Will a Probation Warrant Show Up on a Background Check? (Check Yours)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | May 29, 2024

Police officer with his hands on his hips stand beside a judge with a gavel on the right while a man in a yellow shirt looks to the left at a large background check that include probation warrants and wonders will a probation warrant show up on a background check for employment or other screening.

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Before applying for a new job, some people wonder, will a probation warrant show up on a background check?

Generally, warrants do appear on background checks, but only in certain types. And, depending on the type of background check and the kind of warrant issued, it may not show up at all.

The key is to check your background check before a potential employer (or other agency does) to find out if warrants are included on background check reports.

Anyone can do a state search, like a warrant search in California, but it’s much easier to check all the states at once if possible.

Do Warrants Show Up on Background Checks? Find Out Now

Warrants in background checks do not follow set standards. There is a high probability that a warrant will emerge on a criminal background check. However, the warrant will definitely appear if the check involves a civil history background check. As a result, it’s hard to answer the question, will a probation warrant show up on a background check?

Understanding how to obtain a criminal history check is the first step.

Additionally, there are specific checks that could reveal warrants. A background check must look into court records that are publicly accessible for a warrant to show. Most employment background checks cover criminal records. Therefore, there is a high chance of getting the job even with a warrant, as long as it doesn’t lead to a conviction.

If a case is adjudicated or a warrant is recalled, then it will likely not come up during a background check. Learn more about deferred adjudication being included on background investigations by checking your state’s laws.

“I’m on Probation. Will It Show Up on a Background Check?”

Will probation show up on background checks and can you have a favorable report even with a warrant? Probation is a gray area in an employment background check. Most employers will want to know if a person is on probation because this could reflect on a person’s character, making them dishonest, unreliable, or disruptive in the office. Even though some employers will still consider someone on probation, they want to have this information so that they can make an informed decision.

The most common type of background check in the US is a pre-employment background check which pulls information from court records as well as federal and state databases. Unless a judge orders the record to be sealed or expunged, a probation record will likely appear during a criminal background screening. The probation record ends up among court documents that are accessible to the public, which is why they may come up.

As such, it’s essential to learn how to determine whether someone is on probation so that you can check your status. Probation will impact a person’s eligibility for certain positions. Therefore, an applicant should run a background check on themselves to know where they stand in their background check.

During a criminal background check, two types of probation could appear: supervised or unsupervised.

Supervised Probation: In this probation, the court releases the defendant into the community, but a probation officer supervises them for approximately one, two, three years. This probation is facilitated by meeting regularly with a probation officer. Supervised probation appears on a criminal background check and may prevent an applicant from holding a license or getting a job.

Unsupervised probation occurs when a defendant is convicted of a crime; however, unlike supervised probation, he will not have to meet a probation officer or receive jail time.1 Unsupervised probation depends on self-reporting and periodic drug tests to meet the probation criteria. This type of probation will not appear on a background check; therefore, a person can get a job or apply for a license.

The likelihood of probation appearing on a background check report depends chiefly on the type of conviction, jurisdiction, and legal restrictions under which the background check will be conducted. It’s better to conduct a self-background check to tackle whatever comes up.

Types of Background Checks: If I Have a Warrant, Will It Show on My Background Check?

As mentioned, whether or not a warrant appears in a background check depends mainly on the type of background check.

There are three background checks available in the US. They include:

1. Will a Probation Warrant Show Up on a Background Check: Local Level

Level 1 Background Check: This background check is not as comprehensive as the rest. It’s a name-based check which searches for information based on the local jurisdiction. This check may reveal an arrest warrant within the local jurisdiction though this is highly unlikely.

2. Federal Level

Level 2 Background Check: this is more in-depth as it involves a fingerprint screening. This screening involves searching through national criminal databases. Civil and bench warrants will appear if the background check investigates court records. For example:

  1. The pre-condition for getting a position that involves taking care of a vulnerable population (Elderly, children, etc.) is that an applicant should not be on probation.
  2. A level 2 check for a bank teller position will reveal a financial-related warrant.

Level 3 background check: Like level 2, a level 3 check examines national criminal databases. This check requires cross-referencing with other criminal resources; therefore, an arrest, bench, and probation warrant will definitely appear.

Level 4 background check: This check is usually used for individuals who want to take up corporate positions at the chief officer level. On top of the three warrants mentioned in level three, a civil warrant will also appear during a level 4 background check because it involves a civil court search.

3. FBI Background Check

Anyone applying for a government position must undergo an FBI background screening. Sometimes, this check is conducted for positions requiring enhanced security procedures. This type of background check is highly intense. Will a probation warrant show up in this background check?

All forms of warrants, including probation warrants, will appear in this check.

Will an Old Warrant Show on Background Check?

Yes. An old warrant will show up on a background check because it will be part of a person’s criminal record. The criminal record will indicate when a person was convicted and arrested, including the warrant issued by the judge for the arrest.2 An old warrant will appear on a level 1 check if it’s within the jurisdiction of where the screening is run. The old warrant will appear in all the other forms of background checks.

Will a Bench Warrant Show Up on Pre Employment Background Check?

If an employer runs a federal or FBI background check, a bench warrant will likely appear. A bench warrant is part of the court records available to the public and is often viewed during these checks.

Will a probation warrant show up in a standard employment background check? A standard employment background check focuses on a person’s criminal records rather than court records. Therefore, a probation warrant is unlikely to come up in a standard employment background check.

Some industries have sensitive positions requiring special background checks, particularly jobs involving vital company information or government operations.

It goes without saying that some of the most massive background-checking operations focus on healthcare workers. Anyone taking care of a vulnerable population will have all their history turned over, and a warrant cannot slip through the cracks.

Besides healthcare workers, finance and tech workers also have a hard time with background checks. These positions require looking at civil and court records nationwide; therefore, a warrant will definitely appear when the affected party is applying for this position. The screening behind these positions goes as far as terrorist searches.

Can a Bench Warrant Show Up on Background Check?

This issue is quite complicated. A bench warrant will not come into view on a criminal background screening. As a result, if an employer is only looking into an applicant’s criminal history, then a bench warrant will not appear. However, the bench warrant will appear if the background check involves examining civil history or court records.

For a warrant to appear, the background check should involve publicly covering accessible court records. Most background checks focus solely on criminal records, which is why warrants do not appear. More so, if it’s just an ordinary day job that does not require taking care of sensitive information or a vulnerable population, then whether a warrant appears will not matter to an employer, especially if it doesn’t lead to a conviction.

Will a Felony Warrant Show Up on a Background Check for Work?

A felony warrant falls under arrest warrants. The judge will issue a felony warrant to authorize the arrest and apprehension of a person whom an officer suspects has committed a felony crime. The judge considers the evidence provided by law enforcement officials before issuing a warrant, including the accused’s name and a signed affidavit of the crime.

Since a felony warrant is a type of arrest warrant, it will show up in a federal or FBI background check. These types of warrants may lead to forcible arrests, so you must run a background check on yourself. A concerned party should visit the court clerk’s office to view official court records if they want to know about their felony warrants.

The local courthouse (jurisdiction where the suspect committed the crime) holds the right of disclosure. Therefore the court house can provide the public with information on outstanding felony warrant records at the court clerk’s discretion. The paperwork related to the warrant is available to the public at a fee.

Types of Warrants: If You Have a Warrant, Will It Show Up on a Background Check?

There are several different types of warrants out there, and it’s important to learn the consequences of each warrant since, from a legal standpoint, they are not the same. These warrants include:

1. Probation Warrant

Most people prefer probation over jail time. Even so, probation has a lot of rules and conditions that, when violated, will lead to the issuance of a probation warrant for the affected individual’s arrest. A violation of probation occurs in three ways:

  • Special violation where the individual does not complete any probation conditions, such as having no contact with the victim
  • Substantive violation: which is issued when the person has committed another crime
  • Technical violation where the individual does not meet the conditions of the probation, such as failing to pay restitution or a fine.

A probation warrant refers to a court order by a judge that authorizes law enforcement officers to locate, arrest, and take a person to jail. The judge signs the order if the individual has allegedly violated their probation.3 For example, if a probation officer provides an affidavit that the individual has allegedly committed some probation violation, the judge will sign a probation warrant.

Sometimes, the probation officer will tell the individual that a judge has issued a probation officer. In most cases, however, the warrant will catch the person off guard, only learning about it when they get arrested. Will a probation warrant show up on a background check? An arrest warrant for violating probation is similar to any other one and will most likely appear on a criminal background check.

2. Bench Warrant

A judge issues a bench warrant when a person violates the court rules. Most bench warrants result from a defendant failing to show up. Once the judge issues a bench warrant, the police will treat it like an arrest warrant and locate and bring the defendant in front of a judge.

Bench warrants may or may not appear on a background check. Sometimes the judge issues a bench warrant when the case is still passing through the adjudication process. Judges issue bench warrants for a variety of reasons. The long and short of it is that if the case is pending, then it is highly likely that the background check will reveal the warrant’s current status. Bear in mind that some background checks specifically look into issuances of bench warrants.

3. Criminal/Arrest Warrant

The police officer is the first to initiate an arrest warrant process. First, the officer files a statement with a judge to explain why they believe the named person has committed a crime (probable cause declaration). Then the judge signs the arrest warrant at their discretion. Criminal warrants may or may not show up in a background check, but this depends highly on the type of screen and jurisdiction. States have different rules that prohibit or allow access to criminal warrant records.

4. Civil Warrant

When a person fails to follow an order made by the court, the judge will issue a civil warrant. The most common reason for issuing a civil warrant in the US is a parent failing to pay child support. Since civil warrants are part of court records, they can show up in a background check. However, a standard criminal record check will not reveal a civil warrant because it isn’t criminal in nature.

5. Traffic Warrant

Courts issue traffic warrants due to unpaid tickets for violating a traffic law or failing to appear in court. Traffic warrants are under bench warrants; therefore, there is a high chance that they may appear on background checks. However, in general, they are not revealed on standard background checks.

Type of WarrantWhat Background Check Will Show It
Bench WarrantLevel 3, level 4, and FBI background checks
Arrest WarrantLevel 2, 3, 4, and FBI background check
Felony WarrantLevel 2, 3, 4, and FBI background check
Probation WarrantLevel 2, 3, 4, and FBI background check
Civil Warrantlevel 4, and FBI background checks
Traffic WarrantLevel 3, level 4, and FBI background checks

Which Background Checks Show Warrants From Other States?

This solely depends on the type of background check and the person conducting the screening. For instance, when law enforcement officers conduct a search for warrants, they will use multiple systems to examine if there are other outstanding warrants. For example, if a person has a bench or arrest warrant from Maryland, then this will appear on a warrant check conducted by a Maryland police officer.

Moreover, police databases are connected to the interstate system used to report warrants. As such, a warrant record from another state will definitely show up in this check. In most cases, law enforcement officers arrest a defendant using an out-of-state warrant and hold them until they are extradited by the court.4 As such, state or local police can arrest an individual with a warrant from another state.

On the other hand, if someone other than a government agency or police officer runs a search for outstanding out-of-state warrants, they will most likely not appear. A criminal record will consist of a warrant that has been issued and carried out. There will be an entry for arrest and conviction for a person who has gone through the process.

If it’s an outstanding warrant, it will not be part of the defendant’s criminal record. Rather, it would be part of the person’s court record from when the judge approved the arrest or bench warrant. These records are often harder to find, and some background checks do not look for them.

For a background screening to find a criminal record or warrant from another state, they will have to run a background check of the records of that state. Therefore, a level 1 or local background check will not show warrants from another state. Background checks that involve looming into the federal records, such as FBI or Federal background checks, may reveal arrest warrants from other states.

Knowing the facts about will a probation warrant show up on a background check can help anyone who is undergoing a screening.

Frequently Asked Questions About Will a Probation Warrant Show Up on a Background Check?

Can a Warrant Impact Employment Screening?

This depends on the type of screening and job position. A warrant will affect employment screening only if the employer runs a federal or FBI background check.

Do Pending Court Cases Show Up on Background Checks?

Yes. If the background check involves looking into a person’s court records.

Can You Get a Job With a Bench Warrant Out?

Yes. Unless you work in healthcare, tech, or IT, bench warrants generally do not affect a hiring manager’s decision on whether or not you get the job.

Can a Child Support Warrant Show Up on a Background Check?

Yes. A civil warrant will appear in a level 4 or FBI background check.

Can You Pass a Background Check With a Warrant Out on You?

Yes. Since a warrant does not mean a person has been convicted of a crime, it will not impact a hiring manager’s decision on whether an applicant gets the job or not.

Will a Warrant Show Up on a Job Background Check? (Will a Warrant Show Up on a Background Check for a Job?)

Sometimes a warrant will show up on a job background check, depending on the type of check that is run and the type of job.

If I'm on Probation Will It Show Up on a Background Check? (Will Probation Show Up on a Background Check?)

Probation can show up on a background check, as it relates to the conviction. But, like all records, there is usually a time period that dictates how long probation can show up.

Do Warrants Show Up on a Background Check?

Depending on the type of background check, a warrant can show up.


1Gabriel, B. (November 11, 2020). Do Arrest Warrants Show Up On Background Checks? Law Office Of Gabriel & Gabriel. Retrieved on July 30, 2022. From <https://www.gabriellawteam.com/do-arrest-warrants-show-up-on-background-checks/>

2Howells, M. (July 07, 2022). What Is A Felony Warrant? MyLawQuestions. Retrieved on July 30, 2022. From <https://www.mylawquestions.com/what-is-a-felony-warrant.htm>

3Do Warrants Show Up On Your Background Check? Nd. Checkr. Retrieved on July 30, 2022. From <https://checkr.com/blog/warrants-show-up-on-background-check>

4Probation Warrant In Georgia. Nd. Yeargan & Kert LLC. Retrieved on July 30, 2022. From <https://www.atlantaduilawyer.com/criminal-defense/probation-warrant/>

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