What we do when we’re younger can affect what we do later in life. Some young people think that what they do while they are teens won’t catch up to them when they get older. That couldn’t be further from the truth. When we do something that’s against the law, there’s a consequence. When kids under 18 break the law, they will have to appear before a judge in juvenile court. All depending on the seriousness of the crime, the child may be put on probation, placed in foster care or if the crime is serious enough, he or she can be sent to a juvenile detention center. Many people think that because one has committed a crime as a juvenile, it won’t show up in a background check when they are older. Unfortunately, that isn’t always true. Michelle Suskauer juvenile defense lawyer can help you understand what you’re dealing with when it comes to understanding the rights of a minor. Will a juvenile felony show up on a background check?  

  • What is a background check?
  • Expunging your juvenile record
  • Checking your past


To begin, a background check is a process used to verify that a person is who they claim to be. There are several different background checks that can be performed on a person.

Employment Background Checks – employment background checks are simply when employers run a check to see if you pose a threat to their company. For instance; if you’ve been arrested for stealing money and you apply for a position at a bank, you are a threat because of your background. Background checks are usually done during the hiring process, but an employer can perform a background check whenever they feel it’s necessary. However, in order to run a background check for pre-employment purposes. The employer would need the following to do so; applicant’s full name, date of birth, current or past addresses, their Social Security number (SSN), and lastly, the applicant must give consent to run the check. These checks can include; education, your work history, social media history credit records, driving records and even medical records. If you’ve noticed, social media has become a platform for exposing people and many people have been fired for posting racist comments on their page or because someone shared a video.

Criminal Background Checks – Criminal background checks are used when organizations are required to know about serious criminal activity. This usually occurs when working with children, the elderly, adopting a child, purchasing firearms, sex crimes and other crimes. However, different states have different forms of criminal background checks. For example, there is a level one background check, which is a state check, name check and employment history check; and a level two background check, which is a national fingerprint and state check.

Universal Background Checks – When trying to purchase a firearm, this type of check is done. A National Instant Background Check System (NICS). The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives oversee the universal check and the FBI actually conducts the NICS check

OIG Background Checks – This is usually done for people who have committed healthcare related crimes. This check was mandated by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). A lot of employers run an OIG background check before deciding to hire someone, and they will routinely check after the hiring process is over to make sure that their employees have not been added to the list once they have been hired. This particular background check is free and can be fulfilled on the OIG website by searching the applicant’s name. The search results will include the following; name, address, date of birth and reason for omission. This can be confirmed by using a Social Security number (SSN). If an employer hires someone and doesn’t run the OIG check and hires someone who is on that sanctions list, the employer can be penalized monetarily.

E-Verify Background Checks – This check is done for employees to makes sure they are eligible and authorized to work in the country.

Fingerprint Background Checks – This is used along with other background checks, and usually as a pre-screening for employment. This type of check may be required to obtain such licenses as real-estate, medical care, pharmacy, casino and finance.

International Background Checks – If an employer wants to run a check on an employee who has worked in another country, this is the background check that he would use.

Credit Background Checks – A check such as this shows the person’s credit history. A landlord may do a check like this or if you’re applying for a position where you manage money, a check like this may be done to see if you’re trustworthy when it comes to handling funds. If an employer declines to hire someone with a negative report, they must send them a copy of that report.

With a credit background check, the person or company running the report can view the applicant’s credit report but not their credit score. A credit report shows the full credit history of the applicant, including payment history, unpaid bills that have been sent to collections, tax liens, civil judgments, bankruptcies and even recent credit inquiries. Employers have to get permission in writing from applicants and employees. They must inform them that the information in their credit report can be used in making a decision about their employment.

Personal Background Checks – If you yourself would like to see what an employer sees when they run a report on you, you can get one done for yourself. You can choose what checks you’d like ran on yourself. It’s a great idea to find out what information is out there on you in case you need to address any errors that may show up.

Professional Licenses Background Checks – This check basically shows that an applicant/employee does indeed hold a valid license for the job in which they are applying. Background checks for professional licenses, background screening companies normally contact the applicable business or state licensing board to validate that the license is held and hasn’t lapsed or ended, and that the license is still in good standing and there are no limitations or infringements associated with the license.


There is a process behind trying to seal your juvenile record. This process varies from state to state. In a lot of cases, crimes that aren’t serious and that are non-violent can possibly be expunged when you turn 18. However, if you’ve been in trouble more than once and your crime was committed in different counties, you will have to go through the expungement process for each county in which you were prosecuted. There are crimes that can be upgraded to adult convictions and those are sex crimes. If you committed a crime involving sex at the age of 14 and up, those will not come off your record.  However, there are several legal options available to juveniles who want to expunge their criminal record, and each expungement opportunity has certain eligibility conditions. Not to mention if one is eligible to expunge a juvenile record under one statute, it does not necessarily mean they will eligible to expunge it under another statute. Unfortunately, trying to expunge a juvenile record under the wrong expungement statute could ban expungement eligibility in a forthcoming criminal case. It’s important that when trying to expunge juvenile records, the expungement is pursued under the most promising expungement approach available.

Florida provides five expungement options for juveniles:

Administrative Expungement – Under Florida Statute 943.0581, a juvenile may request for the administrative expunction of any nonjudicial record that was made as a consequence of an arrest made contrary to law or by mistake. Once the record is expunged, the criminal records will no longer appear on a background check.

Automatic Expungement – Under Florida Statute 943.0515, the criminal record of a minor will automatically be expunged at the age of 21.

Court-ordered Expungement – Under Florida Statute 943.059 and 943.0585, A Person may apply to FDLE  for a certificate of eligibility to have their records sealed or expunged.

Diversion Program Expungement -Under Florida Statute 943.0582, A person that has completed an authorized youth diversion program for a misdemeanor may apply for this.

Human Trafficking Victim Expungement- Under Florida Statute 943.0583, A person may apply for this if they were considered a victim of human trafficking.


There are various ways and sites where you can check your own past to see what shows up in a public record. It can help reveal events and situations that you may have forgotten about and to see if errors have been placed on your report. We all make mistakes in life, but what matters is how we move forward after those mistakes are made. Don’t be afraid to poke into your past and correct and fix anything that you need to. Digging into your past may be necessary to make sure your future is bright!

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