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Criminal History in Background Checks

We can forget the past, but sometimes the past won't forget us. I came across a recent story that reminded me of this.

Four years ago, a young man in college was arrested for petit larceny. While he was at a restaurant counter paying for his meal, he claims to have forgotten to pay for one of the other food items. When he left the counter, the store manager grabbed him and called the police. While he insisted that he would simply pay for the part of his meal, the aggressive store manager wasn't having it.

The young college student was taken to the police station and the cops wrote him a ticket and told him he would be getting a letter in mail for the court date. Days went by and he never received the letter. Being a college student, he claimed that he had a lot on his mind and basically forgot about the missing letter. As time passed, he was under the impression that they dismissed the charge because of how ridiculous it was. Being that he had never been arrested before, he wasn't familiar with the legal process.

Fast forward to present day; he was recently hired at a financial institution that requires a background check. He was denied employment because of his criminal history. What "criminal history" you might ask? Well, apparently he had a warrant issued for his arrest due to either never receiving, or completely forgetting, the letter for his court date. Luckily for this young man, he was hired anyway and was given time to resolve this pesky legal issue.

This is a scary situation. Does he turn himself in and risk going to jail? This shows why the smallest legal trouble can haunt you for years and year if you don't stay on top of it. If you are in a similar situation and your criminal record is showing up on background checks, you really have no choice but to address the issue. There are defense lawyers who can get you out of this jam. Once you hire an attorney, they will be able to schedule a hearing for you. That hearing should happen quickly, usually within days. Hopefully, this young man's lawyer will have a chance to work this all out ahead of time with the prosecution assigned to the case. Given the petty nature of this "crime" and the circumstances surrounding his failure to obtain that notice from four years ago (college students do moved around a lot in four years), he still has a chance to put this all behind him. 

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