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Mar 21, 2011, 12:13 PM
I am in the process of applying for an county government position. I had a 10 year old summary offense expunged over a year ago. The original county employment application asked if I was ever convicted of a Misdemeanor or a Felony. I truthfully marked "No" since I had a summary offense & it has been successfully expunged. Plus my lawyer said I can deny any arrest/conviction on employment apps now.
I am am getting scared though since there is a lot of conflicting information on the net regarding expungements & whether or not they are visible in background checks. The job I am applying for requires a NCIC background check & the position even calls for me to become NCIC certified. I don't know if I am even eligible anymore & I can't find any info about someone with an expunged record being granted that type of clearance/certification.
At this point I will contact H.are. & the person I interviewed with & just admit my history & that I did not disclose the expunged S.O. Because of the reasons I stated already.
Has anyone had a similar situation or can anyone offer any advice? Thanks!
Mar 21, 2011, 12:19 PM
Yes, it will appear on a NCIC check. This is not simply an employer doing a background check; this is a Government position.
I suspect the offense is not going to be a problem BUT the fact that you answered "no" and then rethought things will be a problem.
Your Attorney was NOT addressing Government background checks (which include NCIC).
Mar 22, 2011, 10:01 AM
Well, I took a few steps & am more confident that I should NOT mention that I had a summary offense expunged.
I called Human Resources for the county & they said I was correct in checking off that I had not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. Then I called the NCIC & was told that if the offense was expunged, that it should not appear on their background check. I also contacted the state police & they ran a search for me via NCIC & the state databases & both showed no records.
I will also send my fingerprint card into the FBI for a records check but that will take 6 weeks to get back. I just want to be sure it is completely gone.
There is a lot of competition for this position, so I don't want to admit to something that could knock me down a few pegs in the hiring process if I don't have to. I was a mistake I made over 10 years ago that I am ashamed of & just want to finally be past it.
I just posted my original question to see if anyone had a similar situation.
Thanks for letting me talk about this since I don't like to talk about this situation with anyone...family or friends.
Mar 22, 2011, 10:11 AM
I do background checks and am an "ex-Fed;" FrChuck is in law enforcement. We disagree and both have seen expungements on NCIC checks.
Hopefully your Attorney is correct. I don't know how the State Troopers can give you correct info without all of the specific info, but apparently you believe they have.
I don't think you should pay for a mistake for the rest of your life; I do think you are incorrect about the background check.
Mar 22, 2011, 10:23 AM
Ok, let's talk. I know a little about expungements.. I have some different interpretations than does the people you spoke with. However, I'll bet that you spoke only with bureaucratic clerks on the phone during your research, and I have no problem disagreeing with them... Yes, your lawyer too. Lot's of people don't understand the law...
Here's my understanding... There's TWO ways that a criminal record can be positively impacted - an expungement which is easier to get, or a pardon which ain't so easy.. Here's why... An expungement only HIDES your conviction from the public, it doesn't FORGIVE it. If asked, you MUST disclose it. A pardon, on the other hand, FORGIVES the offense, so you never have to disclose it.
Judy is right. Since an expungement is only hidden from the public, government has full access to it, and it's NOT hidden from them. In fact, if you were to have another conviction, the previous one WOULD count against you.
Plus, the fact that the NCIC is run by the FBI, and I don't believe the FBI is going to lay down for ANY state, and take it OUT of their data base...
Now, I understand lying to get the job, but I also understand the consequences of it in either case.
Mar 22, 2011, 03:25 PM
JudyKayTee - Thanks for your quick responses & sharing your knowledge on the subject.
excon - You're right that I basically talked to customer service reps & they may have been telling me what I was hoping to hear. I guess it is human nature to devour any advice that favors one's position & try to ignore info that doesn't.
Now in the words of Charlie Brown, "Uuuughhhhh!" I'm torn about to what to do again.
If the people who I hope to work for will see the expunged "Summary Offense", then I'd rather admit it now before they run the background check. They are still interviewing people so I don't think they've run them yet. At the time of the application I honestly wasn't trying to lie about anything. I wish the app had asked about summary offenses or worded it "convicted of any crime" because then I would have admitted to the S.O. & explained that it has been expunged. I figured since they only asked about Felonies/Misdemeanors then they wouldn't even bother looking into a lesser offense or not hold it against the applicant.
Not really another question here...just blowing off steam! Thanks.
Mar 22, 2011, 04:21 PM
I have run 1000's of NCIC background checks over 20 plus years ( or signed to have them ran)
This is the issue on it, they will always show up to the police and / or government agency that is allowed to run NCIC reports, but the clerk at the agency is to take out any explunged records unless it is for a position that is in law enforcement or requiures a government security clearance.
There are some other exceptions.
So if you tell us what type of county job, I mean if you are going to operate the back hoe for the street department, I doubt they show it to the street department, if you are going to work for a police, a jail or even many court clerks office then yes they will see it.
Mar 22, 2011, 04:38 PM
Thanks for your assistance Fr Chuck. I am applying for an emergency/911 police dispatcher position. Thoughts?
Mar 22, 2011, 07:39 PM
It will show up, you are correct in your answer to the application, but it will be viewed for this application.
** note the police dispatcher are often the ones that run the NCIC report for the police officers in the field when they stop cars or people and run a check on them.
In many areas this is still a POST position, but not a sworn position, so you can be allowed to work with this , the issue will be that if there are others with nothing in their record, most likely you will be over looked.
If this is a real small city or county, and you "KNOW" someone in the dept, you could still stand a chance, if this is a large area and like many they will have 100 applications for one position, I would not hold my breath.
Also and to be blunt and most likely upsetting others, Your sex and/or race can make a difference even, There were many times I had to hire much less qualified people for Government jobs, because they wanted to add certain races or sexs to make a department look more even or equal.
The worst, I had only one qualified application, they had several years in that job, better education than others, and twice he was turned down for the job because I was ordered to hire less qualified to meet quotas.
Mar 22, 2011, 08:20 PM
No, I don't have an "in." I had an interview & it went well enough I suppose. I still think I'm going to call tomorrow & clarify things but I feel like it is a gamble either way. At the time of my interview I was blissfully ignorant about an expungement showing up. If I had known, I would have talked about it then in person...I feel pretty lame calling to admit my sins at this point. But the worst scenario would be to be offered the job & then have it rescinded a few weeks/months into it.
Mar 24, 2011, 01:09 PM
I'm back...I hate to be a pest, but conflicting info about my situation made me dig, dig , dig. I found something very interesting on this link: http://www.search.org/files/pdf/Criminal_record_sealing_expungement_survey_March_2 010.pdf
If this site removes the link, just do a search under "SEARCH Membership Group Survey of State Criminal Record" and you should find it.
A survey was sent to all the states & the results show that every state handles expungements/sealing of records very differently. Some states do keep expungement info & some states remove all traces & ask the FBI to do the same. Luckily I live in a forgiving state (PA). According to my lawyer (who I've asked multilple times), the NCIC & the PA State Police Expungement Unit, everything is deleted after the expungement order...including with the FBI. (I know excon will not believe me on this).
I do absolutely believe Fr_Chuck & JudyKayTee when they say that they still see expungement info when they run background checks. But I imagine that most of the checks are for GA & NY which are states with more stringent rules according to that survey. If they do run a check on someone from a state that requests the FBI to purge all info, then the record might look completely clean even if an expungement was done.
As a side note for anyone from PA w/ a summary offense on their record, it has only been in the past 2 years that expungements have even been possible for this type of offense. You have to wait 5 years from the incident to apply for it unless if it is a under-age drinking offense, in which case you only have to wait until your 21.
Just for further peace of mind, I did send out my prints to the FBI today so I'll let you know in 6 weeks what I get back.
I am very grateful for your posts & advice. I am really happy that I've found this site...I love reading all the posts.
Mar 24, 2011, 01:49 PM
When you find out the answer, PLEASE come back and let us know. I hope (for your sake) that you are correct.
Mar 24, 2011, 07:29 PM
Absolutely...I will be back as soon as I open the envelope. Take Care.
Mar 24, 2011, 07:36 PM
Good luck, but for me, I worked for the Feds, I did checks though almost every state, and often Interpol and I always saw them, I have never known the Feds to ever actually remove the records, they merely make a note that that record has been explunged, The feds are not governed by state laws. In fact if they did, the courts would not know if someone was a second offender ( so not to allow another crime to be explunged)
And for things like ownership of a weapon, a background would not show a conviction.
Also and lucky of course that a 911 center will use the police record, there are also 100's and more independent background companies, and they are not required to explunge any records, once it is in, it stays, it is hard to even remove wrong info in some of those companies.
Mar 24, 2011, 09:38 PM
Hey again...I know about the private background companies having major issues of not updating their records. If this job falls through, then I'll pay to run some searches & see what is out there.
I feel a bit more relaxed because even if they saw an "expunged summary offense", legally I did not lie on my app. If they bring it up I will plead (and I do mean plead) my case. I also have a very fuzzy memory of filling out a criminal history form somewhere along the line & I think it said that expunged convictions need not be disclosed. I had to fill out a packet of forms a few weeks after the initial app so I am not positive. If it did say that, I think it means they wouldn't hold it against me even if they do find out about it.
Lastly, if I get my background check back from the FBI & it simply says "No Record", then could I breathe a sigh of relief? Or do you think the NCIC will still disclose "Summary Offense - Expunged" to government employers?
Nov 3, 2011, 12:11 PM
In Pennsylvania, most summary offenses do not appear in the state police criminal history nor in an NCIC check because the defendant was never printed or booked, they were issued a citation in much the same way a speeding ticket is given. Retail theft is an exception. Ten years ago, in order to find summary offenses on someones record, you'd have to call every municipal court district that person may have lived in. Today, it's all on the UJS website but it still does not appear in criminal history checks. Honestly, if an employer (police department)wants to know everything, they will ask you to list any adverse contact with law enforcement in your life..PERIOD. Clearance applications ask you to list charges even if they were expunged. FWIW, being found guilty of a summary offense in PA does not constitute being found guilty of committing a crime unless jail time was served.
Nov 3, 2011, 02:47 PM
"As we have previously discussed, when you are arrested and you are NOT convicted of any crime and you do NOT plea guilty to any crime, you can have the record of your arrest expunged in Pennsylvania. However, if you are convicted or plea guilty to a summary offense, you can have the conviction of the summary expunged if you wait five years and stay out of trouble during that five you period of time." Summary Offense | philadelphia criminal defense attorney lawyer (http://www.criminallawyerphiladelphia.com/blog/tag/summary-offense/)
There would not be an expungement process if there is no permanent record.
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