Will a Felony Show Up After Seven Years? - JobsForFelonsHub.com
Finding Employment Legal Issues

Will a Felony Show Up After Seven Years?

Will a felony show up after seven years

Probably the biggest challenge that felons face after their release is to find a job.  Employers typically conduct a background check on applicants, making it challenging to find that job.  But what about if the felony is older than 7 years?  Will this still show up on a background check?

This blog post will answer that question and the following:

  • What is a Background Check?
  • What is Included in a Background Check?
  • Criminal Records
  • Reporting Felony Convictions After 7 Years
  • Supporting a Felon When a Felony Shows Up After Seven Years

What is a Background Check?

The purpose of a background check is to ensure employers hire the best candidate for a job.

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.

There are employers who will hire felons, but it will still take persistence in completing a number of applications in order to find that job.

There are several reasons why employers conduct a background check on job applicants and even on current employees.

  • Negligent hiring practices. If an employee’s actions hurt someone, employers may be held liable.
  • Terrorism has caused increased security caution in hiring.
  • False information on applications can hurt the hiring policy.
  • Federal and state laws require background checks on those working with children, the elderly, and disabled.
  • Background checks are becoming easier and cheaper to perform.

Felons can lose a professional license or permit required in their previous line of work.  They can’t be denied the opportunity to regain their license simply because they have been convicted of a felony.  That is discrimination.

But they can lose out due to the potential damage or harm or threat they represent for the company with the public.

Of course for positions requiring high security or trust, employers want to make certain they make a good decision.

If you’re wondering what’s going to show up on your background check, we highly recommend using this service so that you can see what’s on there before you apply anywhere.

This information allows employers to determine a candidate’s past mistakes, character, moral and financial fitness, and to pinpoint hiring risks for security and safety issues.

While background checks are not mandatory by law, they are required in areas involving an individual’s personal and private information.

These industries are in home healthcare, financial, and insurance companies along with others.

What is Included in a Background Check?

In conducting a background check, basic information from applicants includes full name, date of birth, and Social Security Number.

Among the types of information typically included in a background check are:

  • Driving records
  • Credit records, including bankruptcy
  • Criminal records
  • Education records
  • Court records
  • Character references
  • Medical records
  • Military records
  • State licensing records
  • Drug test records
  • Past employers
  • Personal references
  • Incarceration records
  • Sex offender lists
  • Social media profiles

Criminal Records

This portion of the background check involves a search of criminal history files for any criminal activity.

A criminal background check typically reveals the following information:

  • Convictions of felonies, misdemeanors, and sex crimes
  • Current home address and phone number as well as those within the past ten years
  • Arrests and court records (Dockets, orders, decrees, judgments)
  • Warrants
  • Incarceration records
  • Federal and state tax liens
  • Federal and civil judgments
  • Federal and state bankruptcies
  • Age and date of birth
  • Any alias’ and maiden names
  • Marriages and divorces

Most common is a County background check.  This will show a felony criminal history and misdemeanors in most counties.

Then, there is a Federal Criminal Record Check.  This shows federal crimes and crimes committed on federal property.

A Statewide and Nationwide check, Sex Offender Registry, and a Global Homeland Security Search reveals if an individual is in any of these databases.

According to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a background check will show all non-convictions.  These include cases resulting in these dispositions:

  • Dismissed
  • Nolle prossed (Will not prosecute)
  • Deferred Adjudication
  • Pre-trial diversion

Reporting Felony Convictions After 7 Years

Non-convictions can be reported for up to seven years.  Convictions can be reported without any time limitation, so it is likely to show up on a background check even if it’s been more than 7 years.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows felony arrests to be reported on background checks for seven years after release from prison.  Felony convictions can be reported as far back as the employer chooses to go.

There are several states that do not allow the use of any case older than seven years whether there was a conviction or not.

Twelve states restrict reporting information on any case older than seven years.  These states include: California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, and Washington.

Many employers check only five to ten years history when hiring applicants.

The exception for reporting a conviction is when felons have had their records expunged or sealed at the time of the background check.  These records would not appear on a background check after seven years.

Regardless of any felony history, it is important for felons to be honest in disclosing any conviction.  If they are no and the background check reveals a felony, their chances for employment are gone.

Disclosing felony convictions provides felon the opportunity to explain their situation and describe the circumstances of their crime.

Depending on the nature of the crime and length of time since the conviction, felons have the opportunity to present their case.

The reality here is that most applications ask if the individual has been convicted of a felony in the last 7 years.  If the answer to that question for you is no, then fill out “No” on the application.  You aren’t lying and you aren’t hiding your felony conviction, you’re simply responding to the question accurately.

If they end up running a background check later and really like you as a candidate, it’s more than likely that they’ll see the felony, but you’ll be able to explain the circumstances.

If you aren’t sure what will show up on your background check, we highly recommend that you click here to run one on yourself to see what comes back.

Supporting a Felon when a Felony Shows Up After Seven Years

For families of felons who have a felony, encourage them to be honest and ready to answer any questions about the charges.

Their best opportunity when concerned about a felony being reported after seven years is to have their record expunged or seek a pardon if they are eligible.

Being prepared for these types of issues when applying for a job and having a background check can prevent problems later on.

Be there for them and be honest with them in this situation.  Help them tell the truth and give themselves the best opportunity for success in their new life.

After all, honesty is the best policy for all concerned.

So what do you think about this blog post about whether a felony will show up after seven years?  Have you or someone you know had a felony show up after seven years?  What was that like and were they successful in dealing with it?   Please tell us in the comments below.

24 responses to “Will a Felony Show Up After Seven Years?”

  1. Krista Thompson says:

    Very informative and extremely helpful. Great article!

  2. Tonyetta Scott says:

    WHAT if a felony getting out for about six months now no job how patient do i have to be until im waisting time.

  3. Robert John says:

    What if the felony conviction was 8 years ago but you were released from prison just over 4 years ago? Did the clock start when convicted or released?

  4. Admin says:

    The question on applications usually focuses on when you were convicted, not when you were released. So, in this case, if someone asks if you have been convicted of a felony in the last 7 years, you can say no.

  5. STEPH, G says:

    I’m in a lawsuit and seeing a former employer for sexual harassment and retaliation and have a very good case with my lawyer so far. However i just received a discovery request and part of it is asking if i have a felony record. Can I refuse to disclose it? Also if I was charged with felony grand theft 6 years ago and didnt serve time and just got probation/community service(which I did) and a fine (which I’m still paying off) would I be eligible to try and get it reduced or expunged at so.e point? I’m only 26yrs old and struggling to find a decent job much less one that wont put me in horrible situations, please help!

  6. Admin says:

    This goes beyond our scope of knowledge and we wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending anything. Please discuss with your lawyer on this one, we’d hate to steer you in the wrong direction.

  7. Ssw says:

    I have worked for the last 16 years without a problem with my background just recently I applied for a new job out of state and they pulled up a case 15 years ago. The catch is I worked for this same employer previously for 12 yrs. Without a problem! What am I to do I have had a great work history with no problems now it’s hard to find a job. I have not been in trouble for over 17 years.

  8. Admin says:

    See if you can get it expunged. If not, continue to apply. Most company only ask if you have a felony in the last 7-10 years, sounds like the situation you came across is less likely to happen.

  9. susann thomas says:

    My husband and I were convicted of a felony we did not go to jail it was because I was receiving my mother’s pension check and I should not have big and because I guess he was married to me he got a felony and has to see a probation officer for some reason I do not we are both over 60 years of age this occurred about 3 years ago and it has led by husband to be desperate and not want to live because he is so worried about a job he has never ever been in any trouble and it was all because of me

  10. John says:


    I have a new job in CT running a background check on me, but I live in MA. I have disclosed to them that I have a criminal history. Does the MA seven year rule apply to out of state employers? Also, does the seven year rule apply to both charges and convictions or just charges?

  11. Admin says:

    We are not sure of state to state laws, but usually it’s a nationwide background check they run so if there was a conviction in any state it’s likely to show.

    Charges and convictions are likely to both show on the background check. You can always run a background check on yourself to see what will come up though: https://www.jobsforfelonshub.com/direct-screening

  12. Tony says:

    Will an FBI background check show a felony in California from 26 years ago? The check is a live scan (fingerprints) from an investment bank

  13. Tony says:

    The investment bank mentioned above is located in NYC. CA does not shared criminal convictions after 7 years which is why I ask

  14. Admin says:

    FBI is federal so it’s possible, but we are not certain to be honest. You can try to run the best background check available here to see: https://www.jobsforfelonshub.com/direct-screening

  15. Adam says:

    If I have convictions and arrests from 33 years when I was a teenager (18/19) ago and juvenile arrests. 16 and under, I am now 53 and haven’t had any convictions since then. I was arrested, but charges were dismissed, 14 years ago as well. Will an employer see this? I’m in the process of having the convictions sealed and arrests expunged. Would like to know your opinion.

  16. Mike Gary says:

    Mine is tough I was convicted of a FEDERAL CUSTOMS violation, 22 years ago. Registered as a Sex Off. Tier 1 lowest. Washington law ptohibits the using of any past 7 year convictions if pay is under $30,000. But I have been fired from 3 jobs and refused hirings in 5 others when they went back 23 years. I am unemployable!

  17. Corey Watson says:

    I recently denied a job because im a felon the charge was 10 years and 6months ago to be exact can they denied me the job

  18. Jennifer Calhoun says:

    So my felony has been expunged. Will that record be expunged with the FBI as well?

  19. María Perez says:

    live in Florida 7 years ago, 26 years ago I was confined for 4 years for a drug case, I was in a federal prison. Now, 26 years later, I applied for a job at a school and I was going to do the background with a fingerprint. I’m worried about what’s going on in that report, is it possible that I’m denied employment because of what happened to me?

  20. Steve says:

    Ive worked for a major rideshare company last two years with a felony on my record. They recently switched background companies and our running a new one on me which is still pending. My felony just made over seven years during this process. What should I do if the felony comes up and they decide to Let me go?

  21. Crystal says:

    I received a job offer in the banking industry in Kansas. I was convicted of a felony 8 years ago. My background check always seems to come up ok but, this job requires a fingerprint check which I have never done before. Does the 7 year rule apply to fingerprint checks like the background checks do in KS? I can’t seem to find a solid answer on the internet.

  22. Lv says:

    I applied for a job yesterday and sign for a background check the employer call me today to tell me she disqualified me cuz of the case 14 years ago can they do that?

  23. Oa says:

    I recently got an offer for a city job in California I have felony which is 8 years old do you think it will come out on the background check?

  24. Admin says:


    Your best bet is probably to just run a background check on yourself to see what comes up: https://www.jobsforfelonshub.com/direct-screening

    No one will be able to say for sure, but this service will confirm everything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *