How Long Will My Conviction Remain on My Criminal Record and Background Check?

I am often asked “how long will a conviction remain on my criminal record?” The answer depends on the type of conviction. Depending on the type of conviction, it will remain on your record for one of three lengths of time: (1) until the end of your probation period; (2) for five years following the end of your probation period; or (3) for the rest of your life.

A criminal conviction is removed through expungement, which means to erase that criminal conviction from your record.

Expungement through Diversion
Under a diversion program, a defendant pleads guilty and enters into a probation period. If the defendant completes all the conditions of probation, and the probation period ends, the defendant can return to court and have the charge expunged from his record at that time.

Through a diversion program, a criminal conviction will remain on your criminal record until you return to court after the probation period and have it expunged.

Expungement through T.C.A. 40-32-101(G)
Under T.C.A. 40-32-101(G), a person may have a conviction expunged from their criminal record if: (1) the conviction qualifies for removal; (2) the person has had no criminal convictions since that conviction; and (3) the person has waited at least five years from the end of the sentence to ask for expungement.

If you meet all three requirements, you can petition the court to have your conviction expunged. Through this process, a criminal conviction will remain on your record for at least five years from the end of your sentence.

Convictions that cannot be Expunged
Unfortunately, there are some crimes that simply cannot be expunged from your criminal record. In such a situation, a conviction will remain on your criminal record, and be discovered in background checks, for the rest of your life.

To learn more about expungement, and to learn how you can access the courts to have your convictions removed, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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