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Do Dismissed Charges Show Up on a Background Check

Background checks have become an integral part of various processes, from pre-employment screening to rental applications. Employers, landlords, and even lending institutions rely on these checks to make informed decisions. However, individuals often wonder about the specifics of what information is revealed in a background check, especially regarding dismissed charges. In Oregon, like in many other states, the presence of dismissed charges on a background check is a topic of concern and confusion.

Legal Framework in Oregon

Before delving into the specifics of dismissed charges, it’s essential to understand the legal landscape surrounding background checks in Oregon. Oregon law regulates the use of background checks, particularly concerning employment and housing. Employers and landlords must adhere to certain guidelines when conducting these checks to ensure fairness and prevent discrimination.

Understanding Dismissed Charges

Dismissed charges refer to criminal charges that have been dropped or dismissed by the court. Unlike convictions, dismissed charges do not result in a guilty verdict. However, they may still appear on a person’s criminal record, raising questions about their implications for background checks.

Oregon’s Approach to Dismissed Charges

In Oregon, the presence of dismissed charges on a background check depends on various factors, including the type of background check being conducted and the nature of the charges. While Oregon law generally allows for the disclosure of dismissed charges, there are exceptions and limitations to consider.

Practical Implications for Background Checks

Dismissed charges can have practical implications for individuals, particularly concerning employment opportunities. Some employers may view dismissed charges as red flags, even if they do not indicate guilt. Additionally, dismissed charges may affect other aspects of life, such as housing and professional licensing.

Challenges and Misconceptions

One of the challenges regarding dismissed charges is the misconceptions surrounding their disclosure. Many people mistakenly believe that dismissed charges do not appear on background checks or that they are automatically expunged from records. Addressing these misconceptions is crucial for ensuring transparency and fairness in the background check process.

Legal Recourse for Individuals

Individuals who discover dismissed charges on their background checks have legal recourse available to them. Oregon law provides avenues for challenging inaccurate or outdated information on background checks, including the possibility of expungement in certain cases.

Employer Practices and Policies

Employers in Oregon vary in their approach to dismissed charges on background checks. While some may overlook dismissed charges, others may consider them as part of their hiring decisions. Employers are encouraged to adopt fair and consistent practices when evaluating candidates’ backgrounds.

Public Perception and Stigma

Despite efforts to promote rehabilitation and reintegration into society, individuals with dismissed charges on their records may still face stigma and discrimination. Changing public perception and reducing the stigma associated with dismissed charges is essential for fostering inclusivity and second chances.


In conclusion, dismissed charges can indeed show up on a background check in Oregon, depending on various factors. Understanding the legal framework, practical implications, and challenges associated with dismissed charges is crucial for both individuals and employers. By promoting transparency, fairness, and rehabilitation, Oregon can work towards a more equitable approach to background checks.


Are dismissed charges the same as convictions?

Dismissed charges differ from convictions in that they do not result in a guilty verdict. However, they may still appear on a person’s criminal record.

Can employers use dismissed charges against applicants?

Employers in Oregon have discretion in considering dismissed charges during the hiring process. However, they are encouraged to adopt fair and consistent practices.

Is there a way to remove dismissed charges from a background check?

In some cases, individuals may be eligible for expungement of dismissed charges from their records. Consulting with a legal professional is recommended to explore this option.

Do dismissed charges affect professional licensing in Oregon?

Depending on the nature of the charges and the licensing requirements, dismissed charges may impact certain professions. It’s advisable to check with the relevant licensing authorities for guidance.

How can individuals challenge inaccurate information on their background checks?

Individuals have the right to dispute inaccurate or outdated information on their background checks. They can follow the procedures outlined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act and seek legal assistance if necessary.