A felony conviction can have serious and long-lasting consequences, including affecting your ability to find employment, housing, and even vote. One of the most common questions people have after being convicted of a felony is: how long will it stay on my record? The answer, like many legal questions, is “it depends.”
The length of time a felony stays on your record can vary based on a number of factors, including the state where the conviction occurred, the nature of the offense, and the steps you take to try to get it removed. Read on to find out more.
How Long Does a Felony Stay On Your Record?
A felony is a serious crime that is punishable by a sentence of more than one year in prison. Felonies can include offenses such as murder, robbery, and drug trafficking, among others. When a person is convicted of a felony, it becomes a permanent part of their criminal record.
In most cases, a felony conviction will remain on a person’s record for the rest of their life. This means that employers, landlords, and others who conduct background checks will be able to see the conviction, even if it occurred many years ago. However, there are some circumstances in which a person may be able to have their felony conviction expunged or sealed, which would remove it from their record.
Expungement is the process of having a criminal conviction removed from a person’s record. This is typically only available in cases where the person was convicted of a non-violent offense and has completed their sentence, probation, and any other requirements imposed by the court. In some states, a person may be able to petition the court for expungement after a certain amount of time has passed since the conviction.
Sealing a criminal record means that it is still on file, but access to it is restricted. This is often available in cases where the person was convicted of a non-violent offense and has completed their sentence, probation, and any other requirements imposed by the court. In some states, a person may be able to petition the court for record sealing after a certain amount of time has passed since the conviction.
It’s important to note that not all felonies can be expunged or sealed, and the process for doing so varies by state. Additionally, even if a person’s felony is expunged or sealed, there may still be certain circumstances in which the conviction can be disclosed, such as when applying for certain types of jobs or professional licenses.
In conclusion, a felony conviction will generally stay on a person’s record for the rest of their life, although there may be some circumstances in which it can be expunged or sealed. It’s important to consult with an attorney to understand the specific laws and procedures in your state and to determine whether you may be eligible for expungement or sealing of your criminal record.
Related Article: What Is a Conditional Discharge?
Can You Get a Felony Off Your Record?
In general, it is possible to get a felony off your record through a process called “expungement” or “sealing” of criminal records, but the specific procedures and requirements vary depending on the state and the nature of the offense.
Expungement or sealing typically involves filing a petition with the court that handled your case, and demonstrating that you have met certain eligibility criteria, such as completing a period of probation or community service, or demonstrating good behavior since the conviction.
In some cases, the expunged records may still be accessible to law enforcement or certain government agencies, but they will not be visible to the public or potential employers.
It is important to note that not all felonies may be eligible for expungement, and the process can be complex and time-consuming. It is recommended to consult with a criminal defense attorney or legal aid organization in your area to determine your eligibility and navigate the process.
Steps to Get Rid of Felony
The process of getting rid of a felony from your record, also known as expungement or sealing, can vary depending on the state where the conviction occurred. However, here are some general steps you can take:
1. Check eligibility
Check with the court or a criminal defense attorney to determine if you are eligible for expungement or sealing. Eligibility requirements can vary depending on the nature of the offense, the length of time since the conviction, and your criminal history.
2. Obtain Court Records
Obtain a copy of your criminal record from the court where your case was handled. This will help you determine if your conviction is eligible for expungement or sealing.
3. Complete Required Waiting Period
Some states require a waiting period before you can apply for expungement or sealing. Make sure you have completed the required waiting period before beginning the process.
4. File a Petition
File a petition for expungement or sealing with the court where your case was handled. The petition must include a statement of the reasons why you are seeking expungement or sealing, and any evidence you have to support your request.
5. Attend a Hearing
Depending on the state, you may be required to attend a hearing to present your case for expungement or sealing. Be prepared to explain why you believe you should be granted relief and provide any evidence to support your request.
6. Follow Up
After the hearing, it may take several weeks or months for the court to make a decision. Be sure to follow up with the court to find out the outcome of your petition.
7. Update Your Records
If your expungement or sealing petition is granted, make sure to update your records with any relevant agencies or employers.
When facing a felony charge, it’s important to understand the potential consequences, such as how long it can stay on your record, as well as your options for getting released from jail before trial, such as through a bail bond. If you’re wondering ‘Can You Bond Out On a Felony Charge?’, be sure to read our article on the topic.
How long does felony stay on record in Florida?
A Florida felony conviction, with some very rare exceptions, will unfortunately be on your record for the rest of your life.
How long does a Class C felony stay on your record in Washington state?
It takes five years if you were convicted of a class C felony to stay on your record.
What felonies can be expunged in Michigan?
A felony conviction can be wiped up to three times. But, you will not be eligible if you have more than three felonies on your record.
Hi, I’m Brian Gary; I have my Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree from SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Over the years, I have dealt with many families and successful corporate Legal cases. I have counseled many people on legal matters, and along with my profession, I write about Law on my blog. Please feel free to contact me for counseling/case discussion; I’ll be happy to help you.