We make mistakes in our lives. Serving your punishment is part of the process of atoning for your mistakes if you get caught. This is the truth for most micro cases in our lives, from childhood to our adult age.
For more severe misdemeanors that affect other people in society, we have to face the justice system. For various levels of crime, the system gives out sentences it feels are necessary.
Serving the sentences does not resolve the crime, but in the eye of society and the justice system, you are ‘corrected.’ If the offense is small, then there’s a good chance that this record will be expunged.
Now, few things are essential here. For a record to be expunged, it needs to be a minor misdemeanor. If the justice system feels that you have adequately served a sentence, they may expunge the record.
On the other hand, what expunging means is that it will no longer be on the official record, which can be very useful for your career and other activities. Employers for high profile jobs sometimes run background checks, and having a criminal record could be bad for you and your career.
Overall, getting your records expunged can be a tough thing to do. It is a tight rope that you have to walk. Not just finishing your sentence, but afterward, you have to be a good citizen for a period to be considered for being expunged. But all of this hard work could go down the drain, as sometimes background checks could still bring up expunged records. This article focuses on how that might happen and how you can resolve such situations.
Why this could happen?
The main reason why expunged records could come upon background checks is the steps private record-holding companies go through. To maintain their clients’ needs, some private investigations companies hold some records out of the jurisdiction.
One thing is evident that, after a court expunges your record, it’s illegal to keep that incident reported. So, these companies are committing a crime.
So, when private investigators go through these illegally kept records, they might find you on the hook for some small crime you committed a long time ago. And this could end up costing you your dream job. To fight this, you will need a proper expunction lawyer.
How can you fight it?
We must begin with the bad news. There is a good chance that you will not detect this mishap before the damage is done at least once. Because most background checks are secret, and these private companies are also holding your data illegally, they most probably do not want other people to find it out.
So, there’s a good chance that if such expunged data is kept in some secret repository, then you will be affected by it the first time. But once that is done, you can double down on such practices.
Like business lawyers and accident lawyers, expunction lawyers too specialize on one side of the law battling the expunged record victims. A good expunction lawyer would be able to expunge your records entirely.
While we have spoken about an after-incident situation, you could go on the offensive earlier too. If you doubt that there could be such records kept under your name, you should lawyer up early and take the battle to them.
A proper skeptic could launch his private investigation into the matter to see if his name is in such repositories. You could have your lawyer do that for you or maybe hire a private investigator yourself.
The legal procedure, once you are caught with an expunged record, could get murky. Firstly, a company that is hiring you could legally ask for a background check. This is within their responsibility and rights to inquire about an employee they are taking on board.
To do that, they will hire professionals. In this case, there are private companies that do formal background checks on people. In the past, companies hired private investigators to do these checks. However, now, in a formalized way of doing business, some agencies get the job.
These agencies will go through every government and private databases to find information about you. Mostly they will check your previous residence or places you used to work. In most cases, the expunged records do not show up on such background checks.
But if you are unlucky, they will show up on these records, and then the agency will add them to your background check report. Once that is done, they will submit it to the company that hired them, which is the company you are trying to get into.
Once the records are out in the open, the company is liable to give you a chance to defend yourself. In some cases, companies choose to ignore this record if they understand that the record might’ve gotten expunged. But if they decide to challenge you with it, you will enter another period of trial.
In this period, you will issue a notice using your lawyer to the court to show that your record has been expunged. And then you can submit that report to the agency and the company you are trying to enter. If the agency withdraws its claim at this point, you are free to pursue your job.
If the agency denies the responsibility and does not listen to your claim, you will need to prove to the company that your record has been expunged. A good lawyer will be able to help you with this step, as well.
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For a good person, committing a crime is a hard battle against their conscience. It can even be made worse if that record is expunged and yet causes them more harm. Such an occurrence must be prevented from happening.