Do Expunged Records Show Up on a Fingerprint Background Check?

If you’re like many people with a criminal record, you know that expungement will permanently clear that record. You probably also know that criminal record sealing is a very similar process. But will expunged records show up on an FBI fingerprint background check? This guide explains.

Do Expunged Records Show Up on a Fingerprint Background Check?

When your criminal record is expunged, it ceases to exist. The agencies that have your record must destroy them or return them to you. That means there is no longer any record that you were ever involved in the justice system.

If your record is expunged, it’s not supposed to show up on an FBI fingerprint-based background check.

However, it takes time after a judge issues an order for the agencies that have your record to destroy it or return it to you. When it comes to the FBI, they do comply with state requests to remove criminal records from the National Crime Information Center. It may take a significant amount of time for all of your records to be removed.

Related: Can you expunge criminal charges in Illinois?

Do Sealed Records Show Up on a Fingerprint Background Check?

Sealed records will show up on a fingerprint-based background check. That’s because they continue to exist, and they haven’t been destroyed or returned to you. When your records are sealed, they aren’t sealed from law enforcement, the government, or those working in the criminal justice system. They’re only sealed from the general public’s view, which means landlords, most employers and lenders typically can’t see them. However, those working in the justice system, government agencies, police and the FBI can.

Related: What happens if you have criminal records in multiple counties in Illinois?

Why Would Someone Get an FBI Background Check?

An employer that requires fingerprint-based background checks typically goes through the FBI to get the results. Government agencies, health care facilities and some other agencies use these types of background checks to ensure that a candidate is fit for employment. For example, people who have been convicted of certain types of crimes are not allowed to work in healthcare settings, child care settings or in the military. 

Related: Everything you need to know about expungement and immigration 

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Criminal Record Expungement?

If you’re thinking about clearing your criminal record, we may be able to help you. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below now for a free case review. 

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