You received criminal charges after your recent encounter with Texas law enforcement. Perhaps you want to move or get a new job, both of which may require a look into your background. How long should you expect your charges to appear on background checks?
Chron explains how long you should expect credit reporting agencies, states and more to see your charge on background checks. Get the facts on the matter so you know how to navigate your life.
Experian, TransUnion and other credit reporting agencies handle most criminal background checks related to employment, credit and housing. Companies must notify you of their intention to run a background check and get your permission to do so. According to federal regulations, criminal charges may appear on your credit report indefinitely.
The FBI oversees criminal records across the United States. Their National Crime Information Center maintains records on state-supplied and national criminal records. Only law enforcement agencies may access NCIC records. The only way to clear your record is with a presidential pardon.
States gather criminal history data from city and county law enforcement agencies. Expect collected charges to remain on your state record indefinitely. In Texas, you may qualify to have your record sealed or erased. To do so, you must meet specific requirements. Expunging your record involves destroying hard copy records or clearing the charge from the state database.
Gathering knowledge about criminal charges and background checks lets you navigate life with a record. Understand where and how to focus your job and housing searches.