A wild guess--and a suggestion.
Have you checked the records at the local courthouse in the county in which the "offense" actually happened? It is possible that indeed you have the offense on your record (you should know that if you made a court appearance and entered a plea) but the record didn't propagate through the system, or you were given some form of deferred adjudication--like stay out of trouble for 6 months and it goes away.
Originally Posted by tamworth
I don't think I would be comfortable relying on a background check to reveal (magically) what I should or should not reveal on a job application.
You were either arrested or you weren't.
You were either charged or you weren't.
If you entered a plea someone made a judgment and assessed a fine or some other form of punishment. You know if that happened.
If you are uncertain what actually happened, maybe you should ask a criminal attorney who practices in the courthouse (county) where the event happened to get you a definitive answer.
It is possible you have been shooting yourself in the foot all these years because something you thought happened didn't.
It is possible you completely misunderstood the proceedings.
It is possible that you have a record--which you could still get expunged-- but which for any number of reasons is not showing up in background checks.
I would not concern myself with being accused of lying on a job application because you previously incorrectly stated you had an arrest or conviction. Stuff happens, mistakes get made on paperwork. That is nothing if in fact you are telling the truth on recent applications when you say there was no arrest or you say that there was no conviction.
And BTW, the two are different issues. Lots of folks get arrested and never have convictions. Pay careful attention to the exact wording of questions on job applications and answer appropriately, and explain if necessary.
And also, while we all want to honest, and you should never mislead an employer (not that doing so is criminal unless the questions are asked under oath as when the employer is government in some form,) there are ways to present things in a beneficial and positive manner.
P.S. One of our frequent participants here had quite an interesting experience in Arkansas, yet when records were sought out, no one knew nothing. I sure would like to hear the rest of that story if he would post it.