Many people who contact us are confused about their criminal charges. They believe that an absolute discharge means that they are not “guilty” and that they will not have a criminal record.
While it is true that a criminal record will not exist for an absolute discharge after a one year period, the charge will remain on record and can be seen in a criminal background check. The same holds true for conditional discharges, dismissed and stayed criminal charges as well.
We know this because we get many calls from people who are in shock that they were denied employment or questioned at the US border for an absolute discharge. As far as an employer or immigration officer is concerned, an absolute discharge is a sign that the person was in trouble. As a result, they are more likely to question your character.
Here is an example of a question we received by email:
“I was charged and went to court. I was given an absolute discharge in Jan 2005. I am about to complete my teaching degree. When I get a vulnerable sreaning sector report it shows up. Then I have to to answer questions on it and the institution has it on file. Can you get this removed and how fast? ”
The good news is that it is possible to get an absolute discharge removed from the system so that it will NOT come up in a criminal background check. The same is true for a conditional discharge, stayed, dismissed or acquitted criminal charges.
Once the charges are removed (fingerprints, photos, court and police records) then you will be safe to pass a criminal background check for work and travel purposes.
You may also view our video on Youtube to see exactly what an absolute discharge looks like on a criminal reocrd check at minute 1.07 in the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTGz2eWhTpY
If you have any questions regarding this topic or about Pardons and US Entry Waivers email us at [email protected] or call 1-877-929-6011.