Will a Background Check Show an Arrest That Did Not Lead to a Conviction?

Most employers in all fields conduct background checks on job applicants before they offer candidates employment. One of the most important parts of a background check is a check for past criminal behavior. While most people know that a background check will show prior convictions for crimes, there is some confusion about whether or not an arrest record will be revealed.

How Arrest Records May Be Reported

Courts generally report an arrest in a similar way to how they report a conviction. The company performing the background check needs to go through the information to find out if the person was convicted, if the charges were dropped, or if the person is awaiting trial.

An arrest record may be described as a pending case, which may result in a conviction, plea deal, or acquittal. It may also be designated as an arrest/non-conviction, meaning the person was found not guilty or the charges were dismissed, or arrest/conviction, meaning that the person was convicted or pled guilty.

Can Arrest Records Be Considered in Hiring Decisions?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act places restrictions on what types of information employers can consider in making decisions about hiring, promoting, and retaining employees. The FCRA lets employers consider arrest records within the past seven years when making employment decisions.

Other laws place limitations on how information in a person’s criminal record can be used. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that an employer must have a valid reason for denying employment based on an arrest record. Some states have laws that prohibit employers from considering arrest records that did not lead to convictions when making employment decisions.

An employer may want to consider an arrest record related to a pending case if a conviction for the offense would exclude the person from employment. If a conviction for that offense would not prevent the company from hiring the person, then the company can choose not to consider the arrest record. Some industries, such as financial services and banking, are mandated to consider applicants’ arrest records. An employer may also want to look at whether the arrest was an isolated event or whether the applicant has a pattern of arrests and convictions.

DataCheck Can Help with Pre-Employment Background Checks

If your company is thinking about hiring or promoting an employee, you should conduct a background check. It will include records of criminal convictions and may also include records of recent arrests that you may want to consider in making your employment decision. DataCheck has helped many businesses all over the United States conduct pre-employment background checks so they could make informed hiring and promotion decisions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company.