If You Have a Criminal Record, Will It Show Up on a Background Check?

If you have a criminal record, will it show up on a background check? This is a common question that employers, landlords, and others often have. The answer, unfortunately, is not always simple. Whether it’s a free background check or a paid version, several factors contribute to whether or not criminal convictions will be included. Keep reading to learn more about how criminal records can impact background checks.

The Severity of the Crime


One factor that influences if a criminal record will show up on a background check is the severity of the crime. The severity of a crime can vary drastically, and this is another factor that will influence if a criminal record will show up on a background check. For example, a minor shoplifting charge at a local grocery store is not likely to show up on a background check, while a felony conviction will most likely show up. This is because the grocery store may only report shoplifting charges that resulted in a conviction, while a felony conviction is likely to be reported by the courts and law enforcement agencies.

Another factor that affects the severity of a crime is the state in which the crime was committed. For example, a misdemeanor charge in one state may be considered a felony in another state. This is because each state has its own set of laws and penalties for criminal offenses.

The severity can also depend on the type of crime. For example, a misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana is likely to be less severe than a felony charge for armed robbery. It can also depend on the amount of damage that was caused. For example, vandalism that results in a few thousand dollars in damage is likely to be more severe than vandalism that results in a few hundred dollars in damage.

Overall, the severity of a crime plays a major role in whether or not a criminal record will be present on a background check.

The Age of the Crime

When it comes to how long a criminal record will show up on a background check, another factor that influences things is the age of the crime. Generally speaking, the older the crime, the less likely it is to show up on a background check. However, this isn’t always the case, as different states have different rules and regulations when it comes to background checks. So, it’s crucial to check with the specific state you reside in to get a better understanding of how long criminal records will show up.

Furthermore, if the crime is a sex offense or a violent crime, it is likely to show up, regardless of how old it is. Additionally, if the crime was recent, it is more likely to show up on a background check than a crime that occurred many years ago.

That being said, as a general rule, most misdemeanors will show up for seven years, while most felonies will show up for ten years. Again, though, this can vary depending on the state, so it’s essential to do your research.

Can You Have a Criminal Record Expunged?


If you have a criminal history, you may be wondering if you can expunge it. The short answer is that yes, you can expunge it. Expungement is the process of having your criminal record sealed or destroyed. This means that the public will not have access to your record, and it will not appear on background checks.

There are a few things you need to know about expungement. First, not all records can be expunged. The crimes that can be expunged vary from state to state. Second, not everyone is eligible to expunge their record. You may be ineligible if you have a record of violent crimes or sex offenses. Finally, the process of expungement can be complicated and may require the help of a lawyer.

If you’re eligible to expunge your criminal record and you would like to do so, you should contact a lawyer in your state. The lawyer will help you through the process, which may include filing a petition with the court and attending a hearing.

If you’re successful in getting your criminal history expunged, it will be as if the crime never happened. You’ll be able to answer “no” when asked if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. This can be beneficial when applying for jobs, housing, or school loans.

Checking Your Criminal History

While in most cases, all criminal records will show up on background checks, there are some factors that influence whether or not they will. Typically, the severity and age of the crime are the two primary factors. However, if your criminal history is holding you back, you can attempt to expunge it.

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