“It’s coming back,” said Virginia Senator Joe Manchin Tuesday about his bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales, a bill which failed to pass on its first run through the Senate last month. [more]
Background Report Mistake Still on Record after Three Decades
Denver, Colorado – A Denver resident was pulled over and was mistaken for a murder homicide suspect from Michigan, almost four decades ago back in 1975 in Commerce City. He sat in a county jail for 5 days and was later released and was never charged with any crime.
Decades later, James White, has forgotten about the incident, but his criminal background check records never forgot. For years, Mr. White has been denied by lenders, landlords, and employers, and rarely received any call backs, because they only saw one word in his background check report – Homicide.
He only discovered this mistake on his report when a landlord talked to him and explained why he couldn’t rent out an apartment to him. He was shocked to learn what was on his report and what people who have viewed his report had been seeing.
White has had very bad luck in looking for jobs in the past years and has also had trouble finding a place to rent. “I never murdered anybody” White said. He’s not sure how much of his misfortune can be traced back to that incident back in 1975.
Landlords, lenders and employers regularly run background checks on any applicants to check whether or not they pass their qualifications. They use background checking services which keep records of arrests, charges and convictions and can be searched by the public for a small fee.
When White learned of his record, he convinced authorities to add a disposition line noting that no formal charges were filed. Usually when a person wants a record to be removed from their background check report, they would need to request the court to seal the said records, but this would require the use of lawyers and will take a lot of time and money.
This situations shows the need for people to know what is on their background check reports, as mistakes and errors do occur. Sometimes through mistaken identity or identity theft, which is rampant in the United States. There’s a very real possibility that someone might have stolen your identity. This does happen, and they use your name and information, and if they’re arrested, it might show up on your record.