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Will a Felony Show Up After Seven Years?

Will a Felony Show Up After Seven Years

After you have committed a felony, questions about whether or not it will show up in your background check will always haunt you.

In case you are wondering how long before authorities cover up your felony charges forever then you should know that in most states it is seven years.

This means once you’ve completed 7 years since your release, your felony should not show up.

Background Check

Almost all organizations run a background check on potential employees before hiring them. Background checks are not only a criminal background check but a complete check to verify the information you provide during your interview.

The organization wants to verify your information is authentic before they make a hire. This way they ensure they do not enter false information into the systems.

One of the most common checks an employer runs is the qualification check of an applicant. This is because it plays a huge role in determining whether or not an individual is a right fit for the position.

will felony show up after seven years

A felony conviction is a violent conviction that could include anything such as robbery, murder, arson, fraud, or theft. This is something that will come up if your organization plans to run a criminal background check.

When you are convicted as a felon these charges go on record but it does not necessarily mean that it will show up every time somebody pulls up the records.

Although the charges stay on your record for the first 7 years, organizations in a few states are not allowed to pull up these records unless necessary.

While this record is not always available for public view, they can be accessed by:

  • Banks
  • Landlords
  • Law enforcement

Record After 7 Years

Covering up a record after 7 years is not in your hands. This is something the federal fair credit reporting act covers. Based on this act, such information of an individual will only be revealed based on the job requirement. No organization can judge a person based on this information alone.

Most organizations can choose to go as far as they want with regards to running a background check. This would mean that charges before seven years may show up as well however in most cases an organization does not choose to do so.

will felony show up after 7year

Based on FCRA laws, a background check that lasts for seven years is relevant and something that older than 7 years should not be considered an accurate representation of an individual.

Employers focus on recent records that are 7 years or younger. One of the major reasons older records are not considered is because if you don’t have any charges against you for seven years, the chances of you doing something illegal is low.


If you have managed to stay clean for 7 years, you would have rehabilitated in a way that would help improve your life and this reflects positively on your character.

This is also something that will show up in a background check because it reflects that you are positively trying to change your life.

Although certain states have a restriction with regards to how much information can be revealed about a potential employee, especially in terms of records older than 7 years, certain sensitive jobs will require these reports to be opened up.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

For records older than 7 years to show up, an organization will need permission from the EEOC. Based on their guidelines, an employer gets information that is relevant to the job. The employer must not base their decision on that record alone.

States That Have A 7 Year Background Check

The question of the hour is whether or not your state falls under the seven-year background check category. If you live in the below-mentioned states then chances are your background check will not reveal any information about your felony if they are older than 7 years.

will felony show up after seven year

These states include:

  • Texas
  • New York
  • Washington
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Maryland
  • Kansas
  • Montana
  • California
  • Colorado

After 7 years, various factors determine when the report will be shared. These include:

1 Completion of Parole

2 Incarceration

3 Disposition

Expunging Charges

If you are wondering whether you must wait 7 years before your charges are no longer brought up in a background check then another way you can go about the situation is to have your record expunged.

Although not every criminal gets the chance to expunge their records, in certain situations this is something that is taken into consideration and an individual could have their record shielded from public view.

First-time offenders are more likely to have their record expunged or sealed as compared to someone who has committed a crime multiple times. Violent offenders may not get permission to expunge their records. Felons that have committed serious crimes also can’t get their records expunged. These include:

1 Sexual battery

2 Sodomy

3 Murder

4 Child abuse

Running A Background Check On Yourself

By running a background check on yourself, you will get all the information that an employer will be able to see when they run the same check on you. You can get to see information before an employer sees it and check whether or not it could hamper the chances of you getting a job.

While organizations are not that picky when it comes to felony charges, certain individuals are uncomfortable with this sort of information reviewed at the time of hiring.

If for any reason you are not comfortable with the kind of information that could be revealed during a background check you should get in touch with an attorney who will help to expunge or seal these records.

You should also look for career opportunities that are not sensitive so that the employer will not dig deep into your background.

Some employers only run basic background checks concerning your education and identification. They usually don’t pay too much attention to a criminal background check, unless the job is sensitive.

If you apply with an organization that hires felons, it may save you a criminal background. This is, however, not guaranteed. You will come to know if an organization does not plan to run a criminal background check on you since this information is only revealed after written consent from your end.

Final Tips

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to increase your chances of getting a job.

  • Honesty – Be honest with your interviewer the first time around. Inform your employer about your past even if they are open to hiring felons. This will avoid any surprises for the employer when they run your background check. Employers that are looking to give you second chances will overlook your felony charges and hire you anyway.
  • Do Something Productive – You should have something to counteract the felons every time your criminal record is brought up. This could be learning new skills or educating yourself a little more to add value to your resume. This helps bring out the best in you. If you are irreplaceable, your employer will ignore your felony charges and you will continue growing within the organization.

Make sure you keep your record clean even after the authorities expunge or seal your records. There would be no point in repeating the same mistakes after you have waited patiently for seven years to get a clean record.

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