How Long Does a Felony Stay On Your Record?

Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team

When you have been released from jail you can feel as if you have got your life back. That the time you spent inside was worth it so that you can finally feel like a normal member of society again and one who isn’t limited by their actions that they have been convicted for.

However, this doesn’t always feel the case when you have to go through the probation system and then attempt to rebuild your life after having served a sentence. Although prison is seen as paying your debt to society, there will be many people who don’t see it that way and who fail to act as they should do when dealing with a former prisoner.

You will of course also have questions about what to do now that you are out of prison. You might wonder, for example, how long does a felony stay on your record and how long does your time on probation last. These questions are important and are worth answering in detail which is what this article will aim to do. It will give you the answers to these questions and more to help you feel truly at home now that you have left prison.

How Long Does a Felony Last On Your Record?

Let’s dive in by answering perhaps one of the most important questions – how long does a felony last on your record? The answer is sadly, unless there are certain exceptions, for life.

The reason for this is simple – in the eyes of the state, even though you have served your time for your crime it is important that employers and people in your community in law enforcement or in other sectors connected to the government know what crime it is you have committed.

This is particularly important if you have been convicted of murder, manslaughter and or a case involving sexual assault. Whilst officially the government don’t want those convicted of such felonies to feel as if they will have to pay for their crimes for the rest of their life, practically they believe they must balance their responsibility to individuals communities with the freedom of particular individuals.

However, although it might seem as if a felony will affect the rest of your life this isn’t always the case. There may always be people out there who judge you based on your crime but there will be an equal amount of people who are willing to help you and to be sensitive to how you feel.

There is of course also the possibility that you could actually get your felony struck off your record. Whilst this is a complex and potentially expensive process, it is one that is worth considering if it potentially applies to you. This piece will explain how you can potentially get your felony taken off your record.

How You Could Get Your Felony Off Your Record

First of all, it is important to stress that this is not something that applies across the board. For a majority of people who have convictions, their felonies will not be removed from their records. However, it is possible for a felony to be removed from your record.

The process for removing a felony is known as expungement. Expungement is a process by which a state, following your request for your felony being removed will strike it from their records and you won’t show up as having been convicted of a crime if someone runs a background check on you.

However, the reason that expungements are difficult to come by is because the process by which you can request one not only varies by state but also because certain states have certain different requirements to accept an expungement.

For example, in many states if you have been convicted of a crime involving violence then no matter how many times you attempt to get your record expunged it will always be automatically declined.

This is because these states are concerned that a felon who has committed a violent crime then other should be able to access information related to the crime to assess whether or not they wish to employ that particular individual or whether or not they still consider them to be a threat.

Equally, some states will only expunge felonies if they were convicted when the person was a juvenile. This is because there are different sentencing laws for juveniles in the United States to adults and the issue of age and the environment in which the young person grew up are taken into account which is why many former young offenders have been able to have their felonies expunged from their records and go on to have successful lives.

However, even if you aren’t able to get your felony expunged from your record you should not see it as a difficulty to how you are able to live your life.

Accepting Your Felony Record

An issue that many people face when they are released from prison is that, although they are free, their conviction stays with them for a long time afterwards. The impact of prison sentences can change people and the fact that they, in many ways, cannot move on from that felony conviction can be a real hindrance to them and heartache to their families.

This is why it is important that you must do all you can to convince your loved one or yourself to accept the felony record. Whilst expungements can happen as this article has demonstrated they can be difficult to achieve and both financially and emotionally stressful. If an expungement isn’t possible in your case, then you must do all you can to accept your sentence and move on.

Moving on from your conviction can be hard but it is in many ways the first step to rebuilding your life and to ensuring that the rest of your life is a happy one. Life outside of prison can be difficult which is why you might take time to accept the change to your life that your felony conviction has caused.

However it is important that you realize that, for good or ill, it is a change that you need to accept in order to make your life as good as it can possibly be.