If you’re like many people, you’ve applied for a job that requested your Social Security number and other personal information that enabled the prospective employer to run a background check on you. Generally, employers must get your written permission to conduct a background check. But what if you really want a job and know that you have negative information on your criminal history? Is there anything you can do? This guide explains.
How Can You Overcome Negative Information in a Pre-Employment Background Check?
Many people don’t think about their criminal histories until it becomes necessary, such as when they’re trying to get a job that requires a criminal background check. Though you can get ahead of the game by clearing your criminal record before you apply for such jobs, there may still be ways you can explain negative items if a prospective employer has already discovered them. The best approach is typically honesty. That means if an employer asks you about your criminal history, you should tell the truth and note that you paid your debt to society by completing your sentence.
However, you may be able to avoid this type of issue entirely by expunging or sealing your criminal record before you begin applying for jobs that run background checks. The following sections explain.
Criminal Background Expungement
You may be able to clear your criminal record completely through a process called expungement. Expungement essentially erases your criminal record because the agencies that have it are required to destroy it or return it to you. That way, when an employer looks for a criminal record attached to your name, there’s nothing to find. That means you can head off any issues you may have encountered if you hadn’t cleared your record.
Criminal Background Sealing
Criminal background ceiling is very similar to expungement, but there’s one key difference: Your criminal record still exists. The agencies that have it simply seal it and won’t show it to the general public. However, when your criminal record is sealed, it’s still visible to law enforcement professionals, people working in the court system, and those who run fingerprint based background checks. That means some employers, such as the federal, state or local government, as well as some health care and education providers, may still be able to see your record after a judge orders it sealed. That also means that you may have some explaining to do if an employer finds issues on your criminal history.
How Do I Clear My Record Before a Pre-Employment Background Check?
Usually, it takes several months to clear a criminal record in the state of Illinois. If you want to clear your record, you should get started as soon as possible. Many people choose to work with a criminal record clearing attorney in Chicago to simplify the process. Your attorney will take a look at your current criminal history and determine which offenses on your record qualify for expungement or ceiling. Then, your lawyer will talk to you about your options and get the process started.
After your attorney starts the criminal record clearing process, your petition for expungement or sealing will make several stops before it appears on a judge’s desk. If someone along the way objects to your expungement or ceiling, you may have the opportunity to tell your side of the story. When you work with an attorney, your attorney can represent you at any hearings you may be entitled to.
Ready to Clean Up Your Record?
If you’re ready to clean up your criminal record so you don’t have to worry about pre employment background checks, we are here to help. Call our office right away or fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as we can.
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