Will a dismissed misdemeanor prevent me from getting a job as a researcher in the private sector?

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Will a dismissed misdemeanor prevent me from getting a job as a researcher in the private sector?

I have a friend who was charged with a misdemeanor for patronizing a prostitute. This is someone who has neither been accused of anything in his life nor arrested. Since it was his first offense, he was able to get a pre-trial diversion that will dismiss his misdemeanor so he was not convicted of the charge. In his background check, I assume that this dismissed misdemeanor will posted. If he is in the process for applying for jobs in the U.S. with a dismissed misdemeanor, will this hurt his chances for getting the job assuming that he is a stellar applicant? Will HR look at this particular misdemeanor and approve without reservations, seeing as how it should not reflect on the person’s ability to perform in the job setting? How important is it to expunge this dismissed misdemeanor from his record?

Asked on July 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A dismissal, like any other court record, is accessible to the general public.  Whether or not an employer will see the arrest and dismissal data will depend on the quality of the background search that an employer conducts. 
Assuming that an employer does see it, how much weight or concern they give the arrest will depend and be up to the discretion of the employer.  This means that considering it's a dismissal, some will have little or no concern about it.  Others will have some concerns and will hold it against the applicant as a potential lapse in character.
To make sure that it is not used against him, your friend should seek an expunction to get this completely off of his record so as to avoid any risk of unfair judgment.


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