Adding a felony to your conviction record will turn your life upside down. You may not realize it at the time but your record will haunt you for the rest of your life.
The good news is that companies are becoming more lenient toward people who have committed felony crimes in the past.
Depending on your history and the time of crime you committed, there is a good chance that the company will ignore such problems. So, do felonies show up after 7 years?
Ultimately, it depends on several factors. Within this guide, you’re going to learn more about your background check and what will appear on your record.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act
First and foremost, you have to understand that laws have been created to protect businesses and consumers. These laws ensure that businesses are able to gain vital information about potential employees before hiring them.
Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, businesses can find out a lot about a person’s criminal history before adding them to the roster.
This law allows felony arrests to be reported on background checks for 7 years after someone has been released from prison.
However, it is important to remember that felony convictions can last much longer. If the employer chooses to check felony convictions more than 20 years ago, they can do so.
No law limits how far back an employer can go when running background checks. Therefore, your criminal history is always on the record. When submitting an employment application, you should never lie to your potential employer.
They will likely find out about it and that will create problems for you.
Do Felonies Show Up After 7 Years?
Unfortunately, background checks will report your convictions and non-convictions for seven years. Even if you weren’t convicted of the crime, there is a risk that the employer is going to see information about the arrest and remove you from their list of candidates.
The incident can still be reported on your background check. The FCRA allows felony arrests to be reported on background checks for seven years after the individual has been released from prison.
As for felony convictions, they’ll appear longer. Typically, most employers will check for arrests and convictions during the past five or ten years but some will go deeper.
With this in mind, your felony conviction from 15 years ago may still appear on your background check. A felony arrest without a conviction will not.
Furthermore, you can eliminate this problem by having it expunged from your record. Or, you can have it sealed too. Felony arrests and convictions can haunt you. Therefore, you’ll want to take steps to solve these problems.
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Will A Felony Show Up On A Background Check After 10 Years?
Once you have a felony arrest on your record, it is going to follow you for many years. While you may not get into trouble again, your past is going to haunt you. It is best to avoid getting into trouble with the law in the first place.
Nevertheless, people make mistakes and employers have to understand this. With that being said, most employers will not background check employees and look for information 10 years ago.
Furthermore, the Fair Credit Reporting Act only allows felony arrests to be reported for seven years after you’ve left prison.
This means an arrest or non-conviction will not show up on your record after seven years. However, convictions can. If you were convicted of a felony, it will likely show up on your record but it depends on the employer in question.
If the employer wishes to check back 11 years, this will show up on your record. Therefore, you’ll want to avoid such issues.
To prevent these mistakes from haunting you, it is best to prevent them in the first place. Alternatively, you’ll want to take steps to remove these mistakes from your record.
You’ll learn more about removing these felonies from your records so they’ll no longer prevent you from getting a job.
Will A 20 Year Old Felony Show On A Background Check?
Unfortunately, you made a mistake more than 20 years ago and you’ve never lived it down. If this is the type of problem you’re dealing with, you’ll want to find out how a felony is going to impact your job search.
Will you have a tougher time getting a job due to a felony on your background check? Having a felony on your record will make your life significantly harder since many employers are not eager to hire felons. Furthermore, you’ll have to work harder to secure a good job.
Thankfully, some employers are willing to forgive. If you stay out of trouble for a long time, many employers will give you a chance. Will your 20-year-old felony show up on your next background check?
It depends on the employer. Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you don’t have to worry about felony arrests and non-convictions appearing on your record. These things cannot be reported for longer than 7 years.
However, employers can check back much longer if they want to do so. Employers can check as far back as they want. If they want to see if you were convicted of a felony crime 25 years ago, they can do so.
While it is not common, some employers will do so. If you get the felony expunged or the record sealed, you won’t have to worry about it. Those things will be hidden from potential employers.
How Far Can Background Checks Go?
Again, laws have been enacted that prevent certain convictions and non-convictions from appearing on criminal background checks. As a felony, you’ll likely be interested in knowing how far background checks can go.
Will employers be able to find out about the crime you committed when you were 18 years old? Will they learn about the time you were arrested for a felony but never convicted?
It is important to learn as much as you can about background checks and their reach. Doing so will make a big difference when applying for jobs.
Once you’ve learned about this, you’ll know what is going to be revealed about you when an employer asks for a background check. Then, you will be able to assemble a plan for dealing with the issue effectively.
As mentioned above, the Fair Credit Reporting Act allows felony arrests to be reported on background checks for seven years after you’ve been free from prison.
However, convictions can last forever. If an employer wants to look for felony convictions 30 years ago, they can do so. Most won’t though. Most employers only look at incidents from 5 or 10 years ago.
Tell The Truth
If you’ve been convicted or arrested for a felony crime, you’ll want to be honest about it. You made a mistake and you’ve done everything possible to remedy that problem. Employers will understand that you’ve done everything you can.
With that being said, you cannot lie to potential employers. You need to show them that you’re working hard to right your wrongs. So, you should never try to hide this information.
Instead, you’ll want to be honest about it. If you’re truthful, your employer will realize it and they’ll be willing to work with you.
Lying on a job application is one of the quickest ways to ruin your chances. Unless the record has been expunged or sealed, you should not lie about it. Doing so will backfire.
How To Respond To The Question
When you encounter the felony question on a job application, you’re likely going to become concerned and worried. This can be very problematic and you may want to lie about it. This is not a good idea.
To solve problems, you’ll want to be honest. You need to tell the employer the truth about your arrests. Failing to do so is going to lead to big problems.
Furthermore, you want to learn as much as possible about your background check. You need to know what the employer is going to see. If you don’t know what the background check is going to report, you won’t be able to defend yourself.
With this in mind, you’ll want to learn how to speak with the employer. If you know what is on the record, you’ll be able to solve this problem.
You can tell your employer what happened and why they should give you a chance. Finally, you should know that employees consider some crimes to be worse than others.
If you were convicted of a sexual assault or murder, there is a risk that the company isn’t going to give you a chance. If you were caught with drugs, the employer may work with you.
So, you should be honest with the company and tell them what happened. With a little luck, they’ll overlook your past problems and add you to the team.
Be Ready For The Interview
If the employer finds a felony on your arrest record, you’re going to need to work to solve this problem as quickly as possible.
When you visit the employer’s facility for an interview, you have to be ready to speak about your felony arrests. The employer will want to know as much about the issue as possible.
They want reassurance that you’re going to be a good addition to their team. They want to be positive that you’re not going to create any problems for their company.
You need to knock it out of the park. You need to make the individual you’re speaking with feel comfortable hiring you. They should understand that you’re a good employee and that you won’t create any issues.
You should explain what happened and what you’ve done to change your life. Be open and honest with the employer and you’ll have a great chance of getting the job.
Never lie about anything since this would lead to big issues. Be honest and tell that individual the truth about everything. If you can convince them to relate to your story, they’ll be more likely to give you a chance with their company.
Be Selective When Applying
When applying for jobs, you need to be very selective. You need to make sure that you’re giving yourself a much better chance for success.
So, you have to understand that some employers are more willing to hire felons than others. For the best results, you’ll want to apply with companies that are more liberal in this area.
You likely won’t be able to get a job with a police department or federal agency with felonies on your record. However, you may be able to get a job with Walmart, Target, McDonald’s, or other companies.
With this in mind, you should spend time learning about the companies that will hire felons and those that will not. Then, you’ll want to dedicate most of your applying to companies that will give you a chance.
Can You Expunge A Felony
You can have just about every type of criminal offense, including felonies. To remove a felony from your record, you must request it in writing.
Unfortunately, sometimes this is not enough to have the felony expunged from your record. In these cases, it is necessary to hire an attorney to oversee the process for you. This is the best and sometimes the only way to have felonies expunged.
You must also prove to the judge that your situation meets the felony expungement requirements in the state you reside in. This is something you can do yourself without the assistance of a licensed attorney.
Once the court receives your request, an appointment for a hearing will be scheduled for you. On this date, you will be required to appear in court to state your case.
What Does Expungement Mean?
Expungement means the felony offense is completely removed from your criminal record. So, when an individual, business, or government entity pulls your criminal record, the offense will not be on it.
According to the DMV website, record expungement means the public will no longer be able to access your criminal record.
Related: Does The DMV Do Background Checks?
Expunging the conviction from your record is one of the best ways to deal with the problem. With that being said, you should work with a professional to have the arrest and conviction expunged from your record as soon as possible.
The only downside is that getting something expunged from your record will be difficult so you’ll need to stick with.
What Does ‘Sealed’ Mean?
Some courts will utilize the term “sealed” in place of expunged. This is perfectly legal because the two terms are very similar. If you apply to have your criminal record sealed, you are requesting to have it no longer accessible to the public.
If your request is approved, the public will not have access to your criminal record. However, your sealed records will not vanish, they will still exist.
Is It Legal To Claim No Criminal Record?
An expungement has many benefits, especially for ex-offenders who are working to change their life around. In this case, an expungement gives ex-offenders the option to answer “no” when asked about criminal records. This is a major benefit when applying for employment and enrollment at an educational institute.
Only a few government entities have access to sealed criminal records. This may include the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and state and local law enforcement agencies.
Do Pardoned Offenses Remain On Criminal Record?
Pardons rarely remove criminal offenses from records. The only way criminal offenses are removed in pardons is when it is conditioned. For example, the President pardons you for a conviction related to bribery.
And, the pardon clearly states that the offense is to be completely removed from your record. In this case, the criminal offense will be removed from your record.
If you are pardoned for a crime and the pardon does not mention expungement, you can request it at a later date.
Recommended: Expungement vs Pardon.
What Officials Can Issue Pardons?
Only a few government officials have the authority to issue a pardon. These are limited to governors, attorney generals, secretaries of state, and the president.
Even if a judge, sheriff, public defender, or police officer wanted to issue you a pardon, it would not be possible. You will need to have a connection with an official who has the authority to issue a pardon.
Getting a pardon will be very difficult but you can do it. Remember to be persistent and you’ll be able to get pardoned.
What Is A ‘Certificate Of Actual Innocence’?
A type of criminal offense expungement that a lot of people are not familiar with is the “Certificate of Actual Innocence.” This is regarded as the “highest” type of expungement in the court of law. Only defendants who have been found not guilty of a crime can qualify for this type of expungement.
When someone is issued a Certificate of Actual Innocence, it has been determined that they are innocent. Issuing this form of expungement means the defendant should have never been charged with a criminal offense.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.