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Can A Police Officer Check Your Criminal Record

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Police Background Check: What Do They Look For

Online Criminal Record Check Video

There is something that you need to understand and remember: the background investigation starts at the very moment you submit your application form. As the hiring process is lengthy, it is possible that you might have changed your current address, phone, job or any other information provided in the original application. If this happens, make sure to notify the agency immediately. This will score a point in your favor as it shows that you are responsible and you are able to follow up on a task you have started without being prompted. In addition, that will save time, since the investigators wont have to go back and forth until they reach the needed destination.

So, which are the main areas that the police background investigation covers:

This Check Does Not Include

  • Outstanding entries, such as charges and warrants,
  • Absolute and conditional discharges,
  • Youth Criminal Justice Act information beyond applicable disclosure period,
  • Any reference to contagious diseases, and
  • Dispositions including, but not limited to Withdrawn, Dismissed, and cases of Not Criminally Responsible by Reason of Mental Disorder.
  • Your Rights In Custody

    You have the rights below, from the time you are arrested until custody ends.

    Custody ends when:

    • you’re released from custody without charge
    • you’re taken to court after having been charged with an offence
    • you’re taken to court after being arrested for breach of bail conditions
    • no charges are being brought against a child under 16 but they are kept in a place of safety until it is decided whether they need a compulsory supervision order.

    You must be provided with information about your rights. When you’re at the police station the police should give you a ‘letter of rights’ in your native language or a language you can understand. You can find the letter of rights in different languages on the Scottish government website.

    If you haven’t been informed of your rights, you might be able to challenge the custody as unlawful. Speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

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    Are There An Infinite Number Of Police Cautions

    No, the police cannot continue to issue a large number of cautions for the same offence. After around three cautions , the Police may

    • Charge you to court for the offence, or
    • Issue an infringement notice.

    When you receive a Police caution for an offence, you should be grateful for such alternatives by being of good behaviour. Having repeated police cautions can discourage the Police from issuing another caution for your offence.

    The Application Process For Police Officer Candidates

    The Dangers of Being a Police Officer

    It isnt easy becoming a police officer. Potential candidates need to go through a stringent application process designed to weed out those who dont have what it takes to become outstanding police officers.

    Police officers help maintain peace and order and ensure that members of the community stay safe. This job comes with immense responsibility. The application process itself is not for everyone.

    Canadian police agencies generally follow the same process which involves a series of tests, checks and interviews, including:

    • A written exam
    • A polygraph exam
    • A background investigation

    Some of these tests require detailed paperwork but minimal preparation. For some tests, like the physical tests, you would be best prepared if you did a fitness training program, prior to, depending on your fitness level. Other tests, like the polygraph exam, require no preparation at all.

    Applicants can be declined at any point in the stages listed above and even if a candidate passes every stage, an offer of employment is not guaranteed.

    Once you have completed all assessments, your entire application package is reviewed and measured against other applicants to determine the most suitable candidates for the role as a police officer.

    If you are recruited, you can expect a conditional offer of employment that allows you to advance to the final step before you become a police officer: cadet training.

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    Right To Have A Lawyer While You Are Being Questioned As A Suspect

    You have the right to have a lawyer present while you’re being interviewed. Most adults can agree to be interviewed without a lawyer but it is not likely to be in your best interests. The police will take a note of why you chose not to have a lawyer.

    Some people can only be interviewed with a lawyer present:

    • children under 16 years of age
    • young people with a compulsory supervision order aged 16 or 17
    • vulnerable adults – 16 years or older who might not understand what is happening or be able to communicate with the police because of a mental health condition or learning disability.

    16 and 17 year olds who are not vulnerable or under a compulsory supervision order will need the consent of a parent or another adult if they want to be interviewed without a lawyer.

    If you choose to have a lawyer, the police should not start the interview until your lawyer is present, unless a senior officer thinks questioning should start straight away to prevent crime or apprehend a criminal. But you still have the right to silence.

    Honesty Is The Best Policy

    These various background checks are often exhaustivesometimes even requiring a polygraph or lie detector testbut investigators arent looking for perfection. If you were caught pulling a prank in high school or were ticketed for speeding a few times, those are not disqualifying offenses. What the hiring managers are looking for is anything serious you might be trying to hide from them. In some cases, its not any particular offense that can disqualify you, but rather any attempt to cover it up that can cause the real problems.

    Bottom line: The most honest candidates usually have the easiest time during background checks.

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    Federal Police Force Salary & Benefits

    If youre interested in the federal police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police offers new hires $53,144/year with an incremental increase to $86,110 within 3 years of employment. Benefits include paid vacation days, an RCMP pension plan, medical, dental and family health plans and group life insurance. The RCMP also offers generous maternity and parental allowances as well as financial support for continuing education and professional development opportunities.

    How Can I Obtain A National Criminal History Check

    Background Checks and Criminal Records


    If you are an individual, you can obtain a national criminal record check certificate online via Australian National Character Checks . The results are dispatched via email.

    Business and Enterprise Customers

    Business and Enterprise customers are able to sign up to where they can order, manage, track and view candidates criminal history check results on their business portal. Organisations will undergo a process for approval prior to being granted access to ANCCs business portal.

    ANCC sends an invite to the applicant to complete their criminal record check online and handles the application and informed consent form. today to enquire about setting up a business portal for your organisation.

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    Can You Refuse A Lawyer

    Most adults can agree to be interviewed without a lawyer but it is not in your best interests. The police will take a note of why you chose not to have a lawyer. The police shouldn’t try to influence your decision whether to have a lawyer.

    Some people can only be interviewed with a lawyer present:

    • children under 16 years of age
    • young people with a compulsory supervision order aged 16 or 17
    • vulnerable adults – 16 years or older who may not understand what is happening or be able to communicate with the police because of a mental health condition or learning disability.

    16 and 17 year olds who are not vulnerable or under a compulsory supervision order will need the consent of a parent or another adult if they want to be interviewed without a lawyer.

    You can change your mind and choose to have a lawyer at any time.

    Do I Need A Criminal Record Check Or A Vulnerable Sector Check

    Different employers or institutions require different types of background checks.

    A criminal record check simply verifies whether or not you have a criminal record.

    A vulnerable sector check is a special type of criminal record check required for situations where you will be in a position of trust or authority over children, the elderly, the disabled, or another vulnerable group.

    A vulnerable sector check involves a name-based search of the national repository of criminal convictions, a search of locally held convictions at Halifax Regional Police and a query of the pardoned sex-offender database. In some cases, you may be required to submit your fingerprints if there is a match based on either your name or a combination of your gender and date of birth to a pardoned sex offender record. Applicants with a potential match will be contacted by Halifax Regional Police and asked to come to Police Headquarters to have their fingerprints taken electronically. You can have your fingerprints taken Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Find out more about vulnerable sector checks from the RCMP.

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    What Will A Criminal Record Check Provide

    A Criminal Record Check will provide the following information:

    • Criminal convictions from the Canadian Police Information Centre and/or local databases
    • Summary convictions for five years
    • Convictions where a records suspension has been granted, if authorized under the Criminal Records Act or another act or regulation.

    Mistaken Identity Or False Match

    Can You Be Arrested with a Warrant for Someone Else?

    If someone uses a name similar to your name or gives it as an alias when arrested, that name will be entered in the Wisconsin criminal history database. You may have been a victim of identity theft or your name may be very similar to the name of a person who has a criminal record. If a background check is requested on a name similar to your name, ALL names in the database, including aliases, are searched. The search response may return all of the convictions that belong to the person who used a name similar to your name.

    To clarify that you are not the subject of the criminal history reported in response to a search request, you may submit a Wisconsin Criminal History Challenge Form. See the section below for more information.

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    Potential Disqualifiers For A Policing Career In Canada

    When preparing yourself for a policing career, you need to be aware of what will disqualify you from the police application process. As far as the written, physical, and medical exams, the requirements are fairly consistent across all agencies.

    Language Disqualifier: You need to be fluent in either English or French including being able to speak, read, and understand one of these languages.

    Physical Disqualifier: You cannot be in poor physical condition. Failure to successfully complete the physical examination in the minimum time frame is an automatic disqualification.

    Test particulars can vary from one police agency to the next. However, all tests simulate critical incidents that police officers are exposed to. For example. the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation , used by the RCMP, consists of three sections:

  • Running 6 laps around a 350-meter obstacle course where you are required to climb stairs and jump over hurdles
  • Pushing and pulling a 70lb weight
  • Carrying 80lbs over a 15-meter distance.
  • Psychological Disqualifiers: A candidate can be disqualified if they do not meet the minimum psychological examination requirements.

    Work Environment Disqualifiers: Police departments require you to work shift work which includes nights, evenings, weekends, and holidays as policing takes place 24 hours per day. If you are unwilling to accommodate this type of work schedule, you will be disqualified from the process.

    Do Police Officers Have Criminal Records

    It is not uncommon for police officers to have criminal records. Most felony offenses, however, do prevent people from becoming police officers or will result in their termination from the police force.

    Misdemeanor convictions, especially if they are more than five years old, do not typically disqualify someone from becoming a police officer. Should the person receive a misdemeanor conviction while employed as a law enforcement officer, he or she may not be terminated depending upon the severity of the offense or if it was committed while the person was acting in his or her capacity as a police officer.

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    To Exercise Your Right Of Access Follow These Steps:

    Step 1

    • Identify where to send your request.
    • Think about what personal data you want to access.

    Step 2

    • Make your request directly to the organisation.
    • State clearly what you want.

    You might not want all the personal data that the organisation holds about you. It may respond more quickly if you explain this and identify the specific data you want.

    How To Apply For A Criminal Record Check In

    VERIFY: Can a police officer tell you to stop recording?

    You can apply in-person for a criminal record check Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following location:

    You must present two pieces of identification with your current address. The address must be within Halifax Regional Municipality. Accepted identification includes:

    • and one other of:
    • passport
    • social insurance number card

    If you are a new resident to the Halifax-area and you ID has your old address on it, you must bring some form of proof of residence, e.g. a tenant agreement.

    The results of your criminal record check will be shared with you and then you can decide whether you want to share it with the organization requesting the check. Halifax Regional Police wont share the results of the criminal record check without your consent.

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    Crimes That May Be Overlooked By The California Police Department

    In most cases, though, a record of arrest or misdemeanor conviction for prior misconduct, such as prior illegal drug use, DUI, or theft, is usually not automatically disqualifying. Similarly, juvenile convictions, even those that would amount to a felony if committed by an adult, and adult diversion and deferred entry of judgment cases, are usually not automatically disqualifying. However, among the minimum standards of being a police officer in California is possession of good moral character. Any act from your past discovered during the background check that reflects poorly on your moral character may be grounds for a determination that you lack good moral character and may result in denial of employment as a police officer.

    If I Got A Discharge Will I Have A Criminal Record

    As a general rule, no, since a criminal record in these cases is only temporary.

    Discharges can be given for certain less serious offences or a first offence, when it is in the best interests of the guilty person and the discharge doesnt harm society.

    If you are given a discharge, you are considered not to have been convicted.

    In the case of an absolute discharge, the RCMP automatically removes the criminal record from its files after one year. For conditional discharges, the RCMP automatically removes the criminal record from its files three years after the probation order. .

    In both situations, after the time limits are up, a criminal record can only be disclosed in rare cases. Even if the RCMP has removed your record from its files, it is generally recommended that you file an Application for no-disclosure of information contained in computerized records in criminal matters , just to ensure that all traces of the record have been totally erased.

    The application must be filed with the clerk at the courthouse where your case took place.

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    Finding The Descriptions Of Crimes For Different Penal Code Sections

    Police records usually refer to penal code sections in describing crimes police are investigating.

    For example, section 187 of the penal code is for homicides.

    How can you find out which crimes the various sections of the state penal code stand for?

    The Berkeley Police Department has a list of commonly used penal code sections and which crimes they refer to. Thats at:

    At the site check the box next to Penal Code. In the search box type in the number for the penal code section youre interested in .

    At the search results page, click on the first listing. That should give you the penal code section youre seeking .

    What Do Police Look For In A Background Check

    [Police officer writing, 2]

    The background exam is a very thorough investigation of the applicants past. It is common for the hiring parties to speak to colleagues, family members, neighbours, landlords, as well as present and past employers. This helps to determine whether you have a track record of high ethical standards in all areas of your life. You will be required to provide your criminal record, driving record, credit history, and history of alcohol and drug use. Additionally, you will need to pass a polygraph exam that shows whether you have been dishonest or deceitful in answering any of the questions throughout the application process.

    When applying to police agencies, you will be disqualified if*:

    • You have matters pending at a criminal court
    • You participated in any indictable offenses. These offenses are the mostserious of criminal activities, which include murder, sexual assault, and terrorist activities.
    • You have a criminal conviction that has not been pardone.
    • You participated in less serious criminal behaviour or activity within one year of applying. These activities are referred to as summary conviction offenses under the Criminal Code. They include illicit drug use, theft, and impaired driving.
    • You have been dishonourably discharged or dismissed from any other law enforcement organization
    • You have a pending or current personal bankruptcy

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    Will A Police Caution Affect My Prospects

    No, a Police caution will hardly affect you in your applications. It is scarce for employers or other decision makers to ask for Police caution records unless the legislation mandates it.

    Also, most employers will not go past a national criminal history check result in assessing the candidate unless the role is “sensitive” and the legislation mandates it.

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