Will a Pennsylvania DUI Show Up on a Background Check?

Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
December 17, 2021

Background checks are often used to secure housing and apply for school, and some employers utilize background checks for applicants. Additionally, background checks are used to check a person’s past employment history, education, and criminal record. Because a DUI conviction is a matter of public record and can be part of an individual’s criminal record, it will show up on a background check. This could potentially cause a person to lose future opportunities.

DUI convictions are serious driving offenses, with penalties that depend on the number of prior offenses and the current offense’s circumstances. In Pennsylvania, if you have been arrested and/or convicted of a DUI, employers, landlords, and creditors could hold this against you and withhold certain opportunities from you. If you were convicted of, arrested for, or pled guilty to a DUI, you should contact a DUI attorney.

What Shows up on a Background Check in Pennsylvania?

Although Pennsylvania has laws prohibiting certain information from the view of employers, a DUI conviction will be visible from your criminal history report. This criminal history report includes the following:

  • Degree of offense (e., misdemeanor or felony)
  • Charge filed
  • Jurisdiction of recorded offense
  • Sentence
  • Disposition
  • Case number
  • Defendant
  • Additional information

The degree of the offense and the number of convictions on record will determine how a DUI appears on a background check. Employers utilizing a background check for vetting applicants may or may not see a DUI conviction as a red flag; however, every organization abides by unique business standards that are not always known to the public.

Will an Arrest Be On My Public Record?

After being pulled over and arrested for a DUI, it is possible that charges may not be filed, or charges can be dropped entirely. While this may seem like you are out of the woods, your arrest record can still be on file and show up on a background check.

The following is a list of information that is included in a background check:

  • Criminal record
  • Arrests
  • Court record
  • Warrants for your arrest
  • Driving record
  • Vehicle registration information

While a DUI can stay on your record for ten years, arrests may also stay on your record for an extended period of time. It is possible to work with an attorney and have arrest records expunged or hidden from your records.

What Types of Offenses Can Be Expunged?

There are general criteria and requirements for expungement and other similar laws in Pennsylvania that can hide your DUI or arrest records from public view. You may be granted expungement if the following conditions apply:

  • An underage drinking conviction
  • You have had no arrests for the past five years since the conviction
  • You are seventy years or older and have no arrests for the past ten years
  • You were not convicted

In addition, first-time DUI offenders can complete an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program and be granted expungement. Since there are numerous factors and complexities relating to DUIs, you will want to consult with a DUI attorney to understand your rights and how a DUI arrest and conviction can impact your public records.

Get Help from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Defense Attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C.

If you were arrested for a DUI, contact Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. We can help you navigate the criminal court system. It is important that you understand the court process and what to expect at the preliminary hearing and trial.

Regardless of whether this is your first offense or if you are a repeat offender, our defense attorneys understand the laws in Pennsylvania and will be by your side every step of the way. Contact our office for a free consultation at (215) 822-7575 or fill out our contact form.


Legally reviewed by:
Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C.
Pennsylvania Attorney's
December 17, 2021
Established in 1952 by Irwin S. Rubin, Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford P.C. boasts over 65 years of experience serving clients throughout Pennsylvania. Renowned for its commitment to ethical representation, the firm has garnered prestigious accolades, including being named the "Best Law Firm" for its outstanding legal defense work by U.S. News & World Report. Their team of seasoned attorneys, recognized as Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, brings unparalleled expertise to a wide range of legal matters, ensuring exceptional representation for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations.