In general, arrests and convictions show up on a criminal background check but warrants do not. Warrant information is not public information and, therefore, only courts and law enforcement should know if you have a warrant.
However, it all depends on which entity is providing the criminal history. For example, if you purchase a criminal background report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, warrants will not be included in the criminal history, but warrants may appear in criminal background reports obtained from other entities.
How Much Information Will Show Up on Your Criminal Background Check?
The amount of information that shows up on a criminal background report depends on who is providing the report, but it also depends on who is requesting it. If you request your own background report and agree to be finger-printed, you will receive information on all of your open and closed cases. If a potential employer requests the report on your behalf, the employer will only receive information on open cases. However, the employer will also see your arrests and convictions, and the criminal background report will state why you were arrested and what crime you were convicted of.
Also, the criminal background check will be much more thorough if you are applying for a job with the FBI, a prison, police department, or other law enforcement-related entity.
The Record of an SIS May Show Up on a Criminal Background Report While You’re on Probation
If you were charged with a criminal offense and received a plea-bargain deal called an SIS (Suspended Imposition of Sentence) with probation, your case will be an open case throughout the probation period. With an SIS, if you successfully complete probation without any violations, your case will be closed and there will be no conviction on your criminal record.
However, it is still possible that the record of the SIS will appear on a criminal background check. While your case is still an open case, companies that sell criminal background reports can find the record of your case and save it, and then they can sell that information later to any potential employer who wants to buy it.
Therefore, the record of your SIS and probation may appear on a criminal background report if the report is run during the time you’re on probation, but it may also show up even after your probation period is over and your case has been closed.
How to Get a Copy of Your Criminal Background Report
You can buy a copy of your criminal background report online from the Missouri State Highway Patrol: https://www.machs.mshp.dps.mo.gov/MocchWebInterface/home.html
How To Get Convictions Expunged From Your Criminal Record
It is possible to get convictions expunged (removed) from your criminal record, but only a few types of misdemeanors and felonies are eligible for expungement, and only after 10 years (for misdemeanors) or 20 years (for felonies) of good behavior.
Keep in mind that, if you are able to get a conviction expunged from your criminal record, the conviction will still be visible to the FBI and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
For more information, click here to read my previous blog post about Missouri criminal record expungement.
How to Find Out if You Have a Warrant
Most criminal defense attorneys subscribe to some type of online service which allows them to run a warrant search for clients. Your attorney can find out if you have a warrant and can tell you whether the warrant is state-wide, regional, or nationwide in scope. You can also call the court to ask if they have issued a warrant for your arrest.
How To Get an Arrest Warrant Lifted in Missouri
In many cases, an attorney can get your warrant lifted and obtain a new court date for you, and you won’t have to pay the bond. See my previous blog post about how to get an arrest warrant lifted in Missouri.
However, if you have already appeared in court and pleaded guilty, but you failed to pay the fine or complete a court-ordered duty (attend driving school, perform community service, attend a drug education class, etc.), an attorney may not be able to get your warrant lifted without payment of a bond.
If you have questions about an arrest warrant or criminal background check, call St. Louis traffic lawyer Andrea Storey Rogers at (314) 724-5059 or via email at [email protected] for a free consultation and a price quote for legal representation.