Hello everyone! i am about 5 weeks from graduation from an ADN program in PA. we had to get our FBI background checks in this month and i just got mine back in the mail. little to my surprise - i have a criminal history! great!
i do NOT have any convictions, but there are charges on my record - drug charges to be exact. I do not do drugs, i don't even drink - but when in 2003 when i was aobut 22 years old, my boyfriend that i lived with was making a drug called GHB (the date rape drug) at his store that he owned. i did not know that any of this was going on. one day while getting out of the shower the police came to my house, made me sit in a chair with just a towel on and told me to tell them where everything was at and what was going on. needless to say i was completely traumatized. the person i thought i knew was not at all. anyway, even though they didn't find anything other than his "internet orders" at our house, i was arrested. i was released that evening and then later all charges were dropped. i did not even have to get a lawyer. i did not receive any fines, no probation, nothing. obviously i never talked to the boyfriend again, and while he was in jail got all my stuff from his house and never saw him again. i really didn't think that this would be in my record. it has never come up before, and to be completely honest, i haven't thought about it. it was something that i never wanted to remember because of how traumatized i was over it. i didn't realize that even though i was never convicted of anything or never did probation, i would still have this on my record. again, this was almost 10 years ago.
i have never even gotten a speeding ticket in my life, and when i opened that up today, my heart sank just a little. will this affect my future license? will i be denied employment? i have worked so hard in nursing school and i graduate in 5 weeks and this........i am at a loss for workds and i feel like i want to throw up.
any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Apr 13, '12
i would contact the BON right away. that sounds like an awful situation. IMO you shouldnt have any repercussions from this... you had nothing to do with it. im sorry i dont have any good advice. and im sorry youre going through this, hopefully you can get around it. i wish you luck.
Apr 13, '12
my background check says "record exists but no conviction(s) is shown. this does not prohibit hire in a childcare position according to the Child Protective Services Law. which means that i am not disqualified (there is an option that says disqualified). but the fact that it is on there for the whole world to see makes me sick to my stomach. like i said, i don't even drink let alone do drugs, and now i have to basically plead my case for something that i never did.
it just makes me so angry. i am going to call BON on Monday, as well as the courthouse that this came from to see what i can have done. like i said - it was dropped completely, no fines, no convictions, no plea, no probation - nothing at all. i didn't even have to go to court about it (other than the day i was arrested and the judge let me out). that was sooooo long ago and since nothing ever came of it, i just didn't think about it again. i applied to school, i get financial aid, did all my clearances, and it never came up and i didn't expect it to since nothing happened. but i got my fingerprints done and boom - there it was and now i feel like all my hard work is going to go down the crapper for something that i didn't nor would ever do.
Apr 14, '12
If you got into the program they normally only do a small FBI background check, yet when you apply for your license there is a check box that says "have you ever been convicted or arrested for.....".
Maintain your private records, find out what exactly you have of on file with the state and then take what you know to the state board of nursing and ask for an investigator or someone who when you do apply would be the person in charge.
Never take an answer from the front desk or the original person who picks up the phone since 99% of the time they are stating facts that they have zero authority to be answering.
Apr 15, '12
i have nothing to hide at all, i just really didn't know that that was on there. i am not a criminal and i have no idea what happens in the law system because i don't do anything wrong to have to worry about it. i just feel really stupid that i have this on my record. i feel like i have been lying to everyone because i really truly didn't know. as far as i knew, since it was dismissed before it even went to court that i would not have a record. my lawyer at the time told me that it wouldn't be on my record, and it hasn't until now. just crazy. 10 years ago i left the state of Georgia, left the boyfriend and never looked back and for good reason. that was the most traumatic part of my life and i didn't want to ever think about it again. i did not nor have i ever done drugs and this makes me feel like i have to explain a whole lot for something that i never was.
Apr 15, '12
^^^^^My understanding is that for purposes of average employment background checks, something like that will not show up on your record. However, there are a few entities that will see everything: nurse licensing boards are one. If you are asked if you've ever been arrested and you either forget or lie, they know, and it then becomes a problem. Even nurses who have had convictions expunged have found out the hard way that even expunged convictions are known by the boards of nursing and must always be self reported by the nurse.
You may have to give a short explanation to your BON about this, but I seriously doubt this will show up on a typical background check that employers do (unless you have applied to a government entity or job that requires a security clearance), so shouldn't really impact your employability. There are working nurses with far worse criminal histories than yours who were allowed to sit for the NCLEX and are working nurses.
Apr 15, '12
i always say honesty is the best policy. i have emailed the BON, and i will be calling them on Monday. i also will be having a meeting with the DON of my nursing program at school - not that i even have to tell them, but i want to because i really never thought about it before. i honestly didn't know that kind of stuff was on there and i really haven't thought (nor have i wanted to) about that in 10 years. i was very hurt by the situation and kind of just locked it away.
Apr 15, '12
Definitely contact the BON. I had to go to court for a bounced check from when my husband and I were separated and it was a check I had no idea bounced since it went to the address he was staying at. When I got pulled over and was told about it I paid right away and went to court. It was dismissed with restitution, so I was not convicted. I called the BON as soon as I made the decision to go back to school and explained it to them. They told me since it was not a conviction and I handles the situation I would be fine. Be honest and explain what happened, they do know some things can happen out of our control.
Good luck to you!
Apr 15, '12
OP that sucks - I'm sorry you have to deal with this all over again. I'd think that since you were never convicted of anything they can't hold it against you, but that's just pure speculation on my part as I'm not a lawyer.
We had to do background checks prior to being admitted to the program. For those of you wondering about your records from other states being accessed - they probably will be. My current state and two neighboring states were included in the cost of the check, but then I had to pay an additional fee for every county I've ever lived in! That was a lot. They didn't ask me to volunteer the info where I lived, it just came up, I assume because I was being billed for phone/utilities there and I had a registered mail address. The only way something in another state won't come up is if there is no official record of you living there. In other words, your utilities weren't in your name, you never gave your bank or credit cards that address, you never had a driver's license with that address.
Apr 15, '12
we had FBI fingerprint backgrounds done, so it checks anywhere in the country. it is the same background they check at the BON. what is really bad is that i called and the court said i could have had it expunged from my record - i would have done that if i knew something was on my record! goodess, i am hoping that the BON realizes that i really did not do anything wrong. i never paid a fine, never did probation, never even went to court - so hopefully that says something.
Apr 15, '12
Moving to Nursing Licensure with Criminal History forum.
While we can not provide legal advice, we always advocate posters get advice from an administrative law attorney familiar with the BON in your state.
Apr 17, '12
That a real pain. Even the most saintly people I know (no parking tickets, no overdue library books etc.) sometimes find out that the FBI or Homeland Security or the local PD have something on them. It's a huge inconvenience to get it cleared up, but it's doable. You may need a lawyer. After that keep ALL your records at hand. Examples of stuff that came up on some people's background checks:
Noise complaints (turned out the neighbors were lunatics)
Dismissed charged that were supposed to be expunged from record.
Person flying on a business trip with a business associate who had the exact same name as a terrorist (but was not the terrorist)
Mistaken identidy, case dismissed
Car in hit and run incorrectly identified as belonging to applicant
And on and on. Take the time and expense to get a lawyer to help you. This may follow you for the rest of your life.
But it is indeed fixable. If you can find a lawyer who is connected politically, that helps.
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