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  • Canonite
  • Expert Waygook

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Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« on: November 04, 2013, 10:23:29 am »
Hi everyone,

A friend of mine from the States is considering teaching in Korea...however, she got into a bit of a brush with The Law nearly 10 years ago. She was charged and detained, but never convicted.

Is that an automatic disqualification from teaching in Korea, or does she still have a chance?

Thanks,
T
*click*


Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 10:27:58 am »
The general consensus seems to be no.

If anything comes up on the report she will not be given an offer. Lots of applicants means no flexibility.

Personal experience, in 3+ years and 400+ NETs I have never had one in my POE with anything other than a unblemished background check. This is with public schools.

I can't speak to Hagwons, but again general consensus seems to be no.


Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 10:32:32 am »
This kind of thread pops up every once in a while.  There's always somebody claiming to know somebody who got a hagwon job with a minor blemish on the background check.  It's up to immigration and the individual hagwon.  (Public schools are an automatic 'no').

Though, now that hagwons must submit background checks of employees to the local Office of Education, this might have changed.  I don't know how the Office of Education would accept it.  Also, I don't think you need a background check for the Office of Education if you're only teaching adults.
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.


Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 12:09:14 pm »
She could order the FBI background check. If it says "no records found" then should be good to go. I dunno what threshold a crime has to reach before going on the background check report thingy. (aka CBC)
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  • Canonite
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Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 08:45:18 am »
Awesome, thanks everyone.
*click*


Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 09:01:42 am »
The way the FBI bg check works is searching for fingerprint records, which you would normally only have in the system if they were reported by a local law enforcement entity like a State police or Sheriff's office.

Not *all* arrests are necessarily reported to the Federal database, but chances are they will be. I have an alcohol citation from years ago in college, but no arrests, so my check was fine, but when you get taken downtown and fingerprinted, I think you're probably out of luck as far as trying to get an E-2.


  • nimrand
  • Super Waygook

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Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 09:13:37 am »
I know a fair bit about how this works because I wrote software for the systems that maintain and report criminal background check information to the FBI for the state of Kansas.  There's a lot of rules for what will and will not show up on a background check.

If it was a misdemeanor, it should not show up on a Federal Background Check.  These are not reported to the FBI.  Arrests, even if no convictions resulted, will usually show up on the background check if its for any crime more serious than a misdemeanor.  However, non-convictions often CAN be expunged (or at least sealed), especially a non-conviction that is that old.   Expunged cases are purged from the system, and so cannot show up in the background check report (there are some rare exceptions to this, but I really can't get into details).  Each state works a little differently, but I believe you usually you have to set up a court hearing so you can plead to the judge why your case should be expunged (a good lawyer is a huge help here).  How difficult getting the case expunged will likely depend greatly upon the nature and circumstances of the arrest.  If it turns out the arrest shows up on the background check, I'd speak with a lawyer or call the court house records department and find out about the possibility of getting it expunged.

* Disclaimer: This post should not be construed as providing legal advice of any kind.


  • unclefrank
  • Super Waygook

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Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 09:34:34 am »
The way the FBI bg check works is searching for fingerprint records, which you would normally only have in the system if they were reported by a local law enforcement entity like a State police or Sheriff's office.

Not *all* arrests are necessarily reported to the Federal database, but chances are they will be. I have an alcohol citation from years ago in college, but no arrests, so my check was fine, but when you get taken downtown and fingerprinted, I think you're probably out of luck as far as trying to get an E-2.

Same as. Was on probation for a year due to underage drinking, but never got fingerprinted. Nothing came back on any of my background checks.


Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 10:13:26 am »
Fingerprinting means nothing. 

I was arrested once, fingerprinted, and photographed, and yet still have two clean FBI background checks ordered two years apart.  It's not about "falling through the cracks" or any such nonsense.  It all depends upon what level of crime your state and its legislature reports to the FBI NCIC.  Some states report all activity, while others limit their reports to specific levels of offenses.  My state, Texas, for example, only sends reports of Class B misdemeanors or higher to the FBI NCIC, and the Texas state legislature is the body which determines what constitutes what level of offense. 

Your friend's best course of action is to investigate what the laws are in his/her home state and what  rimes their state does or doesn't report to the FBI NCIC. 


  • Space
  • The Legend

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Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 10:28:07 am »
She could order the FBI background check. If it says "no records found" then should be good to go. I dunno what threshold a crime has to reach before going on the background check report thingy. (aka CBC)

Yeah, why doesn't she check herself. I reckon it will be clean.

I know in the UK, you can be arrested, fingerprinted, and put on file, but unless there is a conviction in court there will be no record of the arrest and the criminal record check will be clean. I don't see why this would be different in the U.S.... innocent until proved guilty and all that.


  • nimrand
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Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2013, 12:25:34 pm »
She could order the FBI background check. If it says "no records found" then should be good to go. I dunno what threshold a crime has to reach before going on the background check report thingy. (aka CBC)

Yeah, why doesn't she check herself. I reckon it will be clean.

I know in the UK, you can be arrested, fingerprinted, and put on file, but unless there is a conviction in court there will be no record of the arrest and the criminal record check will be clean. I don't see why this would be different in the U.S.... innocent until proved guilty and all that.

Unfortunately, its not that simple.  Arrests and prosecutions that don't result in a conviction can show up on an FBI criminal background check, depending upon the purpose of the criminal background check.  That's why there are expungements.

If she wasn't fingerprinted, it won't show up on the report.  Assuming she was fingerprinted, the only way to know is to get a copy of the report.


  • Space
  • The Legend

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Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2013, 01:50:12 pm »
She could order the FBI background check. If it says "no records found" then should be good to go. I dunno what threshold a crime has to reach before going on the background check report thingy. (aka CBC)

Yeah, why doesn't she check herself. I reckon it will be clean.

I know in the UK, you can be arrested, fingerprinted, and put on file, but unless there is a conviction in court there will be no record of the arrest and the criminal record check will be clean. I don't see why this would be different in the U.S.... innocent until proved guilty and all that.

Unfortunately, its not that simple.  Arrests and prosecutions that don't result in a conviction can show up on an FBI criminal background check, depending upon the purpose of the criminal background check.  That's why there are expungements.


That's hardly 'innocent until proven guilty', that's kinda terrible.


  • nimrand
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Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 02:10:07 pm »
She could order the FBI background check. If it says "no records found" then should be good to go. I dunno what threshold a crime has to reach before going on the background check report thingy. (aka CBC)

Yeah, why doesn't she check herself. I reckon it will be clean.

I know in the UK, you can be arrested, fingerprinted, and put on file, but unless there is a conviction in court there will be no record of the arrest and the criminal record check will be clean. I don't see why this would be different in the U.S.... innocent until proved guilty and all that.

Unfortunately, its not that simple.  Arrests and prosecutions that don't result in a conviction can show up on an FBI criminal background check, depending upon the purpose of the criminal background check.  That's why there are expungements.


That's hardly 'innocent until proven guilty', that's kinda terrible.

Hmmm...yes and no.  That level of scrutiny of one's criminal history is necessary in some cases (such as if someone is applying for high level security clearance with the government).  The thing is, things like this would normally not show up on an employment criminal background check (possibly depending upon the state).  But, when getting your CRC for Korea, you aren't asking for an Employment Criminal Background Check.  You're asking for a copy of your own FULL criminal record.  This is usually used so that people can review and and possibly dispute their own record.  The FBI specifically tells employers NOT to use this kind of background check for employment purposes (mostly because they can't verify that the person sent in their own fingerprints and not someone else's).  But, when applying for Korea, you have no choice but to perform this type of Criminal Background Check, as its the only way to get a CRC that's apostilled in the US, so you get everything that's available in the FBI system.


Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 02:21:06 pm »
She could order the FBI background check. If it says "no records found" then should be good to go. I dunno what threshold a crime has to reach before going on the background check report thingy. (aka CBC)

Yeah, why doesn't she check herself. I reckon it will be clean.

I know in the UK, you can be arrested, fingerprinted, and put on file, but unless there is a conviction in court there will be no record of the arrest and the criminal record check will be clean. I don't see why this would be different in the U.S.... innocent until proved guilty and all that.

Not entirely true, believe it or not but I used to work for the police doing these checks.  There are all kinds of different laws you can get arrested and charged for, if they are unrepresentative of the actual crime committed then a further disclosure will be given.  Even if found not guilty.


Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 03:12:40 pm »
If you or your friend have some sort of criminal history on your background check, you should include a letter of explanation detailing what action occured, your thoughts and feelings about the matter, and how you will handle it in the future.
Foreigners tend to depict Koreans as vengeful and unforgiving but there are many Koreans who can understand difficult situations and be helpful in resolving it.


Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2013, 08:26:17 pm »
There's always so much confusion over what's on the FBI check, but the reality is very simple. Like a few posters have said, the FBI check shows everything that has been reported to the FBI by state or local police/courts.
- This includes things you were charged for and not convicted - if you're arrested, fingerprinted, and charged the county/state might report that, and later report the outcome of the case. The fact that you were not convicted or the charges were dropped might not matter on the Korean side of things.
- This can absolutely include misdemeanors - if a state sends the info to the FBI, it will be on there. Every state has it's own thresholds. I know for Michigan, if you're charged with a felony or a misdemeanor that potentially carries more than 90 days in jail (regardless of if you ever go to jail), they send that to the FBI.
- It's not as simple as 'booked and fingerprinted = on the check'. Being fingerprinted is necessary, but not sufficient. You might get arrested and taken downtown for underage drinking or trespassing or something and not see it on the check.

edit: I don't know as much about the Korean end of things, which would probably be more helpful for this thread. My understanding is that the immigration office wants to see 'no record found' and rejects anything else. The official policy might be that they have the discretion to treat any case however they want, but in practice there are too many applicants to bother looking into the details of what's on the background check. Either way, there are plenty of other countries with TEFL opportunities that don't have such a rigid process.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 08:30:21 pm by mephisto »


  • s_nexus
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Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2013, 10:22:42 am »
If immigration sees anything on your FBI rap, you're disqualified. I had an arrest on my record and had to deal with it before coming. My situation was a wrong place, wrong time kind of deal, but an arrest stays on your record until it's sealed. Period.

I hired a lawyer for $1,000 and she did everything for me. The price was high but all I had to do was sign the necessary papers and let her do her job. It took 3 months to finalize the process and seal my records. I took a shot in the dark, at the beginning of the third month I mailed my FBI request off and it came back 3 months later all clear. Due to my state having a fully electronic records system my records were immediately sealed and the FBI can access my state rap immediately instead of using snail mail requests.

Expungement laws will vary by state and county.


  • Space
  • The Legend

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Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2013, 09:33:01 am »
... There are all kinds of different laws you can get arrested and charged for, if they are unrepresentative of the actual crime committed then a further disclosure will be given.  Even if found not guilty.

Is this for more serious crimes?  What is the further disclosure?

The person who I was referencing got arrested but the charges were dropped and it never went to court. She used to work in Korea and needed a new disclosure.  She was over the moon when it came back clean.



Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2013, 12:26:31 pm »
I'm not American........ My CBC was not clean when coming here........ I was really annoyed to find they had labeled on 3 car offences (no tax disk displayed)........ I was really worried I'd be refused over this but I got in........  If it's not a serious crime they should be fine.... I'd imagine a non conviction should be fine........

I can't believe they'd put a non conviction on a CBC....... That's really lousy...... Like a non conviction means innocent.... (Well not guilty)..... So you should not be stopped from doing things because of it.......

On another note I came with a smaller recruiter and I'm pretty sure if I went with the main EPIK thing I'd be refused because frankly they're a bunch of assholes in there....... i'm public school just not with the big recruiter EPIK...... Maybe your friend could go this way????
Rocking out in the ROK!!! :D


Re: Not clean FBI, but no convictions, can someone still get a job?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2013, 12:41:06 pm »
... There are all kinds of different laws you can get arrested and charged for, if they are unrepresentative of the actual crime committed then a further disclosure will be given.  Even if found not guilty.

Is this for more serious crimes?  What is the further disclosure?

The person who I was referencing got arrested but the charges were dropped and it never went to court. She used to work in Korea and needed a new disclosure.  She was over the moon when it came back clean.

Yeah tended to be for more serious crimes.  There was one example we were given.  A guy had a conviction for manslaughter, that's pretty much all it said.  Now, that could be hitting someone in your car, accidental death, that kind of thing.  However, this guy murdered, raped the dead body then ate a 11 year old girl.  He was applying to be a school bus driver or something.  He got a further disclosure.

Also there was one guy who was found not-guilty for loads of child cruelty charges, starving the kids, dirty, just not looking after them at all.  He was found not guilty because he decided to work with social services and try and combat his drug abuse etc.  So they decided that in the best interests of the child it would be better to keep him out of prison.  Cases like this are numerous. 

People flip out and do crazy things unfortunately.

Crimes that are against children, disabled or vulnerable adults basically mean you're not going to work anywhere decent again.  You can kiss your career goodbye if you were caught offering a spliff to a 15 year old.

But minor things such as alcoholism, drug abuse, fighting etc were basically swept under the carpet. 

Actually when I was working there I had to look at a few teachers applications.  Not all of you are sweet and innocent lol