considered, it’s the latter that matters. After all, in the United States, we operate under the premise that you’re innocent unless you’re found guilty.
In Pennsylvania, the law regarding procedures in obtaining criminal history record information is found at 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §§ 9101 to 9183. If you are being hired for a job working with children, there are other parts of the law that may pertain to you.
Are you stuck with a criminal record forever? Obviously, you’d like to think otherwise. You may be able to get a second chance with an expungement. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine if you qualify to have the past wiped from criminal background databases.