The report shows how many Americans are denied jobs based on criminal records, even when said records are wrong or irrelevant.
It’s well-known that private background checks frequently contain misinformation. At the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, California, our Clean Slate Practice sees hundreds of clients each year who have a criminal record and are seeking employment. From a decade of experience, we know that private background checks produced by CRAs are riddled with an unacceptably high number of errors. For example, private background checks often associate a criminal offense with the wrong person based on the similarity of their names. Other common errors include reporting an old offense as having occurred recently, or mistaking the severity of an offense—such as reporting a misdemeanor as a felony, or failing to note that a conviction was dismissed. Often, private background checks even include information that they are legally prohibited from reporting, such as arrests that did not result in a conviction.
Replacing background checks with fingerprint-based background checks will not eliminate these same mistakes, and may not even substantially reduce their frequency. Criminal record information passes through many hands in law enforcement, including the court system as well as the DOJ and FBI themselves. Errors can be introduced at any stage of transmission before it ends up in state DOJ and FBI databases. Further, crucial information may not even be transmitted to the databases in the first place: According to a 2013 National Employment Law Project report, roughly 50 percent of the FBI’s criminal history records are incomplete and fail to include information on the final disposition of an arrest. On top of all that, false positives or mismatches based on similar names—which are often identified as the biggest problem with private background checks—can still occur in fingerprint-based background checks because arresting agencies do not always fingerprint everyone they bring in. Those criminal case records are still sent upstream to the DOJ and the FBI, and while statistics are hard to come by, we know from experience that they can, and sometimes do, become erroneously associated with the wrong person.
Why should a past record – even one that was dismissed or granted a hold of adjudication – continue to interfere with everything from employment to renting? And why should you go through the hassle of doing it on your own – which can be a draining and time consuming process – when of Hochman and Goldin, P.A. can handle it for you.
Depending on the circumstances, we can make it so that your old criminal charges were virtually nonexistent. Your criminal record will be prevented from every appearing on any background check, and you can even legally deny or refuse to acknowledge the arrest.
We can help determine whether your case is eligible for sealing or expunging, or even whether there is a better approach. To learn more, contact 305-665-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our office at 9703 South Dixie Highway Suite #202, Miami, Florida 33156. All our services are made available in Spanish. Also ask about our Miami Traffic Lawyers.