You are worried about the possibility than an arrest show on background check results. This is not surprising, because too many people learned this the hard way during a job interview.

In this blog, we will provide you with a detailed understanding of arrest records and background checks. More importantly, you learn that this information can be removed.

You will also learn about the role of arrests in criminal records, state laws that govern this data, and how they impact your job prospects.

For those who have sealed their arrest or have official documentation of a “detention-only” release, head over to the RecordFixer tool to clean your background check database info.

Understanding Arrest Records and Background Checks

Arrest records are a crucial component of a comprehensive background check, providing employers with valuable insights into an individual’s criminal history. These checks enable employers to assess potential risks and make informed hiring decisions. It is important to note that detentions and formal bookings do not always lead to a criminal conviction. Yet, background checks routinely include arrest records under the argument that they are considered “public records” and provide employers with an overly comprehensive overview of an individual’s criminal history.

This is where countless background check violations occur and where many go undetected. There is a better way, and we built a system that automates the removal of these records.

The Role of Arrests in Criminal Records

Most criminal records (both official and commercial) capture detentions and bookings. A comprehensive criminal record consists of detailed information about arrests, charges, court proceedings, and the final legal outcomes.

What is less known, however, is that arrest records often remain on a person’s criminal record, even if the charges were dropped or no conviction was obtained. This, unfortunately, is partly why it’s common for a simple arrest show on background check reports because of how cases are tracked throughout the stages of criminal proceedings.

Employers may (and DO) consider these records when conducting background checks as part of their hiring process. Even though employers are guided to take into account other factors such as the job qualifications and the applicant’s explanation of the arrest, it’s often too late for an applicant that did not get the second interview.

Impact of Arrests on Employment Opportunities

Without question, arrest records impact job prospects as employers may view them negatively, even if charges were dismissed. In some states, there are laws prohibiting employers from considering arrest records, unless there was a conviction. Job applicants should be aware of their rights and the policies of potential employers with regard to their criminal history. But this advice is often too late because the job opportunity is already gone.

It’s far better to not have to deal with a rejected offer and avoid a lost opportunity altogether.

How Employers Use Background Checks

Employers utilize background checks to evaluate various aspects of a job applicant’s profile, including their criminal history, employment history, and credit history. These checks help employers assess the trustworthiness, reliability, and potential risks associated with a potential employee. It is important for employers to comply with legal requirements, such as obtaining the applicant’s consent, when conducting any job related screening from criminal history. Guidelines provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ensure that employers follow fair and legal practices during criminal history checks.

But why it’s so common that an arrest show on background check results is a complicated equation involving state laws, complicated systems, and a very large private industry supplying personal data.

State Laws and Arrest Records

State laws and regulations play a significant role in determining how crime records are treated in the context of employment decisions. The most obvious repositories are managed by government agencies such as the Department of Justice operating in any of the individual jurisdictions within the United States.

Law enforcement also maintains their own repositories as do prosecutorial agencies that file felonies and misdemeanors such as domestic violence charges and other alleged crimes. Despite the legal standard of reasonable doubt, arrest records do not carry equal weight as convictions do. However, the stigma that comes with being arrested or having criminal charges often have the same effect when it comes to criminal records.

Similarly, each state has their own set of laws and guidelines that dictate whether or not employers can consider arrest records when making hiring decisions. It’s important to note that some states have implemented “ban the box” laws, which restrict employers from asking about an individual’s criminal history on job applications. This legislation aims to provide individuals with an opportunity to showcase their qualifications and skills before their criminal history is taken into account. Understanding these state-specific laws is crucial for both employers and job applicants to navigate the complexities surrounding one’s exposure and employment opportunities.

Additionally, some states have implemented clean slate legislation that automatically seals or hides qualified arrests from view. While these are enormous efforts on the part of well meaning representatives, critics have maintained that these records can easily be found through private database distribution networks. It’s still too common that an arrest show on background check reports due largely to the disconnect between court systems and supply chain networks.

Will a Felony or a Misdemeanor arrest show on background check results more often?

Both can show up with equal probability. However, misdemeanors outnumber felonies 5-to-1 in the US, which bolsters the argument that misdemeanors may carry a higher likelihood of showing up in screening results.

Can You Clear an Arrest from Your Background Check?

Yes. Clearing arrest records through avenues like expungement and record sealing, using a privacy tool like RecordFixer removes cases from the largest background check databases used by private employers. For those who have experienced an arrest show on background check reports, this is the best way to go.

How does Background Check Removal Work?

The phrase “Background check removal” involves both the legal process and the technical know-how to clear or seal criminal records from public view. The first part of the process varies on state laws and eligibility. Expungement and sealing are some of the most used methods–but they are only the start.

To conduct true background check removal, using RecordFixer is the best option of harness legal technology to accomplish your goal.

Steps to Remove Arrest Records from Background Checks

First, gather all your criminal cases and documentation, including court records and supporting evidence to either strengthen your petition to seal the incident or obtain court minutes showing a dismissal was granted.

Next, file a petition according to the court’s procedures, providing a detailed explanation of why the case should be sealed (either by state statute or in the interests of justice). It may also be necessary to attend court hearings and comply with any court orders to ensure a successful petition process. Every state varies.

Once you’ve completed the above, use to automate the background check removal process. By following these steps, you can increase the chances of clearing your arrest history from criminal record databases and protecting your reputation.


In conclusion, it is important to understand that arrests can and often do show up on background checks, depending on the circumstances and the laws in your state. However, it is also possible to clear an arrest from your background check by following the steps above. It is also crucial for individuals to be aware of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to their criminal records and employment opportunities. If you find yourself in a situation where an arrest is affecting your background check, it is advisable to consult with a legal professional who can guide you through the process.