Finding the right job can be both stressful and challenging, especially after two years of everything going on in the world, but with all the changes for the better, there is a light at the end of the road. Of course, just because there are more job openings doesn’t necessarily mean how everything will get much easier right away, but the fact there are plenty of options surely grants faster employment. Now, regardless of the situation and your current state, that famous background check can sometimes be troubling, especially if there is something in your past that might be an obstacle.
Yes, we all have certain things in our past we are not proud of, as we have all made mistakes before, but here, we are more focused on criminal records, what goes into them, and what’s even more important, how long does it last. Well, for starters, we need to clarify certain things, as, in general, any kind of criminal record is available to anyone who has access to those records. What this means is that even though in many states it’s sealed from public view, in some of them, anyone can access it. Of course, there are also other ways when these records can be expunged, which we will further discuss and explain, along with the time period for which these records last.
What is it?
The first thing we need to discuss here is what criminal records are, as this is where it all starts, so we will try to explain them precisely and shortly. Namely, you should look at it as a well-designed storage unit where all your arrests, violations, and possible convictions (criminal law) are preserved and kept in chronological order. Now, every database preserves different types of records, and not every database has all the info in one place besides the NCIC, which is a nationwide one. No matter which information somebody wants to check, it can easily be found on criminal records, and what is necessary to say, nothing can be hidden.
Who can access it?
In general, this is a matter of public domain, meaning that any interested party with enough time can do a background search without any special permission. Now, this shouldn’t worry anyone because there is no wrongdoing here, and what’s important is how certain agencies, possible future employers, banks, and other institutions look at these records and how far back they perform this search. Besides that, the availability of this search is very useful if we doubt that someone in our neighborhood is a convicted offender who can be dangerous for the people we love and us. Above everything else, and if you want to be sure there isn’t anything that might endanger your job or a possible loan, you can always perform a background check on your own, as all you need is to type a name, surname, and pick a state, which you can do at lookupinmate.org.
How far back do background checks go?
Even though there aren’t really any restrictions when performing such a search, you should know that almost anyone who does it focuses on a seven-year time period. This period is a sort of a rule, as in most courts, a seven-year period is as far as records are kept, and from an employment perspective, it’s kind of a standard that all background check criminal records wise do not go back further than seven years. Of course, not all the charges and types of records have the same weight, which is why checking them out on your own can be a great way to settle any doubt you might have. It is necessary to mention that many records are kept until the person turns 100 years, and if someone really wants to check your past even before that seven-year period, it is possible to do that.
Is it possible to remove information?
It is possible to clear the criminal record in some cases, and the information can be removed even before the seven-year period, and there are a few ways for it. Of course, we need to mention again that the length of keeping records depends on the gravity of the offense, and it is possible only to erase minor offenses. In most cases, erasing the criminal record can be done through the petition, and it always requires legal advice, as doing it on your own probably won’t give the desired results. If you have admitted some serious crime, there is no hope that it could be erased, and even a petition is not an option.
How to fix the possible mistake?
Sometimes we can do our background check and find some wrong information added that can make us a huge problem if we do not react in time, and even cost us our job. Because of that, it is necessary to react right away and fix all the errors as soon as possible since waiting can cause even bigger problems that cannot be easily fixed. Luckily, there is a simple solution, as all you need to do is contact the controller, which is in charge of information added to a criminal record, explain to them what the problem is, and wait for them to fix it. Their contact can easily be found online or in the office in charge of keeping these records.
It is difficult to say how exactly a criminal record last in the US because it depends on many factors, and doing a background check is the only way to make sure if it is clear or not. In most cases, information is kept for seven years, but regarding the gravity of the offense, this period can be much longer, and when it comes to serious crimes, this information will always be visible in your criminal record. Prevention is the best possible option to be sure that your criminal record is clear; avoiding problems with authorities and the law means a much better position when it comes to job searching and many other activities.