Will a Felony Show Up After Ten Years? - JobsForFelonsHub.com
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Will a Felony Show Up After Ten 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.

This blog post will cover whether a felony will show up after ten years.

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

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

Non-convictions are reportable for seven years.  Convictions can be reported without any time limitation.  The so-called “seven year rule” came from the fact that arrests can only be reported for seven 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.  That, of course, includes a ten-year span.

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.

Having legal counsel can be helpful.

Supporting a Felon when a Felony Shows Up After Ten 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 ten 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 ten years?  Have you or someone you know had a felony show up after ten years?  What was that like and were they successful in dealing with it?   Please tell us in the comments below.

12 responses to “Will a Felony Show Up After Ten Years?”

  1. Deborah J. says:

    In my own experience Felony Record stays with you the rest of your life. It will be shown for eternity. There is no erase of a criminal record. Yes, it will show forever and ever. There is no statue of limitation on background checks.

  2. Sue says:

    I have a criminal record 18 years ago they ran my finger prints found nothing and I did time.

  3. Kevin says:

    Sue: if you do not mind answering, what state was the crime committed in? Is it possible it was expunged without your knowledge?

  4. Kevin says:

    Sue: if you do not mind answering, what state was the crime committed in? Is it possible it was expunged without your knowledge?

  5. Richard says:

    In 2003 I was charged with a felony, I pleaded guilty (at the advice of my lawyer) to the felony, because my primary defense were the results of the prosecutions lie detector test. During sentencing, the judge amended the charges to a misdemeanor (accessory). But every job I have applied for asks the question “Have you ever been charged with a felony”… not convicted, but simply charged. In my opinion, when you answer “yes” the application will always go in the trash… But seeing as it has been over 15 years now, I am tempted to be dishonest and simply say “no”.

  6. Natalie says:

    Richard, which state what type of felony, and what type of job you are applying for will determine your chances of getting hired. Every state has different laws regarding the disclosure of felonies based on time and type. Third party background checking agencies are required by law to adhere to the applicants area specific State laws. Some companies have additional background criteria required to be met in accordance to the type of job you are applying for that will allow these 3rd party background checking agencies to still legally disclose your felony regardless of the general state law if it could become a liability for them at any point. It’s very confusing and overwhelming but do not assume that just because you have a felony that equals automatic disqualification from every potential, prospective job opportunity. Just because you were turned away from one does not mean you will be the next. Honesty is the best policy…..sometimes. Not always. Meaning, don’t go out of your way to offer up information that has yet to be requested. At the same time don’t go out of your way to lie or misrepresent your history. Just go through the motions just like any other person would and see what comes of it, you might be surprised.

  7. janet l mobley says:

    Can the state of Texas go back 40 years on a background check

  8. Jon says:

    How is the age of a federal felony conviction on a background check determined? Is it from the offense date or the disposition date? For me, the offense was in 2008, but the disposition date is in 2010.

  9. LuAnn says:

    My record is 31 years old. I cannot get a job for anything. (Utah). I worked a hotel for 5 years, as a bartender, lost the job but got rehired a year later, however the day I went to orientation I was told they could not hire me because of my 28 year old record! It has happened over and over in the 3 years since!

  10. David Godley says:

    I’ve been employed with construction jobs laborer jobs even working the oil in North Dakota I was moved up to a driver position which my company check my background I’m a sex offender 30 years ago at this point in my life I’m almost giving up I’ve been out searching for a job and nothing’s come about I’m starting to get that depressed feel I’m about to lose my place of living my wife was just taken away from me and I have bills to pay I’ll do any job at this point and in North Dakota I was informed by law enforcement that I’m no longer on the registry here which is the only state that allow that anyhow this is a very daunting

  11. somebody says:

    lol if you live in one of the twelve states. Honesty is not the best route, tell them no. your just saving companies money by being honest. The law is not supposed to go back seven years its supposed to be your right.

  12. Shannon Bailey says:

    I used to work for a city level government office as a receptionist, I also helped new hires with the mounds of paperwork required to start working there. I remember a man that had recently been hired before his background check came back, his job was contingent on the results being good like je said they were. It came back showing a felony conviction that he had sealed years ago, after a lot of closed door meetings and note taking they finally decided to let him work there, he was a garbage collector for the city after all was said and done. Making a whopping $9 bucks an hour, even getting your record sealed is almost impossible.

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