Do Expunged Records Show Up On Fingerprint Background Check?

David Weisselberger | November 11, 2023

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Will an Expunged Record Show Up on a Fingerprint Background Check?

background check in florida

When it comes to background checks, especially those involving fingerprints and FBI checks, the question: “Will an expunged record show up on a background check?” is a common concern. 

People who have undergone the process of expunging or sealing their criminal records in Florida frequently ponder whether their previous errors may resurface in the context of a background check.

This article explores the intricacies of expungement, finger printing background checks, and what you need to know to protect your privacy and prospects.

Want to remove your bad background check? See this guideline

Do Expunged Records Show On FBI Background Checks?

Expunged records can, in some cases, appear on FBI background checks, especially those conducted by law enforcement or certain government entities.. While expungement is meant to remove or restrict access to criminal records, the effectiveness of the process varies by jurisdiction. Here’s why:

  • Fingerprints are Physical Records: Your fingerprints are stored in law enforcement databases at the time of arrest. Expungement doesn’t erase these physical records.
  • Level of Background Check: Standard background checks might not reveal an expunged record. However, in-depth fingerprinting, like those done for certain jobs or licenses, can connect your fingerprints to a previous arrest, even if expunged.
  • Law Enforcement Access: Law enforcement agencies may still have access to expunged records for specific purposes, even if they don’t show up for employers.

FBI background checks, particularly those using Live Scan fingerprinting, are comprehensive and can uncover expunged records. However, legal protections may prevent employers from considering expunged convictions during hiring.

For more updated expungement law in Florida, read this: Florida New Expungement Law in 2024!

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Do Sealed Records Show On FBI Background Checks?

So, do sealed records show up on fingerprinting? Sealed records may also be visible on FBI background checks, primarily through Live Scan fingerprinting. Sealing is a legal process intended to restrict access to certain criminal records, but it doesn’t always guarantee complete confidentiality.

If you’re wondering, “Will a sealed record show up on an FBI check?” the answer is that like expunged records, sealed records can become accessible in particular circumstances, such as during applications for specific employment positions or security clearances.

Why Would You Get an FBI Fingerprint Check?

There are several reasons to undergo an FBI fingerprint check. These checks are commonly required for employment in law enforcement and security. Licensing in certain professions, immigration processes, adoption or foster care evaluations, reviewing one’s criminal record, and obtaining security clearances are other instances where an FBI fingerprint check may be necessary to assess an individual’s suitability or eligibility.

2 Different Types of Background Checks

types of background checks

There are two primary types of standard background checks- Social Security Number and fingerprint-based checks. 

Social Security Number (SSN) Checks:

Many employers hire third-party agencies for background checks, relying on personal data like your name, birth date, and SSN. It’s important to note that these agencies often access various resources, including court records and public and private criminal databases.

Fingerprint-Based Checks

These can be conducted using either ink fingerprinting or Live Scan fingerprinting. Live Scan is the preferred choice for its accuracy and widespread use.

1. Live Scan Fingerprinting

Live Scan captures your fingerprints electronically and submits them to government entities for a thorough background check. Unlike SSN-based checks, Live Scan checks are more comprehensive and can reveal even expunged records.

2. Coverage and Exceptions

Typically, live scans cover criminal convictions within the last seven years, except for certain law enforcement roles that may require a more in-depth review, such as a Level 2 FBI check.

The latter can expose all details on your record, including expunged records. This is particularly relevant for positions involving children or the elderly. Yet, if you’re wondering, “If my record is expunged will I pass a background check?” The answer is generally yes; an expunged record is likely to pass a background check.

3. Legal Protections and Disclosure

Employers are generally prohibited from asking about arrests that did not lead to convictions. Importantly, individuals are not obligated to disclose information about expunged records.

In California, specific labor codes, such as under the California Labor Code 437.2 (c), prevent employers from considering expunged convictions during the hiring application process.

4. Written Approval

Keep in mind that a background check is conducted only with the applicant’s written approval. Your permission is always required for an employer to initiate a background check on you.

5. Caution with Third-Party Agencies

While third-party agencies are commonly used, their reports may contain outdated or incorrect information. It’s advisable to exercise caution when choosing such agencies.

For the highest level of accuracy in your background check, consider turning directly to law enforcement agencies like the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI.

How Long Does It Take for an Expungement to Reflect on a Background Check?

The expungement process may take 5-8 months for some, while for others, it can take years. That’s why you must choose one that can expunge cases in 3-5 months, guaranteed and attested by 150+ Five Star Reviews.

How We Can Help Expunge Your Records in 3-5 Months?

If you choose our services, we will complete them in three to five months. It involves eligibility verification, filing petitions, background checks, and court resolutions. We can streamline the process and help ensure your record is cleared as efficiently as possible.


Will an expunged record appear on a Florida Level 2 background check?

The specifics of background checks can vary by state and jurisdiction. Consult with local authorities or legal experts in Florida for precise information.

Who can see my expunged record in Florida?

Typically, only certain law enforcement agencies and government entities can access expunged records, which are generally sealed from public view.  

Do I have to disclose an expunged record in Florida?

In most cases, you are not required to disclose expunged records to potential employers or other parties.

How long does it take for your record to clear after expungement in Florida?

The time it takes for an expungement to take effect can vary, but it is generally a relatively quick process, if you choose Erase the Case. Consult with local legal experts to expunge your case now. 

How far back does Florida’s background check go?

The scope of background checks in Florida can vary, but typically, they include criminal convictions and may go back several years, depending on the type of check and the purpose.

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David Weisselberger
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"David Weisselberger is the founder of Erase The Case. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Florida, & also his Juris Doctor from UM School of Law. Afterwards, He has been working as a former Miami-Dade County Assistant Public Defender. Also, as a solo lawyer and former associate at South Florida’s honored Saban & Solomon Law Firm. He has learned firsthand the effects people face from having a public criminal arrest record mark their lives. Therefore, David has always been working hard to help people get rid of haunting crimnal past and have a second chance in life"

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