Understanding the Difference Between an Arrest & Conviction

Pre-Employment Screening background checks have different regulations. One of the questions our clients often have is what exactly is the difference between an arrest and a conviction, and what can be reported during employment checks. An arrest is what takes place before being charged with a crime. You can be arrested for a crime, but charges can be dismissed and you can be released. If the charges are not dropped, you will be required to go to court, where you may be convicted on the charge that you were arrested for. When you are convicted, you may be forced to pay a fine, or serve time in jail or prison. In many situations, you can expect both. When reporting for employment purposes, the FCRA regulates that we can only report convictions.