I Was Arrested in Pinellas County, Florida. What’s Going to Show Up on My Background Check?

Getting arrested for drug crimes or other criminal offenses can be a challenging and stressful time. What can be even more stressful is not understanding what part of that arrest may appear in a background check. 

While your arrest may not have resulted in a conviction, reliving the details of your arrest when applying for a new job, college, or apartment and not knowing the extent of what will be shared may shake your confidence and put you in an uncomfortable situation. 

As in most cases, knowledge is power, and understanding what is public record is no exception. As the best drug crime defense attorneys in St. Petersburg, the professionals at Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan P.A compiled the following information so you can confidently know what any background check will hold, regardless of your arrest’s outcome. 

What Is Going To Show Up On My Background Check?

A background check conducted in Florida includes, but is not limited to, a criminal report, 30-year address history, relatives and associates, home ownership information, and marriage records. Florida does not have “ban the box” legislation, meaning an employer can ask about criminal and arrest history during the interview process. 

In Florida, potential employers can see arrest records and other criminal charges on a background check. Regardless of the outcome of your arrest, if you have been arrested in Pinellas County and are having a background check run while still in Florida, this information will be public. 

Often, potential employers or those running the background check will first check county-level databases in the company’s area. They will then reference places you have lived outside of that immediate area and check records in those counties. 

Florida-Specific Laws – How Far Back Does A Background Check Go? 

Our attorneys are often contacted by a client who had an old arrest show up on a background check. The client will say, “that was ten years ago, I thought it was expunged.” Seeking a sealing or expungement of your criminal record requires that you take additional action to seal or expunge the case after the charge is resolved in court. In almost all circumstances, the sealing or expungement does not occur automatically. Thus, criminal arrest records stay on your record unless your secure a sealing or expungment of the record. 

What Are The Different Types Of Background Checks? 

In Florida, there are two different levels of background checks. Level 1 is a less detailed check that includes state and county-level crime records, employment history, and sex offender registry history.

Level 2 checks involve fingerprint checks against the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and FBI databases. Level 2 background checks reveal state and county-wide criminal records as well, but with the addition of fingerprints can be taken as a more serious request.   

Level 1 is typical for a more traditional role, while level 2 may be used for significantly higher job responsibilities. In both cases, an arrest made no longer than 7 years ago can show up in Florida. 

Can I Seal or Expunge My Record?  

If you were arrested for but not convicted of drug crimes, you may be eligible to seal or expunge your record. Navigating the process can be complicated, but working with a drug crimes attorney in St. Petersburg with Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, P.A., we can put an action plan in place to ensure no arrest records for drug crimes appear on a future background check. 

If you are in need of a drug crimes defense attorney in Clearwater that you can trust, complete our contact request form or give us a call today at (727) 578-0303.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.