by Matt Cook /
February 15, 2023 /
Credit Reporting Errors

Background Check Shows False Criminal Record, What Should I Do?

background check shows false criminal record

It can be very frustrating, you go to apply for a job, get hired and then the company needs to run a background check.  Once it is run the background says that you have a criminal record and you are denied the job.  What to do?  The first thing is to obtain a copy of the report so you can see who the company is that provided the background check shows a false criminal record and to see what the criminal record is.   If you can not obtain this information then ask for a copy of the application you signed which allowed the company to run a background check on you.

Once you have either a copy of the report and know what criminal case is false you need to dispute.  The false criminal case on your background check should have a city, state and case number so you can see where the charges came from.  You (or a lawyer) need to contact the clerk and obtain a copy of the judgment or record showing this criminal history.  Ordering the record will help prove that the background check shows false criminal record does not belong to you.

Now that you have the proof that this record does not belong to you, write a detailed dispute letter to the background check company stating how the information is inaccurate and does not belong to you.  Do not forget to include a copy of the judgment from the false criminal record with your dispute letter.  The letter should be mailed via tracking so you have proof they received it.  You also need to tell your employer that the information is inaccurate and you are disputing it.

How to dispute if a background check shows false criminal record?

If any employer denies you a job because of a background check they are required to provide you what is called an adverse action letter.  This letter states that you were denied employment because of a consumer report (listing the company who gave the report) and telling you what information contained in the report, or background check they relied on, in denying you the job.  If the employer does not provide you this report they are violating the law but do not worry as an experienced lawyer can help track down this information.

You can include a copy of the adverse action with your dispute to the background check company that provided the false information but it is needed.  The letter should just be as detailed as possible to explain your situation and all written proof to submit your claims should be attached.  Make sure to keep copies of all your disputes because most likely you will need to hire a lawyer to help resolve the background check shows false criminal record.  Even if the background check company fixes the inaccurate report after your first dispute you still have a claim.  You shouldn’t have to suffer through anxiety of a potential job for some other company’s mistake.

What do I do if a background check shows false criminal record?

Usually you should mail three dispute letters.  At any time during the dispute process you can retain an attorney who is experienced in this matter to help you review your dispute letters and track down the background check company’s address or report.  An attorney will help ease your mind and guide you through the process so it takes away some of your fear and anxiety.  A good lawyer can also file a lawsuit to get the inaccurate information corrected and possibly get you some time and money for going through this horrible ordeal.

What to do if the criminal background check is old or expunged?

Usually there is a seven year period of reporting this old and negative information.  If you have a background check shows false criminal record that was expunged, plead no contest to or some other type of plea deal then you also may be able to get this information removed.  Negative information in your credit file is not allowed to be reported for an indefinite amount of time.  If you have questions on this, you should pull a copy of your background check from your employer and review it with an attorney who is experienced in this area of law.

Can I sue for a false criminal background check?

The short answer is yes!  If a consumer report or background check was published or given to a third party (ie employer) and they took adverse action because of it (ie fired you, declined job offer) then you are entitled to compensation.  An experienced attorney who handles these matters generally will take your case contingent meaning there is no fee to you unless the case settles or you win.  Most attorneys also offer free consultations so you can pick a lawyer’s mind at no charge.  What type of compensation you are entitled to depends on the harm.

Did you lose a job opportunity due to a background check shows false criminal record?

If you lost a job opportunity and disputed the account over three times then generally the background check shows false criminal record information company will pay more than if you fix it almost immediately.  Or if you get your job back.  The types of damages you are entitled to are actual damages, statutory damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees and court costs—so pretty much the full range.  Not every person who has a false criminal background check will want to sue and could just want to put the matter behind them.  However, if you have a false criminal background check then reach out to a lawyer, such as Cook Law, LLC for a free consultation to see if you have a case and what your options are.  There is no harm in that.

A lawyer can not only help ease your mind, get you a clean background check but also possibly put some money in your pocket for your time, trouble, emotional distress and lost wages.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Cook Law, LLC!