Does a 5150 Show Up on a Background Check?

By Jared Levenson - Reviewed on July 1, 2023
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When discussing mental health and legal issues, you may have heard the term “5150.” But what does it mean, and how does it interact with background checks?

The Online Mental Health Reviews team is highly qualified to write about whether a 5150 shows up on a background check due to its extensive experience in the mental health field.

With backgrounds ranging from licensed counselors to professionals who have worked in residential mental health facilities, our team combines practical knowledge with thorough research to provide reliable and accurate information.

Here we delve into the intricacies of a 5150 hold and its potential impact on various types of background checks, including criminal background checks.

Understanding a 5150 Hold

The 5150 police code refers to a section of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, which authorizes a clinician to involuntarily confine a person suspected to have a mental health disorder that makes them a danger to themselves or others.

It’s significant in mental health as it allows immediate intervention when someone’s safety is at risk. The criteria for a 5150 hold typically include a demonstrated risk of harm to oneself or others or an inability to provide for basic personal needs due to mental illness.

Types of Background Checks

Background checks can come in many forms, conducted by various organizations for different purposes. Some common types include:

  • Employment Background Checks: Often conducted by employers to verify an applicant’s work history, education, and criminal record.
  • Housing Background Checks: Performed by landlords or property managers to assess an applicant’s rental history and financial stability.
  • Firearm Background Checks: Conducted by law enforcement or gun dealers to determine eligibility for gun ownership.

Will a 5150 Hold Appear on a Background Check?

The appearance of a 5150 record on a background check depends on several factors:

  • Nature of the Background Check: Not all background checks are the same. A comprehensive check might reveal a 5150 hold, while a more basic statement might not.
  • Time Since the Hold: Over time, some records might become less accessible or expunged completely.
  • State-Specific Factors: Laws vary by state. Some states might allow 5150 holds to appear on certain background checks, while others may not.

For instance, a 5150 hold could appear on a firearm background check, as laws often prevent those with a history of involuntary psychiatric holds from owning guns. However, it’s less likely to appear on an employment or housing background check, as these typically focus on criminal history and credit scores.

Protecting Your Privacy

If you’re concerned about a 5150 hold showing up on a background check, consider the following tips:

  • Know Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with local laws concerning mental health records and background checks. You may be able to request the removal or sealing of certain records.
  • Be Honest: If directly asked, it’s usually best to disclose your history honestly and explain the circumstances.
  • Seek Legal Counsel: If unsure, consult a legal professional who can guide you based on your situation.

72-Hour Holds Explained

A 72-hour hold, also known as a 5150 hold, is an involuntary hospitalization for mental health evaluation. It’s often enacted when an individual poses a risk to themselves or others due to their mental state.

Here are some resources that provide additional information on this topic:

  1. MedCircle: This article provides an overview of what a 72-hour psychiatric hold is and when it’s used. Link
  2. Marchman Act Florida: This resource outlines the process and what to expect during a 72-hour psych hold. Link
  3. NAMI Santa Clara: This PDF explains California’s laws surrounding involuntary treatment, including 72-hour holds. Link
  4. Best Counseling Degrees: This page discusses the criteria for an involuntary psychiatric hold. Link
  5. Simmrin Law Group: This article addresses what happens during a 72-hour psych hold in California. Link

What is the Purpose of a 72-Hour Hold?

  • Immediate Intervention: The 72-hour hold allows for immediate action when someone poses a danger to themselves or others due to a mental health disorder.
  • Assessment and Evaluation: Healthcare professionals closely observe the individual during this period to assess their mental state and determine further treatment needs.
  • Protection: The hold ensures the safety of the individual and the mental health records of those around them.
  • Treatment Planning: If necessary, longer-term treatment planning, including medication management and therapy, can follow the hold.

Does a 72-Hour Hold Include Weekends?

Whether or not a 72-hour hold includes weekends can depend on the specific regulations in different regions.

However, here’s what generally applies:

  1. Exclusion of Weekends and Holidays: Some sources suggest that in many cases, weekends and holidays are excluded from the 72-hour calculation. If a person is put on hold on a Friday, they might not be discharged until the following week.
  2. Varies by State: The inclusion or exclusion of weekends and holidays can vary by state. Some regions may count these days, while others may not.
  3. Depends on Facility Policies: The policies of the psychiatric facility itself can also influence whether weekends are included in the 72 hours.

What Will Happen After I Complete a 5150?

Upon completion of a 5150 hold, several outcomes are possible:

  1. Release: The individual may be released if no longer considered a danger.
  2. Voluntary Stay: The person may choose to stay voluntarily for further treatment.
  3. Extended Hold: An involuntary hold (like a 5250 in California) could be implemented if still deemed a risk.

For more detailed information, consider these resources:

  1. The Treatment Specialist: Explains the 5150 hold process and what happens afterward. Link
  2. NAMI San Mateo: Offers a comprehensive guide on post-5150 procedures. Link

What Happens After a 72-Hour Hold? (Consequences of 5150)

  • Release: They may be let go if they’re no longer a threat to themselves or others.
  • Voluntary Treatment: They can stay for treatment if they agree with the diagnosis and plan.
  • Extended Hold: If they’re still considered a risk, the hold can be extended to a 5250, a 14-day involuntary hold, which increases the total cost of the 5150.

Regarding background checks, a 5150 hold might appear on the record based on basic background check type, local laws, and whether formal psychiatric treatment followed the initial 72 hours. Consult a legal professional for specific advice.

Does a 72-Hour Hold Go On Your Record In all 50 States? (Mental Health Records)

A 72-hour hold, also known as a 5150 hold, is part of your medical record, not your criminal record.

  • It won’t appear on most background checks.
  • Regulations can vary by state and the type of check being conducted.
  • Privacy laws like HIPAA restrict access to mental health records, reducing the likelihood of a 72-hour mental health hold-up showing up on a background check.

However, in certain cases, like applying for a firearm license, mental health and criminal records may also be accessed, potentially affecting the application.

For accurate information based on your location and situation, consult a legal professional, mental health professional, or advocate.

Do Employers Seek Out Mental Health Information During Background Checks?

Employers usually can’t access medical or mental health records during a background check due to privacy laws like HIPAA.

  • Exceptions may apply in certain industries or job roles, like law enforcement or aviation, where a psychological evaluation might be required.
  • Some employers might ask about a person’s mental health record or history during the hiring process, but candidates aren’t obligated to disclose unless they need specific accommodations.
  • Legal protections, like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), safeguard individuals against discrimination based on mental health status.

Rights of Individuals Held Involuntarily for 72 Hours

Individuals held involuntarily under a 5150 or 72-hour hold have several rights:

  1. Right to Treatment: They have a right to receive treatment and care appropriate to their condition.
  2. Right to Communication: They can communicate with people outside the mental health facility, including the ability to contact a lawyer.
  3. Right to Be Informed: They must be informed of their rights in a language they understand.
  4. Right to Release: If they are no longer a danger to themselves or others, they should be released within 72 hours.
  5. Right to a Hearing: If the hold is extended beyond 72 hours, they have a right to a hearing.
  6. Right to Privacy: The details of their mental health condition and treatment are protected by privacy laws like HIPAA.

72-Hour Holds and Your Right to Confidentiality

A 72-hour hold, or 5150 hold, ensures your confidentiality.

  • It’s part of your medical record, not a criminal record, and protected by privacy laws.
  • Only healthcare professionals involved in your care can access it.
  • Exceptions may apply for firearm licenses or certain job roles.
  • You have the right to know who can access your medical records and why.

Healthcare providers protect your information and share it as needed for treatment or if required by law doctor patient confidentiality.

5150 Hold (No Insurance) Costs

  • The cost of psychiatric hospitalization in the United States ranges from $800 to $1,500 per day. At the same time, it greatly varies by region and hospital, according to research into healthcare cost databases.
  • The Fischer Institute claims that the cost of a 5150 hold could be significantly higher without insurance. In 2017, the typical price was around $2,264. However, this cost can vary considerably.

Does A 5150 Show Up On A Background Check Conclusion

In conclusion, while a 5150 hold could potentially show up on a background check, the likelihood varies depending on multiple factors. It is essential to understand your rights and be proactive in managing your mental health.

For further reading, check out resources about 5150 holds, the impact of a 5150, 5150 costs, visiting, public records, 5150 rules, after-release, get out of a hold, background check, self-commitment, who pays, minors, and 5150 codes.

Remember, if you need to reach a lawyer or expert for urgent questions, Just Answer’s $5 trial is a reasonable option. Our team has bought and reviewed Just Answer, and we believe this service could be helpful when navigating the complexities of the healthcare industry.

Our team welcomes your involvement in our discussions on 51/50s. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about 5150 records or if there’s a mental health software product you’d like Online Mental Health Reviews to investigate next.

If You In a Crisis

In case of a crisis, waiting for an online therapy session might not be the safest option. If immediate help is required, dial 911. This is especially important if there’s a risk of harm to yourself or others.

Alternatively, if you’re contemplating self-harm, reach out to the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Assistance is available around the clock.

For those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues, there’s also the National Helpline of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 800-662-HELP (4357). This free, confidential service provides information and assistance in finding treatment 24/7, every day of the year.

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