People often expect to be the subject of a background check when applying for a new job, although background checks might be used in other circumstances. It can be difficult to determine what will and will not appear in a background check.
Typically, a warrant for your arrest does not show up in a background check. A warrant appears in a background check only when the warrant is executed. Even then, the arrest appears in the background check, not the warrant. You can contact an attorney who can help you reach out to the courts and law enforcement about any possible warrants. Your attorney can also help you clear any warrants you might have before they get you into trouble. If the only way to clear a warrant is by executing it, you can look into getting your records expunged.
If you believe you have warrants out for your arrest, our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys can help you investigate the situation and hopefully clear any warrants. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171for a free case review.
How Do Warrants Affect a Pennsylvania Background Check?
If someone has open warrants for their arrest, someone conducting a background check will not see these warrants. Warrants will show up when they are executed, meaning you are arrested. When that happens, the record of your arrest shows up in a background check, not necessarily the warrant itself.
Exactly what shows up in a Pennsylvania background check depends on what kind of background check is being conducted and what is being checked for. Not all background checks are the same. Some are very thorough and may turn up every arrest, charge, and conviction in your history. Others are more limited and may only reveal information from the last few years. Still, other background checks might only search for very specific pieces of information like convictions. Anything that did not result in a conviction will not show up.
Ultimately, whatever shows up in your background check is in the hands of the person running the check, often a potential employer. A potential employer may be unbothered by the presence of a warrant or convictions on your record as long as you can do the job. Another employer might deny you the job.
How Do I Find Out If I Have a Warrant in Pennsylvania?
It might be a good idea to speak with an attorney about how to check for warrants before you begin applying for new jobs or pursuing other opportunities that might require background checks. If possible, you can clear these warrants before they are executed and a potential employer finds out.
First, you should contact an attorney and explain your situation. Our Bucks County criminal defense lawyers have experience with warrants and know who to contact about checking for warrants. It is also a good idea to call a lawyer because if you have warrants, your lawyer can immediately begin working with you to get them cleared.
If you know you missed a court date at some point in the past, there is a good chance the court issued a bench warrant for your arrest. Bench warrants can be very serious if the underlying offense is severe. However, bench warrants are issued for minor mistakes in many cases, like failing to show up for a traffic court hearing. In those cases, we may be able to call the court and reschedule your hearing, thus clearing the warrant.
We can also contact law enforcement about any possible outstanding warrants. If possible, we can work to clear the warrant without the police arresting you. If the offense is serious and you must be taken into custody to clear the warrant, we can immediately begin working on bail.
Will Old Warrants Show Up in Pennsylvania Background Checks?
Perhaps you know you have a warrant, but the warrant is from many years ago, and the police have never acted upon it. This is often the case for minor warrants. The police often decide to execute the warrant whenever they next encounter you, such as at a traffic stop. If you never have a reason to confront the police, the warrant never gets executed. Even so, the warrant never expires.
An old warrant, much like any other warrant, probably will not show up in a Pennsylvania background check. Again, this might differ depending on what kind of background check is being run and who is checking. If a law enforcement agency checks you, they will probably find warrants, no matter how old.
Old warrants are sometimes more easily cleared than more recent warrants. The offense for which the old warrant was issued might have been from so long ago that the statute of limitations has expired. In that case, you cannot be prosecuted, and we can clear the warrant. Even if the statute of limitations has not expired, prosecutors might not be interested in a minor offense from many years ago.
No matter what, you should not contact prosecutors or law enforcement about a warrant without an attorney to look out for you. Our Northeast Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers can help you clear warrants without getting yourself arrested.
How Do I Prevent an Executed Warrant from Showing Up in a Background Check in Pennsylvania?
If a warrant has been executed or will soon be executed, it means that there is or will be an arrest on your record. While a warrant might not appear in a background check, an arrest might. An expungement would wipe any record of the arrest or a subsequent conviction from your record. Expunged records do not show up in background checks, and you are not required to disclose those records to a potential employer.
Not all records are eligible for expungement, and our Montgomery County criminal defense lawyers can help you determine if an expungement will work for your case. Pennsylvania allows people to expunge records under the “clean slate” rule. Under this rule, you can expunge eligible records from your entire criminal history if you have remained conviction-free for the past 10 years. This process is automatic and began on June 28, 2019.
Call Our Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorneys
Contact our Delaware County criminal defense lawyers for advice if you have an upcoming background check and want to know how a warrant might affect your situation. Call us at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171for a free case evaluation.