Does a Criminal Record Erase After 7 Years?
Posted on September 11, 2017
In California, contrary to popular belief, a criminal conviction will not be erased with the passage of time. Instead, a conviction will forever remain accessible to the government and licensing agencies. The seven-year myth presumably came from employment codes that restrict private employers from holding or even searching for criminal convictions that exceed seven years.
Any time someone is convicted of a crime, the conviction is transmitted by the clerk of the court to the California Department of Justice. Thereafter, a notation is added to your formal criminal record reflecting that you were convicted of a certain crime. You cannot erase the conviction unless you prove factual innocence or subsequently move to withdraw your plea/finding of guilt.
To obtain a copy of your record, you may apply for a live scan. This application is available on the DOJ website. The process entails you being fingerprinted by a licensed agency. The cost runs around $40.00. After submitting a live scan, the DOJ mails you a copy of your formal record. This is the same record reviewed by law enforcement and licensing agencies.