Will a Domestic Violence Conviction Show Up on a Background Check?

If you’re like many people with a criminal record, you want to know what will show up if someone – like a landlord, an employer, your school or even a creditor – does a background check on you. But let’s get specific: Will a domestic violence conviction show up on a background check? This guide explains.

Will a Domestic Violence Conviction Show Up on a Background Check?

A domestic violence conviction will show up on a background check. In fact, any conviction you’ve ever had will show up on a background check (except those that you received as a minor if the state automatically expunged them when you became an adult). 

And Illinois law says you can never remove a domestic violence conviction from your criminal record. That means it’s there to stay – you can’t expunge or seal it. 

However, the law only refers to convictions. You may be eligible to expunge or seal your criminal record if you were:

  • Arrested for domestic violence but never charged
  • Charged with domestic violence but the charges were dropped
  • Charged with domestic violence and found not guilty in court
  • Charged with domestic violence and your case was dismissed by a judge

If any of those sounds like your situation, you should get in touch with a Chicago expungement attorney as soon as possible. You could qualify to erase your criminal record permanently.

Related: Can I have domestic battery expunged in Illinois?

Expunging and Sealing Domestic Violence Arrests and Charges

Although you can’t clear your record if you were actually convicted of domestic violence (the state of Illinois calls it domestic battery), you can clear it if you were never found guilty. (And you can clear other things from your criminal record – including other convictions and arrests – under certain circumstances.)

Expungement is the process of clearing your record permanently. If a judge agrees with your request to expunge your record, the court will send an order to all the agencies that have copies of it. The order will direct them to destroy your record or return it to you. After that’s done, you no longer have a criminal record – and you never have to tell anyone you were arrested or charged with a crime. Your record for a domestic battery arrest or domestic battery charges will not show up on a background check because it simply doesn’t exist anymore. 

Sealing is the process of closing off your record to the general public. That means most people conducting a background check won’t ever see sealed domestic violence arrests or charges that never led to a conviction. However, some people will still be able to see it – including those in law enforcement, some employers (like hospitals), and other entities that do fingerprint-based background checks. It won’t show up on background checks that don’t require your fingerprints, though. 

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expungement or Sealing?

If you’re tired of your criminal past coming back to bite you, we may be able to help. Call us right now at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below so we can talk about your case.

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