Does a Warrant Show Up on a Background Check?

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Hiring an employee is an investment in an organization, so it’s important to get it right. Employers want to know everything they can about candidates before choosing someone to fill a position. Perhaps that’s why 95 percent of employers say they use at least one type of background screening process.

During the hiring process, there’s one question that often crosses the mind of both hiring managers and applicants about the pre-employment background check: What shows up? While people often assume that criminal convictions show up, what about warrants?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Whether a warrant will pop up on a background check depends on the type of warrant in question and the kind of background check the candidate undergoes.

Types of Warrants

Warrants are legal documents from courts that give law enforcement officers the right to complete specific actions. The United States Constitution clearly states that judges may only issue warrants when there is probable cause. Many different types of warrants exist, and each grants law enforcement a unique type of right.

Perhaps the three most common warrants are: arrest, search and bench warrants. Arrest warrants call for the arrest of specific people when law enforcement has probable cause to charge them with crimes. Search warrants allow law enforcement officers to search specific property in pursuit of evidence. When someone fails to appear in court, the judge may issue a bench warrant that allows law enforcement officers to bring the person to court.

Types of Background Checks

Just as there are many types of warrants, several types of background checks exist as well. The type of background check someone conducts depends on the reason for checking, as well as the time and money he or she has to dedicate to searching. For example, a small business owner may decide to save money by conducting background checks entirely through searching on search engines.

However, many companies offer background check packages. When it comes to a pre-employment background check, what shows up can be a mix of criminal history, employment history, education and professional licenses. Employers and other interested parties also may choose more specialized background checks, including:

  • Fingerprint Background Check.
  • FBI Background Check.
  • Level 2 Background Check.

Each of these can offer clarity about potential employees who, if hired, would be in particularly sensitive positions.

What Is a Level 2 Background Check?

A Level 2 background check is often used as a pre-employment check when the candidate will work with vulnerable populations if hired. For example, daycare workers, senior care professionals and foster parents often need to pass this type of check to receive clearance.

Like other screens, a Level 2 background check looks for criminal records. However, these go a step further. If someone has any records regarding crimes against vulnerable populations, the files will be visible, even if the courts previously sealed the files or if they are from the juvenile system.

Which Warrants Show Up on Background Checks?

When it comes to a pre-employment background check, what shows up matters a great deal to both sides. Many people wonder if warrants will show up. Warrants are public records, so someone who knows how and where to look can uncover warrants.

However, they do not always automatically show up on internet searches or background check services. Warrants can come from any judge, and each court has its own filing system. As a result, some warrants can fall through the cracks. However, their public nature means that any warrant could show up on a background check.

Warrants are most likely to show up on a criminal background check after they have been carried out because it is part of a larger body of records. However, a call to the right clerk or visiting the correct county website can reveal a warrant that remains open.

Read More: How to Do a Background Check