SWA Background Check

SWA Question

New member
Aug 10, 2002
Total Time
Hey Poolies (and others)!
I am a poolie who has been fingerprinted (this is an anonymous username - don't ask who I am). The FBI background check turns up more info than the criminal background check and in my case shows an arrest from a long time ago. The case was dissmissed after I completed the terms of a deferred sentance. Because the final disposition was "dissmissed" I didn't report it and it didn't show up on the regular criminal background check.

SWA has asked for more info and I cannot find anything that actually shows dissmissed, the court record just stops. My lawyer says that is standard - the paperwork just stops when the case is dissmissed.

Does anyone have any insight to offer here? Am I in trouble? Will SWA understand the case file just stopping and realize that the case was dissmissed even though those exact words do not appear anywhere?

BTW - if law enforcement has ever fingerprinted you get ready to explain why, regardless of the final disposition of the case.


Well-known member
Nov 25, 2001
Total Time
Several options I can think of from experience. Go to the courthouse where the case was dismissed. See if you can get some type of paperwork. If not, try finding your arrest record at the police station where you were booked. See what the record says. There might be a line on the arrest record stating the disposition of the arrest. If it currently doesn't say dismissed ask a judge at the courthouse to write up some order and take it back to the police station. They will then enter this into their computer and print you a new arrest record showing "dismissed."

I know little to nothing about law. All this is from experience. I was arrested for a misdemeanor in college and the case was dismissed. I went back to the town several years later and poked around the courthouse just to see what I might be able to find on the case. I did more or less exactly what I suggest above. There was no court record because it had been expunged. There was an arrest record. I worked with the prosecutor who got a judge to write something up. I took that across the street to the police station and they corrected the arrest record. I don't remember what it said before it was corrected but now it says dismissed. The arrest record is the only official piece of paper I have.

By the way, does it really matter? Weren't you truthful on the application. Doesn't the app. only ask of convictions?


John Ross Ewing JR
Dec 9, 2001
Total Time
I think that when you went to court a while back that they would have made you sign a judgement of conviction and/or probation. (That form could have been changed to say what the final terms of the actual case was. i.e. and/or conditional discharge) That would probably depend on your state.

I had a traffic ticket from over ten years ago and my NDR was clean but I never thought of telling SWA, kind of forgot really. When I updated with JB I told her about the ticket and that I forgot to put it on the app. She told me to just put it on the update and it shouldn't be too much of a problem. I haven't heard a word since. Did the fingerprinting two weekds ago and still swimming.

I guess the best policy that you can have is to be as honest and as forthcoming as you can. SWA realizes that everybody is human and screws up every now and then. If you try to hide what happend it will only hurt you further. I would (that is my opinion) give them as much info as you have reagarding your case. Phone numbers and contacts at the courthouse and have them talk to your attorney to clarify any questions.

good luck.....hoped this helped some



Jul 1, 2002
Total Time
background checks

For those who are reading this....

PRIOR to submitting your applications it is in YOUR best interests to;

1. Do your own background investigation, I wrote letters to the FAA, DMV & NDR offices and requested my "official" records. Had to pay $5 for CA to send me a copy.


2. Pay someone to do your background checks if you THINK you may have something lurking in your past. Cheap insurance!!!

I have heard a story about someone who was not hired by a major airline due to a very bad background check... as it turned out it was another guys history who had the same exact name!! It took the guy almost a year to clear up the issue, he eventually was allow to re-interview & was hired....

Please pass the sunscreen....

Regards - Tredding


Jul 28, 2002
Total Time
I don't practice in this area, so take this with a very large hunk of salt -- but "zymotic" has a good thought there. Put together as much info as you can by visiting the court; if you can get an official of the court to write an explanation of the record, that would be great. Alternatively, get your lawyer to write a letter explaining the documents in the record and the procedure of that jurisdiction.

Good luck!