In today's world, criminal background checks have become an integral part of various processes ranging from job applications to property rentals. But what exactly does a criminal background check entail, especially within the context of Missouri law? This guide will answer that question, breaking down the concept and process of a criminal background check in Missouri.
What is a Criminal Background Check?
At its core, a criminal background check is a review of an individual's criminal history. It discloses past convictions, arrests, and sometimes even ongoing criminal proceedings. This information is used to assess an individual's trustworthiness, reliability, and safety to others.
How Does a Criminal Background Check Work in Missouri?
In Missouri, criminal background checks are carried out by the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. They conduct a name-based or fingerprint-based search in the Missouri Criminal Records Repository and the FBI's criminal history records, if necessary.
The check reveals information such as arrest records, convictions, dismissals, acquittals, and instances of probation and parole.
Who Can Request a Criminal Background Check?
Various entities may request a criminal background check, including employers, landlords, licensing bodies, and law enforcement agencies. Some checks can be conducted by these entities directly, while others, especially those involving sensitive roles or vulnerable populations, may require fingerprints and the individual's consent.
The Importance of Criminal Background Checks
Criminal background checks serve many crucial purposes. They help employers make informed decisions about potential hires, landlords about prospective tenants, and licensing bodies about potential licensees. These checks also serve to maintain safety standards in society, ensuring that those with certain criminal histories are not placed in sensitive positions.
Criminal Background Checks and Expungement
In Missouri, if an individual has had their record expunged, their criminal history should not appear on most background checks. However, certain entities, like criminal courts and law enforcement agencies, can still view these records under specific circumstances.
Understanding the scope and importance of a criminal background check is critical for both those conducting the check and those being checked in Missouri. Whether you're an employer, an applicant for a job, or simply a Missouri resident looking to understand the system better, having a comprehensive understanding of criminal background checks can prove invaluable.