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What Is a Level 2 Background Check?

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Most felons would agree that the biggest challenge they face following their release is finding a job. Employers typically conduct a background check on applicants, making it challenging to find work.  

When employers run a background check, it is important to know exactly what will show up. That can help felons be prepared for what is discovered. What shows up on a background check depends on the type of background screening.

This blog post will cover the issue of what does show what a Level 2 background check is.

  • What Is a Background Check?
  • Use of Level 1 vs Level 2 Background Checks
  • Difference Between Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks
  • Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
  • Recommended Action


What Is a Background Check?

A background check is used to search for information about a person and depends on the type of background screening.

Most background checks are run by employers as part of the hiring process. This is typically done for several specific reasons, such as: 

  • To avoid negligent hiring.
  • Because of concerns regarding terrorism.
  • To discover false information on applications.
  • To ensure the welfare of children, the elderly, and disabled.

For positions requiring high security or trust employers want to make certain they make a good decision and to pinpoint hiring risks for security and safety issues

Many employers won’t hire felons, believing they are dishonest and likely to commit a crime on the job.  Or employers fear the public finding out they hire felons, damaging the company’s reputation and losing business.

Use of Level 1 vs Level 2 Background Checks

Level 1 and Level 2 background checks are used in Florida. State law in Florida determines the method of a criminal history record check to the extent of the data search. Level 1 and Level 2 are terms that pertain only to Florida and are not used by the FBI or any other state.

Background checks in Florida have been divided into Level 1 and Level 2 since the enactment of HB 7069, which went into effect in 2010. The purpose of the law was to make background checks in certain areas of employment stricter. These areas typically include working with specific vulnerable groups.

Difference Between Level 1 and Level 2 Background Checks

Level 1 typically refers to the state-only name-based check and employment history check.

Level 2 typically refers to a state and national fingerprint-based check in consideration of disqualifying offenses.  In a place to those employees designated by law is holding positions of responsibility or trust.  

A Level 1 background check is a basic, less restrictive screening process. This is the type of background check that is run for most basic job applications in the state of Florida. This check includes:

  • Statewide employment history
  • Criminal records
  • Sex offender registry

A Level 2 background check is required for job positions involving responsibility or trust and a significant degree of responsibility. This may include employees who work with: 

  • Elderly
  • Children
  • Other vulnerable groups  

A Level 2 background check covers the following:

  • Fingerprint-based information
  • National criminal history records
  • County criminal records

This level of background check in Florida is a special type of fingerprint background check. It may be required for volunteer positions at: 

  • Schools
  • Day cares
  • Senior centers

They are also often required for those seeking to adopt children or become foster parents.

A Level 2 background check screens applicants in databases of information on arrests, convictions, incarceration related to violent behavior and crimes against children and other vulnerable to groups.

A Level 2 check will even find relevant records sealed by courts, including juvenile convictions.

Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?

Of course you can run a background check on yourself. Not only can you run a background check on yourself, it is strongly recommended to do so. 

Felons can arm themselves with the information needed to be successful in applying to get a job by running a background check on themselves. 

Recommended Action

Disclosing felony convictions provides felon the opportunity to explain their situation and describe the circumstances of their crime. Remember to be smart about it and go into any situation prepared with the information that can make a critical difference in being successful.

Running a background check on yourself is essential, especially for felons living in Florida and applying for a job that requires a Level 2 background check. This type of check will likely be more difficult to pass because of the more in-depth nature of this check. 

It is not about the mistakes you make but in how you recover from them that makes all the difference.

So what do you think about this blog post about what a Level 2 background check is? Have you or someone you know had a Level 2 background check run? What was that like and how did that go? Please tell us in the comments below.

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