/ Asked by mieka
I was charged with driving without a license and had charges dropped for obstructing an officer 5 years ago. Both were misdemeanors. I am now trying to get into a medical program and I am nervous because of these charges! I have asked my advisor and she said I should be fine because that’s not what they look for. Is this accurate? Any advice on how I can check this?
Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Friday, September 21, 2018
Hi there - the only people who can answer what will be reviewed in a Background Check are the people who are running and reviewing the check.  If you do not feel comfortable inquiring about it directly, I would recommend requesting your records yourself so you can see exactly how they are have been entered into the official record.  If there are inaccuracies, that will give you a chance to work to get them corrected, if there are things that might prove concerning, you will be prepared to speak to them. 
This is your history and your future, you have to be responsible for both.  I understand why this may be stressful, but you are giving it all the power when you don't have all the information. 
Best of luck!
Answered by Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, on Friday, September 28, 2018
Thanks for your question.  While I cannot speak on behalf of a medical program, I can only speak from the corporate side. 

Typically, charges won't impact a hiring decision unless there is a conviction.  Even then, the nature of the conviction has to be related to the responsibilities of the job.  For example, if you were applying for a position that required a lot of driving of company vehicles, and had a conviction related to a driving charge, that might be something that would be reviewed very carefully by an organization's legal/HR team.  Even so, it would be hard to change a hiring decision if you could prove that conviction would not limit your ability to perform the job. 

Now, with that said, each organization has different approaches to these situations, and may or may not be willing to make a hiring/employment decision. 

As a whole, though, if the charges were dropped, I wouldn't see why a medical program would allow that to impact their decision.  It's probably something to be transparent with in the process, though, so that there aren't any surprises with the program decision makers. 

Best of luck in your applications! 
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