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What Does A Criminal Background Check Reveal To Employers?

“Entitled Entities” are allowed to screen applicants by running a criminal background check that shows both open and closed criminal records, including arrests, charges, convictions, dismissals, and probation.

Who Is Entitled To See What’s On Your Criminal Background Report?

Some employers and state agencies are “Entitled Entities,” which means they legally can require a job seeker to be fingerprinted and agree to disclose their entire criminal history (including both open and closed records) when applying for a job or license.

Some examples of “Entitled Entities” include:

  • Child/Elderly/Disabled Care Facilities (nursing homes, daycare, etc.)
  • Criminal Justice Agencies
  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • State of Missouri
  • Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
  • State Colleges and Universities
  • Department of Health & Senior Services
  • Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Department of Revenue
  • Department of Social Services
  • Division of Workers’ Compensation
  • Missouri Gaming Commission
  • Missouri Lottery
  • Licensing boards for doctors, nurses, veterinarians, chiropractors, engineers, accountants, hairdressers, etc.
  • Any agency permitted to screen persons seeking a permit to purchase or possess a firearm for employment as a watchman, security personnel, or private investigator

So, if you apply for a job with a company or entity listed above, they are entitled to see all of your criminal records (both open and closed) and can refuse to hire you because of your expunged criminal records.

Expunged criminal records can also be grounds for denying a professional license, certificate, or permit issued by the state of Missouri to practice your profession.

You can read Missouri statutes RSMO 610.120 and RSMO 43.543 for more information about which entities are entitled to see your open and closed criminal records.

What Is The Difference Between Open And Closed Criminal Records?

If you request a “Basic Name Search” criminal background check, it will show only your open records.

For example, if you are on probation, that is an open record because it’s not resolved yet. If you were charged with a crime but you haven’t been to court yet, that’s an open record.

If you request a “Fingerprint Search” criminal background check, it will show both open and closed records.

For example, if you were charged with possession of marijuana but your attorney got the charge dismissed, a “Basic Name Search” will not reveal anything on your criminal record. A “Fingerprint Search” will show that you were charged with marijuana possession and the case was dismissed, but only if the criminal records are being requested by an “Entitled Entity” that is allowed to see both open and closed records.

If you want to know more about the difference between open and closed records, I discussed it in more detail in my previous blog post, “What Shows Up On Your Criminal Background Check.”

Where To Buy A Copy Of Your Criminal Background Check

Here’s how to get a copy of your basic criminal background report:

For the most thorough, detailed criminal background report:

  • Go to state police headquarters in the county in which you live and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report. This type of criminal background report is more detailed than the one you can buy online from CJIS.

If you have questions about your criminal background report, call the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) at (573) 526-6153.

How To Get Old Convictions Expunged From Your Criminal Record

Missouri’s new expungement law went into effect on January 1, 2018 and it allows many misdemeanor and felony convictions to be sealed. “Sealing” a conviction means it will be closed to the public but some “entitled” entities will still be able to see it on your criminal record. (See my description of “entitled entities,” above.)

You can file a petition for expungement yourself without hiring an attorney, but it is a complicated process, so you will probably want to have an attorney handle it for you.

The filing fee is $100 plus a $250 surcharge. If you make a mistake, your petition will be rejected and you will have to wait 1 year to re-file, and you will have to pay the filing fee again.

You are allowed to file only 1 petition per circuit court, and there is a lifetime limit of 1 felony and 2 misdemeanors that can be expunged.

What Kinds Of Criminal Records Can Be Expunged Under Missouri’s New Expungement Law?

Most misdemeanors and non-class A felonies qualify for expungement under Missouri’s new expungement law, but there is a long list of exceptions found in RSMO 610.140. For example, a conviction for stealing or shoplifting is not eligible for expungement, but a conviction for misdemeanor marijuana possession is eligible for expungement.

For more information about which misdemeanors and felonies are eligible for expungement, and the waiting period before you can file a petition for expungement, click here to read my previous blog post about how to expunge old misdemeanor and felony criminal records.

For a free consultation about your case, call St. Louis criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email Andrea at

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Andrea Rogers

With over 15 years of concentrated experience in Missouri traffic law and misdemeanors, Andrea Rogers of The Rogers Law Firm provides personalized, flat-fee legal services backed by a case outcome guarantee for every client she takes on across the state.