Do Pending Charges Show up on a Background Check?

Background Checks: Do Pending Charges Appear?

Typically, background checks are conducted to ensure the safety and security of organizations and individuals alike. Employers may want to verify a potential employee’s qualifications, criminal history, and overall trustworthiness before extending a job offer. Landlords may want to assess a tenant’s financial stability, rental history, and potential risks before signing a lease agreement. Even individuals may want to conduct background checks on someone new they’re considering welcoming into their lives.

However, the extent of information included in a background check can vary based on several factors. Different jurisdictions have different regulations regarding what can be disclosed, especially when it comes to pending charges. In some cases, pending charges may not appear at all, while in others, they may be included.

What are Pending Charges?

Pending charges refer to criminal charges that have been filed against an individual but have not yet been resolved or adjudicated in a court of law. These charges are typically in the early stages of the legal process and have not resulted in a conviction or acquittal.

When conducting a background check on an individual, it is essential to understand the distinction between pending charges and convictions. While convictions are usually a matter of public record and can have a significant impact on a person’s reputation and employability, pending charges may not carry the same weight.

Pending charges may arise from a variety of situations, such as arrests made for alleged criminal activity or pending investigations into suspected offenses. It is important to note that an individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and pending charges should not be treated as definitive proof of guilt.

How pending charges may appear on a background check

In most cases, pending charges will show up on a background check. However, the extent to which they are disclosed can vary depending on the type of background check being performed.

For basic background checks, which typically include a criminal records search, pending charges may be included in the results. This means that potential employers, landlords, or other entities conducting the background check will be made aware of any pending charges against an individual.

A criminal background check for employment reveals whether an applicant has any criminal convictions or pending criminal cases. On a criminal history report, the following types of information will be reported about a conviction or pending criminal matter: Offense date. Type of offense. –

Pending charges are not the same as convictions. While pending charges may appear on a background check, it’s crucial to remember that individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Therefore, pending charges should not be treated as definitive evidence of wrongdoing.

In some cases, employers or other entities may choose to consider pending charges when making decisions, while others may wait for the outcome of the case before taking any action. Be proactive in addressing the situation and providing necessary context or explanations to potential employers or others conducting the background check.

It’s worth mentioning that the laws and regulations surrounding background checks, including the disclosure of pending charges, can vary by jurisdiction. Therefore, it may be necessary to consult with legal professionals or experts familiar with local laws to ensure compliance and understanding of the specific requirements in your area.

Factors that determine if pending charges will be included in a background check

When it comes to background checks, many people wonder if pending charges will appear in the report. The answer to this question depends on several factors that determine the inclusion of pending charges in a background check.

  • Jurisdiction Policies: Different jurisdictions have varying policies regarding the disclosure of pending charges. Some jurisdictions may include pending charges in their background check reports, while others may only include convictions. It’s essential to understand the specific policies of the jurisdiction where the background check is being conducted.
  •  Type of Background Check: The type of background check being conducted also plays a role in whether pending charges will appear. For example, a basic criminal background check may only include convictions, while a more comprehensive background check may include pending charges as well. Employers or organizations conducting background checks can choose the level of detail they want to include.
  • Timeframe: Pending charges are often considered as part of the criminal record, but they may not be immediately available in a background check if they are still pending. The timeframe for the background check matters, as pending charges, may not appear if they are recent and haven’t been processed or resolved yet.
  • Accuracy and Timeliness of Data: Background checks rely on accurate and up-to-date information from various sources. If the source providing the information doesn’t promptly update pending charges, they may not be included in the background check report. It’s crucial to ensure that the data sources used for background checks are reliable and regularly updated.
  • Compliance with Laws: Background checks must comply with relevant laws and regulations, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in the United States. These laws govern the collection, reporting, and use of consumer information, including pending charges. Compliance requirements may vary depending on the purpose of the background check and the jurisdiction.

Transparency During the Hiring Process

From the job seeker’s perspective, being transparent about pending charges can demonstrate honesty and integrity. It is crucial to remember that background checks are conducted to assess a candidate’s suitability for the role, and withholding information about pending charges can lead to doubts about one’s credibility.

To ensure fairness, employers should establish clear guidelines and criteria for assessing the relevance of pending charges to the job in question. This can help prevent any potential biases and ensure that decisions are based on objective factors related to the candidate’s qualifications and ability to perform the job duties effectively.

How to handle pending charges during a job application

Handling pending charges during a job application can be a delicate situation. As an applicant, it’s important to be proactive and transparent about any pending charges. While pending charges may not appear on a standard background check, it’s crucial to remember that employers may have different policies and procedures when it comes to assessing an applicant’s criminal history.

If you are required by law to disclose pending charges, provide an honest and detailed explanation of the situation. Be prepared to provide documentation or any relevant information that demonstrates your efforts to resolve or address the pending charges. This can include court documents, proof of engagement with legal representation, or any other pertinent evidence.

Keep in mind that employers may view pending charges differently based on the nature of the offense and the requirements of the position you are applying for. Assess the relevance of the pending charges to the job and be prepared to explain how they will not impact your ability to perform the job duties effectively.

In some cases, it may be beneficial to address the pending charges proactively by discussing them during the interview process. This allows you to provide context and demonstrate your commitment to personal growth and rehabilitation. However, the timing and approach should be carefully considered and tailored to each specific situation.

Steps to take if Inaccurate Information is Being Reported

Take immediate action to rectify the situation. Incorrect information can have serious consequences for individuals, from missed job opportunities to damaged reputations. Here are some steps you can take to address inaccuracies in a background check:

  • Gather evidence: Start by collecting any supporting documentation that can prove the inaccuracies in the background check report. This may include court documents, police reports, or any other relevant paperwork that contradicts the information being reported.
  • Contact the background check company: Reach out to the background check company that conducted the report and inform them about the inaccuracies. Provide them with the evidence you have gathered and request that they investigate and correct the misinformation.
  • File a dispute: Many background check companies have a dispute resolution process in place. Follow their guidelines to file a formal dispute regarding the inaccurate information. Be sure to include all relevant details and provide copies of the evidence you have collected.
  • Reach out to the source: If the inaccurate information originated from a specific source, such as a court or law enforcement agency, contact them directly to address the issue. Provide them with the evidence you have gathered and request that they update their records accordingly.
  • Seek legal assistance if necessary: In some cases, the inaccuracies in a background check may require legal intervention. If your efforts to resolve the issue directly with the background check company or the source of the information are unsuccessful, consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in this area of law. They can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights.

FAQs about Pending Charges & Background Checks

Do pending charges show up on a background check in GA?

Yes, pending charges can appear on a background check in Georgia. Depending on the type of check, employers may be able to see the details of any charges that have been filed against you, even if they are still pending in court.

Do pending charges show up on a background check in Texas?

Yes, pending charges will show up on a background check in Texas. Depending on the type of search conducted, employers may be able to view the details of any charges that have been filed against you, regardless of their status.

What would cause a background check to be pending?

A background check can become pending if there is a delay in processing the information due to the complexity or volume of records being analyzed. This could occur due to the age of records, unverified information, or a lengthy database search.

Can an employer fire you for pending charges in Florida?

An employer cannot automatically fire an employee because of pending charges in Florida; however, depending on the nature of the crime and its implications for the workplace, it may be grounds for dismissal. It is important to review your company’s policy regarding criminal background checks and determine what other action may be taken.

Do you have to tell your job you went to jail?

Generally speaking, you do not have to tell your employer that you’ve gone to jail unless it is specifically stated in your contract. In some cases, however, it may be beneficial to inform your employer if your conviction is related to the job duties you’re performing.

What is the 7-year background check in Florida?

The 7-year background check in Florida refers to a criminal history search for arrests, convictions, and other criminal records over a period of seven years. Employers may elect to use this extended search window when conducting background checks on potential hires.

Do pending charges count?

Pending charges are typically counted as part of a criminal history search and can influence the outcome of a background check. However, since these charges have not yet been proven in court, employers may not take as serious action against an applicant with pending charges as they would if the charges had been adjudicated.

Will an employment background check reveal jobs not disclosed?

Yes, an employment background check can reveal jobs not disclosed. Depending on the scope of the search, employers can find out if a potential hire has held positions in different cities or states that were not mentioned on their application or resume.

How long is a DISA background check good for?

A DISA background check is valid for up to five years from the date of issue. After this time period has elapsed, another background investigation must be conducted before a security clearance can be granted.

Do pending charges go away?

Pending charges can stay on your record until they are resolved by the court system; however, some jurisdictions may have statutes of limitations that limit how long certain types of charges can remain pending.

What does “pending background” mean?

“Pending background” generally refers to a period of waiting while an employer reviews and verifies the information provided by an applicant during a background check process. During this period, employers may contact references and investigate any relevant public records before deciding whether or not to move forward with hiring the individual.

How long can a felony charge be pending in GA?

Generally speaking, felony charges in Georgia can remain pending indefinitely until they are resolved by the court system; however, state law does impose a maximum four-year statute of limitations for most types of felony offenses.

How do you tell your job you went to jail?

Telling an employer about any criminal convictions should be done with caution and only when absolutely necessary. It is best practice to first consult with an attorney before disclosing any information about past convictions in order to ensure your rights are protected.

How do you tell your job you’re going to jail?

As with telling an employer about past convictions, informing them that you are going to jail should always be done with caution and after consulting with legal counsel. It is recommended that any disclosure made should include written documentation that outlines what will happen while you are away from work and when you expect to return.

What to do with an employee that goes to jail?

If an employee informs their employer that they are going to jail due to criminal convictions, it is important for employers to understand their rights and responsibilities under applicable laws. If appropriate, employers may terminate an employee upon learning of a criminal conviction without fear of repercussions; however, it is likely best practice to first review all pertinent laws and regulations prior to making such decisions.


The goal of a background check is to gather relevant information about an individual’s past to make informed decisions. Understanding the nuances of pending charges and their potential inclusion in background checks can help both individuals and organizations navigate this process effectively and fairly.

We hope you found our blog post on decoding background checks informative and helpful. One common question that often arises when it comes to background checks is whether pending charges appear. In this article, we have provided you with a comprehensive understanding of how background checks work, including whether pending charges are included in the report.

Remember, each background check provider may have different policies, so it’s essential to do your research and be prepared. We hope this article has given you the knowledge and confidence to navigate the world of background checks effectively. Stay informed, and stay empowered!

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