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3 Ways an Employer May Discover Your Criminal Record

We live in the golden age of information, which is a positive development in many ways. However, it also means that more information than ever is readily available to employers about your past criminal issues. Even arrests where you were not convicted of a crime could be found by potential or current employer, and that could be the deciding factor in whether or not you land or keep a job.
We also currently live in an extremely difficult and competitive job environment, so the slightest blemish on your record could easily result in your resume being thrown in the trash when an employer is being inundated with hundreds or even thousands of candidates.  
Ten or fifteen years ago, there was really only one way an employer could search your criminal history. Now there are three. In this blog, we’ve detailed the three ways employers may discover information about your criminal history.
1) Formal criminal record
This is the criminal record that has been available since before the advent of the internet and used to be the sole source of criminal background information. Employers can run a criminal history based on your name, social security number, and date of birth. This may include state criminal records through the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division or national criminal records.
2) Third-party services
More and more employers are hiring third-party services that will conduct even more thorough searches of criminal histories. Beyond your formal criminal record, individual courts and jurisdictions at the local level also keep public records of things like arrests, charges, convictions, etc. These third party services may seek out records at the local level that do not show up on your formal record, but could still prevent you from landing a job. However, those services would likely need to have some reason to search in such a focused area. For example, if you live and work in Virginia, and were arrested several years ago for a crime in Myrtle Beach, the service would need to have some reason that would lead them to take the time to search for criminal records pertaining to you in Myrtle Beach.
3) Google/the internet
When things go on the internet, they do not go away. The internet is a permanent depository of information, and with enough digging, just about anyone can uncover just about anything. An employer may simply have to Google your name to discover that you were arrested for a crime. Even if your records were sealed, they may find a newspaper article detailing the arrest, or an old social media post referring to it. Very few things can remain truly private in the information age.
Depending on the circumstances of your criminal history, such as the length of time that has passed since a conviction, you may be able to have aspects of your record sealed or expunged. However, your best defense against an employer finding your criminal history is to not commit (or be convicted of) crimes in the first place! Contact the Greg McCollum Complete Legal Defense Team and let us put forth an aggressive defense of your rights or fight to have damaging information from you criminal record made unavailable to the public.

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