If I served 3 years on an involuntary manslaughter charge, will this show on my record if a background check is done?

Asked on September 15, 2012 under Criminal Law, North Carolina


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally, yes a conviction that resulted in a period of incarceration will show up on a background check.  The answer is generally, because because some factors could influence the reporting of your history.  The first factor is whether or not the information on your conviction was sent in to the central database for your state.  Many states struggle with incomplete reporting, especially for older convictions which were almost always done manually.  If someone forgot to file and mail the reporting form, then no one else may ever know of your conviction.  The second factor which could influence the reporting of your conviction is who is providing the data.  If a potential employer decides to buy a "consumer report" which includes criminal history data, then technically, they should not report date older than seven years.  So, if you have an older conviction, it could potentially be excluded from the consumer report. 

One of the best ways to know what is being reported about you is to simply get copies of your reports.  The FBI, local sheriffs, and departments of public safety have procedures for people to obtain a copy of their own criminal history reports.  This will tell you if and how your conviction is being reported. 

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