September 28, 2020

Will Traffic Tickets Show Up On a Background Check?

It has become increasingly common for employers and landlords to run background checks on new hires or potential tenants to ensure that an individual is trustworthy. If a background check turns up something negative about you, such as violations of the law, your prospective landlord or employer may reject you.

Perhaps you have incurred citations for moving violations in the past and decided to pay the fine rather than hiring a traffic ticket lawyer Los Angeles. Now that you are looking for a new job and/or a new apartment, you may wonder if those citations could come back to haunt you through background checks and prevent you.

Unfortunately, the answer is not very straightforward. It depends on the type of background check conducted, as well as the seriousness of the violation.

Criminal Background Checks

Minor violations, such as speeding or running a red light, are infractions. Though still a violation of traffic regulations, an infraction is less serious than a misdemeanor. Such traffic offenses occur often, usually without any intention of breaking the law on the part of the driver. It is not worth the time and expense it would take to incarcerate people who have committed such relatively minor offenses. For these reasons, most citations of this type are not criminal but civil matters.

If a prospective employer or landlord runs a criminal background check on you, minor traffic citations, such as speeding, typically do not show up. However, a more serious offense, such as reckless driving or DUI, could result in criminal charges. Any traffic citations that are serious enough to be considered felonies, or even misdemeanors, may show up on a criminal background check. If currently facing such charges, you may want to consider hiring a Santa Ana auto accident lawyer to defend you at your criminal trial.

Driving Record Check

However, a criminal background check is not the only available option available to prospective employers or landlords. An employer may also run a check of your driving record. This is a complete record of your driving history, and any violations will show up on it, including infractions like tickets for speeding, etc.

Nevertheless, your driving record also provides context that indicates the seriousness of the offense and the persistence of the pattern, which may communicate what kind of person you are, whether for better or worse. For example, if you have only had a couple of speeding tickets several years apart, a prospective employer or landlord may conclude that you are a generally responsible driver who has had an occasional lapse in judgment. On the other hand, if you have a long history of frequent citations for similar offenses and/or unpaid fines, that could send a message to prospective employers or landlords that you are not reliable.

Keep Your Record Clear

Even if traffic violations do not prevent you from getting a job or finding an apartment, they can negatively effect you in other ways. Hiring a ticket lawyer Long Beach may help you to keep your record free from damaging information.

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