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  1. #1
    tonyboy is offline Junior Member
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    AR, Expunction, and FBI Background Check

    What is the name of your state? Connecticut

    About 6 years ago, while an undergraduate student, I was arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. I was able to enter Connecticut's Accelerated Rehabilitation program, which required me to take a drug counseling class and complete a considerable number of community service hours. As I understand it now (and understood it then), from the time of my initial court date, if I followed through on these obligations and stayed out of trouble for a year, I would successfully complete the ARD program and my record would be expunged. The sources I've looked at so far seem to back up the notion that, by Connecticut law, "erased" or "expunged" mean that, in a criminal record check, I would come out clean:

    [url]http://www.jud.ct.gov/faq/courtrec2.html[/url]
    [url]http://lawdigest.uslegal.com/expungement-of-criminal-records/general/6448/[/url]
    [url]http://www.larcc.org/pamphlets/benefits_work/criminal_record.pdf[/url]

    Since my arrest and the completion of Accelerated Rehabilitation, I have moved to another state, enrolled in graduate school, and am currently in the last year of my work toward a Master's degree. I am applying for a job overseas and part of the process is that I must submit to an official FBI background check. This involves me filling out some paperwork, getting fingerprinted, and sending it all in for the results. The problem is that, on my application, I must divulge any arrests, charges, or convictions, even arrests that never led to actual convictions. According to the third document linked above, I can answer, in all honesty, that I have never been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime, according to Connecticut state law. But I am wondering if a record of the arrest itself still remains.

    According to the first link above, records related to AR cases are "open for the duration of the AR probationary period and for 20 days after the entry of a dismissal by the court" and are "then erased pursuant to C.G.S. 54-142a(a) unless an appeal is filed." Would this erasure include all of the information concerning the criminal case? Or are there indications of the case that remain no matter what, such as an arrest or other damning information?

    And also, if anybody has specific information regarding the usual thoroughness of an FBI background check, that would be nice. From what I understand, criminal history information has to be sent to the FBI by the states, and there are varying guidelines as to what is considered a serious enough offense to be shipped out and included in a centralized criminal database. I'm not sure if a low-level misdemeanor would get there or not, much less a misdemeanor that has been expunged due to satisfactory participation in an AR program.

    Anyway, thanks in advance for any help.
  2. #2
    mike_lee is offline Member
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    Expunged means just that, the record is expunged and you are under no obligations to reveal it. But in real life the FBI will have a private company, not subject to the rules run your name and the charge will probably turn up. Be ready with your record of expungment.

    A pot charge isn't that big a deal I mean who hasn't smoked pot? 1 out of 10? What would really upset them is if you tried to hide it, by having an expungment record you could avoid any trouble.

    In short I would not mention it, and I would have my papers ready in case it comes up. You roll the dice either way,

    Tell and it may disqualify you
    Don't tell and they could fail you. With the second option at least you have some recourse
  3. #3
    tonyboy is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_lee View Post
    Expunged means just that, the record is expunged and you are under no obligations to reveal it. But in real life the FBI will have a private company, not subject to the rules run your name and the charge will probably turn up. Be ready with your record of expungment.

    A pot charge isn't that big a deal I mean who hasn't smoked pot? 1 out of 10? What would really upset them is if you tried to hide it, by having an expungment record you could avoid any trouble.

    In short I would not mention it, and I would have my papers ready in case it comes up. You roll the dice either way,

    Tell and it may disqualify you
    Don't tell and they could fail you. With the second option at least you have some recourse
    Well, the one thing I do know about this whole process is that the FBI can't release your criminal record to just any private employer/company. If you are trying to get a job with the FBI or another law enforcement agency, then yes, they can be given a full criminal record, even of records that have been expunged. Another instance is if you're applying for a job that would give you a government clearance of some sort, and I believe they're doing this for certain airport jobs too now. But if we're talking about a private company, say a small business of some sort, then no, they won't have access to expunged records. Those records simply won't show up for them.

    And in any case, the only way anybody, except government agencies, can even see your FBI criminal record is if you personally submit to fingerprinting and request it. It's not like any old employer can just call up the FBI and order your criminal record. State criminal records are usually open to the public (except for expunged records, which again, wouldn't show up), but FBI records are not. A person must authorize access by sending in fingerprints for positive identification.

    Also, I have learned that the state of Connecticut is the only state in the US as of now that has statutes requiring automatic expungement in the case of dismissal of criminal charges. In my individual case, my arrest records, fingerprints, etc. from the state of CT were actually returned to me, which means that the state has absolutely no record of anything having happened. I was also assured by the CT state records office that their policy is to update the FBI when a state criminal record has been expunged. They told me that I could make sure they've done this by simply ordering a copy of my state record. When they go through to check your record, they also make sure that the FBI's criminal record is consistent with their own regarding records originating from CT. If there is any inconsistency, they will send a request immediately to have the FBI records changed accordingly. I am also ordering my FBI record just to make sure it's clean. I've been assured that I don't have anything to worry about at this point, but I want the actual documents so I can rest easy.

    The reason why I'm taking a little pot charge so seriously is because I am applying for a job which asks me to list ANY record of arrests, charges, or convictions, whether they're misdemeanors or felonies. Basically, you have to list everything except minor traffic violations. While they claim that a record doesn't necessarily disqualify you, the job is in another country where I know for a fact that a drug charge, even if was the most minor pot charge on the books and it didn't lead to a conviction, would be looked upon almost certainly as a disqualifying detail. And moreover, if the record has been expunged in the state of CT, and the record shouldn't be on my FBI file (if CT has done the legwork it is legally required to do by statute), then there is absolutely no reason to tell them that anything happened. I am within my legal rights to tell them that my record is clean. If they were simply requiring a state criminal background check, there would be nothing to worry about. I was assured over the phone that my state record is spotless. But the employer is requiring me to get an FBI background check, which is a whole other beast. I'm just trying to make sure that it's also clean, so that I can apply and not have to worry about some piddly little charge holding me back unnecessarily.
  4. #4
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Check here for information on how to check you FBI record:

    [url]http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/fprequest.htm[/url]

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  5. #5
    4michelle is offline Junior Member
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    Enspongement Reply

    Tonyboy or another future savior,

    You are probably away enjoying one of the best trips of your life. On the other hand, I am in the exact predicament you were in and described below and probably for the same program, but in California. Can you or someone else please help me!?

    It looks like you lucked out being in CT and that they have an automatic expungement in the case of dismissal of criminal charges. And CT was able to pass that on to get cleared by the FBI as well. I dont believe CA is the same.

    I put no for any prior arrests, etc on my application, but have my FBI record in front of me and it lists my one arrest and charges brought up against me.

    What do I do???

    Thank you for your time.

    Michelle

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyboy View Post
    Well, the one thing I do know about this whole process is that the FBI can't release your criminal record to just any private employer/company. If you are trying to get a job with the FBI or another law enforcement agency, then yes, they can be given a full criminal record, even of records that have been expunged. Another instance is if you're applying for a job that would give you a government clearance of some sort, and I believe they're doing this for certain airport jobs too now. But if we're talking about a private company, say a small business of some sort, then no, they won't have access to expunged records. Those records simply won't show up for them.

    And in any case, the only way anybody, except government agencies, can even see your FBI criminal record is if you personally submit to fingerprinting and request it. It's not like any old employer can just call up the FBI and order your criminal record. State criminal records are usually open to the public (except for expunged records, which again, wouldn't show up), but FBI records are not. A person must authorize access by sending in fingerprints for positive identification.

    Also, I have learned that the state of Connecticut is the only state in the US as of now that has statutes requiring automatic expungement in the case of dismissal of criminal charges. In my individual case, my arrest records, fingerprints, etc. from the state of CT were actually returned to me, which means that the state has absolutely no record of anything having happened. I was also assured by the CT state records office that their policy is to update the FBI when a state criminal record has been expunged. They told me that I could make sure they've done this by simply ordering a copy of my state record. When they go through to check your record, they also make sure that the FBI's criminal record is consistent with their own regarding records originating from CT. If there is any inconsistency, they will send a request immediately to have the FBI records changed accordingly. I am also ordering my FBI record just to make sure it's clean. I've been assured that I don't have anything to worry about at this point, but I want the actual documents so I can rest easy.

    The reason why I'm taking a little pot charge so seriously is because I am applying for a job which asks me to list ANY record of arrests, charges, or convictions, whether they're misdemeanors or felonies. Basically, you have to list everything except minor traffic violations. While they claim that a record doesn't necessarily disqualify you, the job is in another country where I know for a fact that a drug charge, even if was the most minor pot charge on the books and it didn't lead to a conviction, would be looked upon almost certainly as a disqualifying detail. And moreover, if the record has been expunged in the state of CT, and the record shouldn't be on my FBI file (if CT has done the legwork it is legally required to do by statute), then there is absolutely no reason to tell them that anything happened. I am within my legal rights to tell them that my record is clean. If they were simply requiring a state criminal background check, there would be nothing to worry about. I was assured over the phone that my state record is spotless. But the employer is requiring me to get an FBI background check, which is a whole other beast. I'm just trying to make sure that it's also clean, so that I can apply and not have to worry about some piddly little charge holding me back unnecessarily.
  6. #6
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4michelle View Post
    Tonyboy or another future savior,

    You are probably away enjoying one of the best trips of your life. On the other hand, I am in the exact predicament you were in and described below and probably for the same program, but in California. Can you or someone else please help me!?

    It looks like you lucked out being in CT and that they have an automatic expungement in the case of dismissal of criminal charges. And CT was able to pass that on to get cleared by the FBI as well. I dont believe CA is the same.

    I put no for any prior arrests, etc on my application, but have my FBI record in front of me and it lists my one arrest and charges brought up against me.

    What do I do???

    Thank you for your time.

    Michelle
    Michelle,

    Please start a new thread to post your question rather than hopping in on someone else's.

    And, be clear on the question you are seeking assistance with. I am not sure exactly what you are asking here.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  7. #7
    cvdesign is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyboy View Post
    And also, if anybody has specific information regarding the usual thoroughness of an FBI background check, that would be nice. From what I understand, criminal history information has to be sent to the FBI by the states, and there are varying guidelines as to what is considered a serious enough offense to be shipped out and included in a centralized criminal database. I'm not sure if a low-level misdemeanor would get there or not, much less a misdemeanor that has been expunged due to satisfactory participation in an AR program.

    Anyway, thanks in advance for any help.
    That depends ... is the FBI background check for a security clearance of any kind?

    Or to just make sure that your potential employer isn't hiring a serious criminal?
  8. #8
    ConfusedInCt124 is offline Junior Member
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    AR Program in CT

    Back when I was 19 my friend and I did some stupid stuff together and got arrested for larceny. Because we had never been in trouble before we were granted the Accelerated Rehabilitation Program and placed on probation. We followed everything that we were told to do and appeared in court at the end of our probation. Our records were cleared and we were all set.

    More recently we got into trouble now 5 years later for trespassing and the court has recommended that we complete the Accelerated Rehabilitation program for the charges.

    Are we eligible for this program for this charge or do we have to tell the court about our past record even though it was expunged and we faced no problems with our probation or court appearances?

    We obviously have no problem with taking part in the program again and paying the fees to do so, but are more concerned with if we will be able to or what may happen because we are not.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  9. #9
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    You just hijacked a 4 year old thread - considered very bad form.

    If you have a question then start your own.

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