How Long Does It Take for a Pending Charge to Show Up on a Background Check?

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | October 24, 2022

Man holding a magnifying glass toward a background check on a large computer screen watches as an officer carries a pending charge document and while he looks at a calendar on the left, wonders how long does it take for a pending charge to show up on a background check.

How long does it take for a pending charge to show up on a background check? Unfortunately, for most offenses, pending charges will begin showing up on a background check as soon as the charges are filed.

But, there are some conditions.

It often depends on how quickly the charges are entered into criminal records systems.

Luckily, there are a few options available to minimize the impact of a pending charge as well as know for certain what is going to show up on a background check.

First, use a free background check search to quickly perform a public records search on yourself to see if there are any pending changes. Then, use this comprehensive guide to help remove charges from your record and get them dropped.

Do Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check?

Many people wonder, do pending charges show up on a background check? Pending charges will show up on most pre-employment background checks these days.

Most private employers will hire a third-party background check service to perform background check investigations on applicants. These companies rely on public information to complete these searches and in most cases will run the name of the applicant through dozens of different databases to find all possible information on them.

One of the main databases that these companies check are court databases using the address information given by the applicant. This gives the background check investigator access to any public court documents that have the applicant’s name on them. This will include all criminal history information including arrests, charges, pending charges, and convictions.

Related Reading: How Far Back Does a Criminal Background Check Go?

How Long Does It Take for a Pending Charge to Show Up on a Background Check?

But, how long does it take for a pending charge to show up on a background check? The court databases that background check investigators rely on are updated on every business day so the information is as accurate as possible.

Realistically, it will take only a few hours after charges have been filed before they will appear in a background check. But, it could take longer.

How To Find Out if There Are Pending Charges Against Me for Free

In order to deal with the charges that may appear on a person’s record, preparedness is key. The first thing that you need to ask yourself is how to find out if there are pending charges against me for free. The best way to find out about pending charges against you is to perform a background check on yourself.

This can be done using the search bar at the top of this page, which will perform a public record search using an individual’s name for free. Other options are available for a background check that carry a fee. Individuals can hire a private background check service to perform the check.

Screenshot of North Carolina Judicial Branch website page for background check with yellow arrow pointing to how to do criminal background check on yourself.

Most states and counties offer online platforms that allow individuals to search to see if there are any pending charges against them.

Or those interested in the most thorough check possible can perform a federal background check on themselves, by paying the FBI to perform an identity history summary check.1

How To Get Charges Dropped Before Court Date

Being charged is among the most difficult circumstances a person may experience. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to get charges dropped before court date.

One of the best possible scenarios when facing criminal charges is if the charges are dropped early on in the process. When charges are dropped the criminal proceedings come to an end and the individual is able to walk away without any convictions on their criminal record.

However, getting charges dropped is not always possible and will usually rely on circumstances outside the control of the individual. Charges can be dropped for a variety of reasons, most often they will be dropped due to insufficient evidence or procedural issues with the investigation or arrest.

In some cases, an individual may be a suspect in a case which will result in charges being brought against them. However, sometimes law enforcement will file charges before enough evidence has been gathered. In this case, an attorney may make the case to a judge that there is not enough evidence to charge the individual and ask for the charges to be dropped.

Besides insufficient evidence, procedural issues can also cause charges to be dropped. Things like charges that were the result of an illegal search, or an arrest being made where the individual was not made aware of their rights are both causes to get charges dropped.

Keep in mind that just because charges were dropped does not mean they will not be filed again. This is often the case when law enforcement is forced to drop charges due to a lack of evidence, only to uncover more evidence in the subsequent days or weeks. However, getting the charges dropped is still worthwhile as it will give the individual’s legal counsel more time to prepare.

Can Charges Be Dropped After Arraignment?

Charges can be dropped at any stage in criminal proceedings if there is sufficient reason for the charges to be dropped. Most of the reasons that charges can be dropped will become evident fairly early on in the process, so the majority of dropped charges will be dropped before or during the arraignment hearing. This is partly due to the fact that this will be the individual’s first time appearing in front of a judge and their attorney may make the case that the charges should be dropped to the judge.

As far as charges being dropped later in the process, this is fairly rare since law enforcement will likely have a fairly tight case later in the process. However, sometimes new evidence will come to light that exonerates the individual completely.

How To Look Up Charges on Someone

The desire to learn more about others may not be a bad thing. Learning how to look up charges on someone can be very helpful in deciding whether you want a connection with that person. The best way to look up charges on someone is to perform a background check on the individual using one of the methods discussed above.

Screenshot of New York Court website page for court proceedings with yellow arrow pointing to how to search court records online in New York.

Most states, like New York, offer a central location to find court records, including pending charges, usually through the state’s Justice Department website.

Besides performing a background check, if the court where the individual was charged is known, it is possible to go directly to the court with the individual’s name to make a records request.

Find Out if Criminal Charges Are Filed (How Long Does It Take for a Pending Charge To Show Up on a Background Check?)

If you are the subject of criminal accusations, knowing how to find out if criminal charges are filed is vital. Individuals with charges filed against them will be notified by mail or in person by an individual who will deliver the criminal summons.

If neither of these has occurred and individuals still believe there may have been charges filed, then the best things to do are run a background check on yourself or contact an attorney who can find out for you.

How To Get a Job With Pending Charges

Getting a job with pending charges against you can be difficult but not impossible. The best thing individuals can do to increase their chances is to be honest with the hiring manager and have a response ready that discusses the circumstances of the situation.

How Long Does a Background Check Take?

Many people wondering: How long does it take for a pending charge to show up on a background check? May be considering performing a check on themselves to check for charges but will be concerned about how long it takes.

Although pre-employment background checks take a few days to complete, most online background checks will be completed in a matter of minutes.

What States Prohibit Pending Charges on a Background Check?

While the FCRA currently limits charges without a conviction from appearing on a background check after 7 years,2 this is the only federal law on the matter, so some states have adopted their own laws.

Unfortunately, very few states have enacted laws that prevent non-conviction information such as pending charges from appearing on a background check.3

Screenshot of Kentucky Court of Justice website page for background checks with yellow arrow on what shows up on background check in Kentucky.

Kentucky background check reports will not show pending charges.

In the vast majority of states there are few, if any, restrictions on what shows up on a background check.

Use the table below to find information about non-conviction information such as pending charges appearing on a background check.

 

StatesWill Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check?
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Alabama?Alabama – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Alaska?Alaska – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Arizona?Arizona – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Arkansas?Arkansas – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in California?California – No, only conviction information allowed on background checks.
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Colorado?Colorado – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Connecticut?Connecticut – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Delaware?Delaware – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Florida?Florida – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Georgia?Georgia – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Hawaii?Hawaii – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Idaho?Idaho – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Illinois?Illinois – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Indiana?Indiana – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Iowa?Iowa – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Kansas?Kansas – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Kentucky?Kentucky – No, only conviction information allowed on background checks.
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Louisiana?Louisiana – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Maine?Maine – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Maryland?Maryland – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Massachusetts?Massachusetts – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Michigan?Michigan – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Minnesota?Minnesota – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Mississippi?Mississippi – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Missouri?Missouri – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Montana?Montana – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Nebraska?Nebraska – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Nevada?Nevada – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in New Hampshire?New Hampshire – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in New Jersey?New Jersey – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in New Mexico?New Mexico – Only conviction information allowed on background checks
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in New York?New York – Only conviction information allowed on background checks
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in North Carolina?North Carolina – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in North Dakota?North Dakota – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Ohio?Ohio – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Oklahoma?Oklahoma – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Oregon?Oregon – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Pennsylvania?Pennsylvania – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Rhode Island?Rhode Island – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in South Carolina?South Carolina – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in South Dakota?South Dakota – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Tennessee?Tennessee – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Texas?Texas – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Utah?Utah – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Vermont?Vermont – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Virginia?Virginia – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Washington?Washington – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in West Virginia?West Virginia – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Wisconsin?Wisconsin – Yes
Will Pending Charges Show Up on a Background Check in Wyoming?Wyoming – Yes

Do Dismissed Charges Show Up on a Background Check?

It’s a question that many people have: Do dismissed charges show up on a background check? Dismissed charges will show up on background checks in most states.

However, many of these states will also make it fairly easy to get these dismissed charges sealed after a certain amount of time has passed.

Can You Get a Job With a Pending Misdemeanor Charge?

It is possible to get a job with a pending misdemeanor charge or even a misdemeanor conviction. Most individuals ask: How long does it take for a pending charge to show up on a background check? Are concerned because they are applying for a job and are worried about how it will affect their chances.

Unless the pending charge is for a serious misdemeanor, such as violent misdemeanor, most employers will be able to overlook the pending charge.

Related Reading: Will I Pass A Background Check With A Misdemeanor? Maybe.

The best thing to do is to be honest and upfront about the charges. Explaining the circumstances will be most individuals’ best chance of getting an employer to overlook the charges. However, some employers will have policies against these hires, in which case there are is little that can be done.

How To Get Rid of Pending Criminal Charges

Individuals wanting to get rid of pending charges should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to go over the unique facts of the case and determine the best plan of action.

Screenshot of California Courts website page for criminal law with yellow arrow pointing to links to practicing attorneys and public defenders in California.

Almost every state offers free resources and help for cleaning your criminal record.

In some cases this may be to try and get the charges dropped or to work out a plea deal to get the charges off the individual’s record in exchange for community service or something similar.

Having pending charges against you may feel like a burden that will make it impossible to get a job but this is not always the case. Individuals wondering “how long does it take for a pending charge to show up on a background check?” should perform a check on themselves to take away any guesswork and prepare for any upcoming interviews with this information in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Does It Take for a Pending Charge To Show Up on a Background Check?

How To Check for Charges Against Me?

Individuals can check for charges against them by performing a background check on themselves or contacting the county court clerk and making a records request.

Will a Pending Misdemeanor Show on a Background Check?

Pending charges of any kind are likely to show up on most background checks. Since most checks rely on online court databases, this information will be available shortly after the charges are filed.

Do Arrests Show Up on a Background Check or Just Convictions?

Arrest information, charges and convictions will show up on most background checks unless a state law specifically prohibits this information.

Do Arrests Without Conviction Show Up on Background Check?

People are interested to know, do arrests without conviction show up on background check? In most states arrests and charges will show up regardless of whether there was a conviction or not, but some states have specific laws that allow individuals to easily seal non-conviction records.

How To Check Pending Criminal Charges?

Individuals can check for pending criminal charges by performing a background check on themselves, searching court databases, or contacting an attorney to check on their behalf.

Can Charges Be Dropped After Indictment?

There are a lot of questions that come to mind for someone who is charged with a crime and one of them is “Can charges be dropped after indictment?”. Charges can be dropped at any time in the process if there is sufficient reason for the charges to be dropped.

How Long Does It Take for a Pending Charge To Show Up on a Background Check?

Pending charges will show up on a background check almost immediately since they are entered into an online database that is used by background check agencies.


References

1Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016, May 03). Identity History Summary Checks. Identity History Summary Checks (Rap Sheets). Retrieved 2022, from <https://www.fbi.gov/how-we-can-help-you/need-an-fbi-service-or-more-information/identity-history-summary-checks>

2Federal Trade Commission. (2013, July 19). Fair Credit Reporting Act. Statutes- Fair Credit Reporting Act. Retrieved 2022, from <https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/statutes/fair-credit-reporting-act>

3Kentucky Court of Justice. (2022). Background Checks. Kentucky Background Checks. Retrieved 2022, from <https://kycourts.gov/AOC/Information-and-Technology/Pages/Background-Checks.aspx>

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