How long does a felony stay on record?

Felony is a crime that attracts severe punishment for the perpetrator. The person found guilty may not be able to secure employment in some fields or cancellation of the professional license.

Having explained what is felony, let us answer common questions such as How long does a felony stay on record? Is it possible to wipe out felony from your record? What are the offenses that can’t be obliterated? Situations when you won’t regain your fundamental rights even though you are exonerated from the charge?

Let’s start with getting which offenses are considered a felony. 

What offenses amount to a felony?

Crimes such as rape, dacoit, murder, child pornography, and drug dealing are some examples of first understanding the offenses against people that amount to a felony, felonies against humans. Fraud, forgery, and intentional misrepresentation for embezzlement of money are some examples of felonies against the property. 

The criminal charge verdict against you decides “how long does a federal felony stay on your record?” 

Is it possible for me to efface a felony charge?

Anyone free of a felony charge should take the necessary steps to take it off the record. Otherwise, felony charges will stay on your record. Once you get your charges sealed, the public can’t access those documents. 

Otherwise, your landlord, bank authorities, and employers can see your criminal record. These steps are some legal procedures that can get you back the rights lost before the indictment. 

In this situation, you may ask yourself “How long does a felony arrest stay on your record?” 

Despite provisions for erasing felony charges in the US, certain states such as Iowa, Arizona, and Nebraska have no legal framework for erasing felony charges. In some states such as Colorado, and California, partial expunge of a felony offense is possible, whereas some states such as Oregon, Washington, and Nevada allow total elimination from the police record.

How long does a felony stay on record?


If we have to answer the question of how long a felony DUI stays on your record, it must be very hard. The punishments and the aftereffects of DUI felony will be life-altering. Usually, a DUI becomes a felony when you have 3 misdemeanor convictions previously.

The US law doesn’t make it mandatory for employers to do a felony background check. Furthermore, the federal US equal employment committee ordered not to include questions related to the felony charge in the employment process. 

The employers do it out of their interest to avoid embarrassing situations leading to financial loss due to a lawsuit or fraudulent activities by the misdemeanor. The companies are well aware that poor recruitment taste would damage the company’s reputation.

When can I apply for expungement?


You can apply for deletion of charges in your name once the court pronounces the judgment and not immediately after the initiation of proceedings against you. Once you serve the felony punishment, you can ask for expunge. As a rule, you should not take drugs, engage in community service hours, or complete therapy sessions to qualify for an application.

When can’t you apply?

Even though the expungement process is different in different states, any state will not allow deletion of a felony charge if:

  • You were arrested and not pronounced guilty of a felony.
  • The arrest is for minor offenses.
  • There are no rape or violent charges.
  • You committed the crime a long time back.

California allows expungement after a person charged with the offense completes the punishment period. As per the realignment of preposition 47, the defendant serves his punishment term in county prison rather than state prison; there is a provision for expungement. There is no provision for deleting many felony offenses if the defendant serves time in state prison and will stay lifelong. 

A court of law can order for annulment of criminal charges if it finds a fatal error of criminal justice or illegal arrest. Oregon State allows the removal of criminal charges after the lapse of a certain amount of time. But, if there is a doubt about how long federal felony stays on record, we can say forever, as there is no such provision for expungement in the law.

Having discussed the ways and the extent to which you can apply to expunge your felony charges, know that the law can’t erase the charges from records permanently. It will stay but will not be accessible to the public. Your landlord or the potential employer won’t see your entire record.

What happens when your record is sealed?


Once your felony record is get sealed, you would be treated just like a normal person and you can appear as a witness in any case. There are certain things you should do immediately after getting your record sealed so that you can come back to your normal life as soon as possible. These things include getting a job for yourself, renting out an apartment, and if you are a professional, getting a license soon. 

If you feel that you are going to get convicted of a felony charge, speak to the criminal defense lawyer near you. He will help you know all the procedures for expunging of offense. He can help lessen the impact of the collateral damage that can happen to you.

Frequently Asked Questions


What felony is the worst? 

Class A federal felonies such as drug crimes, pornography, and kidnapping are the worst. A federal felony conviction is going to stay on your record forever. 

Are State and federal punishments different? 

Yes, A federal judge may go by the provisions of federal sentencing guidelines, whereas the state judge may go by the state laws. So, the punishment and the law may differ.

Will I be tried in federal and state court for the same offense? 

Yes. It is possible, and the double jeopardy law doesn’t apply here.

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The felony charge will not haunt you for a lifetime except for certain states which don’t have a provision for expungement. Once this process is over, you can get back the rights available to a normal person. Hope the above writing piece will have given a clear on how long a felony charge stays on the record.

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