What Shows Up On Your Criminal Background Check

A Missouri criminal background check can reveal both open and closed criminal records, but the detail of the information disclosed depends on who is requesting the information.

You Need to Know What’s On Your Criminal Background Report

It’s a good idea to obtain a copy of your criminal background report, just so you know exactly what will be revealed to potential employers, colleges, landlords, banks, etc.

It’s very common for someone to have been charged with a crime in the past (shoplifting, marijuana possession, under-age drinking) and think the charge has been dropped or “sealed” but later discover that an arrest or conviction is showing up on their criminal background report.

If you know exactly what is on your criminal background report, you will be prepared to explain to potential employers about a previous criminal charge or arrest. It’s better to explain in advance about being arrested or charged with a crime, rather than look like a liar because you incorrectly claimed to have a clean criminal record.

The Difference Between Open and Closed Criminal Records

A Basic Name Search criminal background report shows open records only.

A Fingerprint Search criminal background report shows both open and closed records.

When you have been charged with a crime but the case is not resolved yet, your case is an open pending case, which is an open record.

Closed records show what happened in the past. So, if you were arrested but the Prosecutor dismissed the charge, you pleaded guilty, or the Prosecutor reduced the charge to a lesser offense, the case is closed and that is a closed record.

EXAMPLE:  If you were not arrested but you were charged with shoplifting and you hired an attorney who got the charge dismissed, a Basic Name Search will show nothing. A Fingerprint Search will reveal that you were charged with shoplifting and the case was dismissed, but only if the requesting entity is the type of employer that is entitled to see both open and closed records.

When Do Arrests and Convictions Show Up On a Criminal Background Report?

If an entity that is entitled to see both open and closed records requests just a Basic Name Search criminal background report, that report will show both open and closed records, so arrests and convictions will both show up.

EXAMPLE  If you were arrested for marijuana possession and your attorney negotiates a plea bargain deal with the Prosecuting Attorney to reduce the charge to “Littering,” that’s an open record and a Basic Name Search will reveal that the Prosecutor 1) filed charges against you for marijuana possession, and 2) you were convicted of “Littering.” The arrest will not show up but the Prosecutor’s action of filing the charge of marijuana possession will show up.

EXAMPLE:  If you were arrested for shoplifting and your attorney convinces the Prosecuting Attorney to dismiss your case, that’s a closed record, so nothing will show up on a Basic Name Search criminal background report. In this situation, if you request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report, both open and closed records will show up, and the report will reveal that you were arrested for shoplifting and your case was dismissed, but only if the requesting entity is entitled to see both open and closed records.

Recent Arrests Will Show Up On a Basic Criminal Background Check

If you were arrested up to 30 days ago, the arrest is considered “fresh” and will show up on a Basic Name Search background check, even if the potential employer is not entitled to see both open and closed records.  

Probation Will Show Up On a Basic Criminal Background Report

If you received a Suspended Imposition of Sentence (SIS) with probation, it’s an open pending case while you are on probation and is considered an open record. It will become a closed record after you successfully complete probation and your case is closed.

The fact that you are on probation will show up even on a Basic Name Search criminal background report because it’s an open record.

If you apply for a job with an “entitled entity” employer like a daycare, the employer can require you to get a Fingerprint Search criminal background check, which will show the following:

  • Were you on probation in the past?
  • What were you on probation for?
  • Did you successfully complete probation?
  • Is the case closed?

You Don’t Have to Agree To Disclose All Records, Even If a Potential Employer Requests It

Some employers ask potential employees to get fingerprinted and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report, even though the employer is not an entity that is entitled to see both open and closed records.

In that situation, the potential employee can choose what they want the potential employer to see — open records only, or both open and closed records. So, the person applying for a job who is required to get fingerprinted can request that only open records be disclosed on the background report, if the employer is not an entitled entity.

Some Employers Can Require Job Applicants to Disclose Both Open and Closed Criminal Records

If you are applying for a job with an “entitled entity” employer (criminal justice agency, state government, day care, etc.) and you are required to get fingerprinted and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report, you must agree to disclose both open and closed records.

What Is An “Entitled Entity” Employer?

“Entitled Entity” employers are those that are legally entitled to require job applicants to get fingerprinted and disclose both open and closed records prior to being considered for a job.

Missouri statutes RSMO 610.120 and RSMO 43.543 explain which entities are entitled to see both open and closed records.

Examples of Entitled Entities:  day care, nursing home, criminal justice agency, State of Missouri.

How to Get a Copy of Your Criminal Record Check

To order a Missouri criminal record check, go online to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) website or call CJIS at (573) 526-6153.

Or you can go to the state police headquarters in the county in which you live and request a Fingerprint Search criminal background report. The Fingerprint Search criminal background report is more thorough than the criminal background report that you purchase online from CJIS.

If you have questions about  what is showing up on your Missouri criminal background report, or how to obtain a criminal background report, call the Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) at (573) 526-6153.

 


To get help for your criminal case, call St. Louis criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

 

 

What To Do If You Receive a Summons From Criminal Court

When you receive a summons from a criminal court, it means you have been charged with a criminal offense and you must appear in court on your court date to respond to the charge.

What Happens If You Don’t Respond To A Summons?

After receiving a summons to appear in criminal court, you must go to court on your court date, or else the court will issue a warrant for your arrest.

What If You Did Not Receive The Summons From The Court?

Sometimes the court mails a summons to a defendant but the defendant does not receive it because the court has an incorrect mailing address on file for the defendant, or otherwise sent it to the wrong address.

The court is required to mail the summons to the defendant to notify them of the court date, but the court has no responsibility to make sure the defendant actually received the summons.

So, if the court sends a summons to you at the wrong address and you don’t receive the summons, the court can issue a warrant for your arrest.

What To Do If You Missed Your Court Date

If you have a warrant because you did not receive the summons from the court and missed your court date, your attorney can lift the warrant for you. Your attorney will make sure the warrant is cancelled and a new court date is scheduled.

Hiring an attorney to lift your warrant allows you to avoid turning yourself in to police, paying the bond, and appearing in court.

How To Respond To A Summons

If you have received a summons to appear in criminal court in Missouri, you can do one of the following:

  • Go to court on your court date and plead guilty
  • Go to court on your court date and plead not guilty
  • Go to court on your court date and ask the judge for a continuance to give you more time to hire an attorney to represent you
  • Hire an attorney to represent you in court so you don’t have to appear in court

If you plead guilty to a criminal offense, you will be ordered to pay fines and court costs, and you will end up with a conviction on your criminal record.

If you plead guilty to speeding tickets or other moving violations, you will have to pay fines and court costs, points will be added to your driving record, and your car insurance rates will probably increase.

The added points may cause your driver’s license to be suspended or revoked if you accumulate:

  • 8 points within 18 months
  • 12 points within 12 months
  • 18 points within 24 months
  • 24 points within 36 months

If you plead not guilty, the judge will schedule your case for trial and you will have to decide whether to represent yourself or hire an attorney to represent you at trial.

An Attorney Can Help If You Received a Summons To Appear In Court

You can hire an attorney to respond to your summons and represent you in court for your criminal case.

Your attorney can represent you at trial or negotiate a pre-trial plea bargain deal with the court on your behalf, and you may not have to appear in court at all.

An experienced attorney can get your criminal charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. The outcome of your case depends on the following:

  • How old are you?
  • How serious was the criminal charge?
  • Which court is your case being prosecuted in?
  • Do you have any prior convictions on your criminal record? 

If you have received a summons to appear in a Missouri court for a speeding ticket or other criminal charge, call criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

What Is The Punishment For Shoplifting/Stealing in Missouri?

Stealing items worth under $500 is a class A misdemeanor in Missouri. This is sometimes called “Shoplifting,” “Petty Larceny,” “Petty Theft,” or just “Stealing.”

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of shoplifting or stealing under $500 in Missouri, the judge can sentence you to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Stores Can Sue Shoplifters

A store can sue you for the expenses they incurred as a result of your shoplifting.

Missouri law allows stores to sue shoplifters in civil court for restitution and damages. This means the store can sue you to get reimbursement for their costs and expenses, such as the cost for them to employ a security guard, or their expenses for items that get damaged and can not be re-shelved after they catch you shoplifting and retrieve the stolen item.

What Is a Civil Demand & Do I Have To Pay the $250?

After getting caught shoplifting, the store’s lawyer will send you a “civil demand letter.” The civil demand letter will state that you owe the store $250 to reimburse the store for its expenses resulting from your shoplifting.

Most attorneys advise their shoplifting clients to refuse to pay the $250 civil demand. As noted above, there is a Missouri law that allows stores to sue shoplifters but few stores actually do so.

You do not owe the store anything unless the store successfully sues you in civil court and wins a money judgment against you. Then, the store has to somehow collect on the judgment, which is very hard to do unless the store knows your bank account number or where you work.

What Happens If I Plead Guilty to Shoplifting or Stealing?

In Missouri, a judge can sentence you to up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 if you plead guilty or are found guilty of misdemeanor stealing (under $500).

Having a conviction for stealing on your criminal record will prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, and obtaining a loan.

Convictions for stealing are not eligible for expungement (removal) from your criminal record.

Hire a Lawyer To Fight Your Shoplifting/Stealing Charge

To avoid having a conviction for stealing on your permanent criminal record, hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you in court for your shoplifting/stealing charge.

In most cases, an experienced shoplifting lawyer can get your shoplifting charge dismissed completely or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.” The outcome of your case depends on many factors, but it is very likely that you won’t have to appear in court at all if you hire an attorney to represent you.

For more information about fighting a shoplifting/stealing charge in Missouri, read my previous blog post “What Is The Penalty For Shoplifting in Missouri?”


If you have been charged with shoplifting, stealing, petty larceny, or petty theft in Missouri, call St. Louis Shoplifting Lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or email her at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com for a price quote for legal representation.

 

How to Keep a Stealing Charge Off of Your Criminal Record

Call St. Louis shoplifting attorney Andrea Storey Rogers today at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation if you have been charged with shoplifting, stealing, theft, or petty larceny in Missouri.

You Will Need to Hire an Attorney if You Have Been Charged with Stealing 

If you have been charged with stealing, theft, shoplifting, or petty larceny, you will need an attorney to represent you so you don’t end up with a conviction for stealing on your permanent criminal record.

Defendants who try to represent themselves in court have to fight against both the prosecutor and the judge, who do not have the best interests of the defendant at heart.

Your Attorney Can Get Stealing/Shoplifting Charges Dismissed or Reduced to a Lesser Offense

The most likely outcome in most misdemeanor shoplifting/stealing cases is that your attorney will get the charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.”  In many cases, the defendant is required to pay a fine and court costs but does not have to appear in court at all.

Some courts require shoplifting defendants to perform a few hours of community service or take a “theft offender” class before the court will agree to dismiss the stealing charge. Other courts are more strict and will dismiss a stealing charge only after the defendant has successfully completed a period of 1 to 2 years of probation.

The outcome of each case depends on details such as:

  • Defendant’s criminal history.
  • Defendant’s age.
  • The court in which the case is being prosecuted.
  • Value & type of items stolen.
  • Your attorney’s skill & experience defending shoplifting cases.

Don’t Plead Guilty to Stealing

If you plead guilty or are convicted of shoplifting, stealing, theft, or petty larceny, the conviction will show up on your permanent criminal record.

A conviction for stealing will prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, getting a loan from a bank, and obtaining federal student loans for college.

If you plead guilty to stealing, the conviction will stay on your criminal record forever and can not be expunged (removed).

The Penalty for Shoplifting Under $500 in Missouri is 1 Year in Jail and a $1,000 Fine

In Missouri courts, shoplifters can be sentenced to up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine for stealing items valued at under $500. Stealing items valued at $500 or more is a felony, which is a much more serious crime.

Click here to read my previous blog post about penalties for shoplifting in Missouri.

What Is a Shoplifting Civil Demand and Should You Pay It?

After being caught shoplifting, you will receive a “Civil Demand” letter in the mail from the store. Civil demand letters typically state that the shoplifter must pay $250 to pay for the store’s expenses resulting from the shoplifting incident.

Most experienced criminal defense lawyers tell their clients not to pay the store’s civil demand.

Stores Can Sue Shoplifters & Send Civil Demand Letters

It is legal in Missouri for stores to sue shoplifters for up to $250, but you do not owe the store a single penny unless the store does the following:

1. Files a lawsuit against you in civil court,
2. Properly serves you with the lawsuit paperwork, and
3. Wins a judgment against you in court.

Even if a store successfully sues you in civil court and wins a money judgment against you, they can not collect on the judgment unless they know your bank account number or the name of your employer. Without this information, the store can’t garnish your paycheck or your bank account.

Most stores do not sue shoplifters because the cost of suing far exceeds the amount they will win in court, and also because collection of the judgment is very difficult.

Please Note: Paying the civil demand will not prevent the store from also filing a criminal charge against you for shoplifting if they have not already done so. Refusing to pay the civil demand will have no effect on the separate criminal case against you.


If you are facing criminal charges of shoplifting, stealing, theft, or petty larceny in Missouri, call St. Louis criminal defense attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 to discuss your case and get a price quote for legal representation.

How to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea

Call St. Louis attorney Andrea Storey Rogers today at (314) 724-5059 about withdrawing your guilty plea for a Missouri speeding ticket or criminal charge.

You Can Change Your Mind After Pleading Guilty

It is possible to change your mind after pleading guilty to a speeding ticket or criminal offense such as marijuana possession or shoplifting if you were not represented by an attorney when you pleaded guilty.

Withdrawing a Guilty Plea Can Remove Points From Your Driving Record

Withdrawing your guilty plea for a speeding ticket or other traffic violation will remove the points that were added to your Missouri driving record when you paid the fine.

Some people need points removed so a license suspension can be lifted, while others want points removed to prevent an increase in their car insurance rates

Get a Conviction Off Your Criminal Record by Withdrawing Your Guilty Plea 

Anyone who pleads guilty to a minor criminal offense, such as marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia, or stealing, quickly realizes that the conviction shows up on their criminal background report. Even a minor criminal conviction can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, or getting financial aid for school.

In many cases, an experienced attorney can withdraw the guilty plea and negotiate a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor to get your criminal charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, such as “Littering.” Having a conviction for “Littering” on your criminal record is much better than a conviction for drug possession or stealing.

How to Withdraw Your Guilty Plea

Hire an experienced attorney to help you withdraw your guilty plea. Your attorney will file a motion with the court to request that the judge allow you to withdraw your guilty plea.

If the judge agrees to let you change your plea, then your attorney will  negotiate a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor to get your traffic ticket amended to a non-moving no-point violation.

Or, if you are withdrawing a guilty plea for a criminal offense, your attorney will negotiate with the Prosecutor to get your criminal charges dismissed or amended to a lesser offense.

In many cases of withdrawing a guilty plea, the defendant does not have to appear in court at all.

What Happens After You Withdraw Your Guilty Plea?

Once your attorney successfully withdraws your guilty plea and negotiates a plea bargain deal with the Prosecutor, a new fine will be assessed by the Prosecutor. The new fine will be higher than the fine you already paid. The court will subtract the amount you already paid from the new higher fine and you will pay the difference.

Then the court will revise the court records to remove the original conviction from your record. So, if you originally pleaded guilty to marijuana possession but your attorney was able to change your plea and get the charge amended to “Littering,” your criminal record will now show that you have a conviction for “Littering.”

If you originally pleaded guilty to speeding and your attorney withdrew your guilty plea and got your ticket amended to “Illegal Parking,” the points will be removed from your driving record and there will be no conviction on your record.


To change your plea or withdraw your guilty plea for a traffic ticket or criminal offense, call St. Louis attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 to discuss your case and get a price quote for legal representation. Or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com

Police Don’t Have to Read Miranda Rights Before Arresting You

Call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers today at (314) 724-5059.

Police officers must read you your rights only if they want to question you while in police custody and use your testimony against you in court. It is not illegal for a police officer to arrest you without reading you the Miranda warning.

What Are Miranda Rights?

The Miranda warning protects a person’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during police interrogation. It comes from a 1966 Supreme Court case called Miranda v. Arizona, which established that a criminal suspect has the right to remain silent during police interrogation and the right to consult an attorney. This means you don’t have to answer any of the police officer’s questions, and if you ask for an attorney at any time during the interrogation, the police officer must immediately stop questioning you.  

What if Police Question You Without Reading the Miranda Warning?

If you’re in police custody and the police question you without reading you your rights, any evidence discovered as a result of that questioning is not admissible in court.

Sometimes people volunteer information to the police without being asked any questions. In that situation, what you say can be used against you in court even if the police didn’t read you your rights.

Police Don’t Have To Read You Your Rights if They Briefly Detain You

Another situation in which police officers don’t have to read you your rights is when they are just asking basic questions to establish your identity, or if they briefly detain you to question you about a crime. This is called a “Terry Stop,” named after a 1968 case called Terry v. Ohio, which set new standards that allowed police officers to search someone for weapons without having probable cause for arrest.

For example, a police officer can stop you while you’re walking on the street or driving your car if he has a reasonable suspicion that you are involved in criminal activity. The officer can briefly detain you to question you, without a warrant and without being required to read you your Miranda rights.

During a Terry Stop, technically, you are not in police custody and you are free to leave at any time. However, the police can search your outer clothing for weapons if they have a reasonable suspicion that you may be armed and dangerous, and they can confiscate other contraband (drugs) that they find during the search. This is also known as a “Stop & Frisk.”

You Must Allow Police “Pat-Down” of Outer Clothing

You don’t have to answer questions during a traffic stop or other confrontation with a police officer, and you don’t have to consent to a search of your vehicle or home, but you must submit to a pat-down of your outer clothing if the police officer suspects that you have a weapon.

Keep in mind that, in some states, it’s against the law to refuse to answer when a police officer asks for your name, date of birth, and address.

If the police officer asks you any questions, all you have to say is, “Am I under arrest, or am I free to leave?” or “I’m not going to answer any questions” or “Can I call my lawyer now?” This can be risky, because if you anger the police officer by refusing to answer his questions, he may decide that he has probable cause to arrest you.

Why Didn’t the Police Officer Read You Your Rights?

As noted above, a police officer must read the Miranda warning to you only if he wants to question you in police custody and use your testimony against you in court.

In many situations, the police officer is a witness to the crime, so he has no reason to question the suspect. For example, if a police officer pulls you over for a traffic stop and he sees a bag of weed on the console of your car, the police officer’s testimony is sufficient evidence for the prosecuting attorney to charge you with possession of marijuana.


If you have questions about a recent arrest or if you’re wondering whether police illegally interrogated you, call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 for a free consultation, or email Andrea at andrea@leadfootspeedingticket.com.

How Long Can Police Keep You in Jail Without Filing Charges?

Call St. Louis traffic law attorney Andrea Storey Rogers today at (314) 724-5059.

If you have been arrested and taken to jail in Missouri, the police must release you after 24 hours of confinement if the prosecuting attorney fails to charge you with a crime within that time period.

If no charges have been filed after 24 hours of detention and the police are unable to obtain a warrant to hold you any longer, then they must release you.

Click here to read the Missouri law about how long police can keep you in jail without charging you.

Contrary to popular opinion, the police do not have to read you your Miranda rights before arresting you. A police officer must read you the Miranda warning (“You have the right to remain silent…”) if he wants to question you while you are in police custody and use that testimony against you in court. If the police officer fails to read you your rights, any evidence discovered as a result of the interrogation is inadmissible in court.

 

Supreme Court Says Strip Searches Are Allowed For Any Offense

The Supreme Court recently ruled that jail officials can strip-search any person before admitting them to jail, no matter how minor the offense the person is charged with, even a traffic offense. Jail officials do not have to suspect that the person may be concealing a weapon or other contraband prior to conducting the strip-search. Click here to read the entire New York Times article about this case.