Can arrests appear on a background investigation?
Your arrest may or may not show up on your background check, depending on a variety of factors. Unless you have a record expunged, it can stay on your background check report indefinitely. However, certain types of records are limited under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a law protecting consumer rights in credit reporting. This legislation contains a so-called “7-year rule,” which requires that civil suits, civil judgments, arrest records and paid tax liens be removed from a consumer report after 7 years. This applies to every state in the U.S. Some states actually go even farther with their regulations and do not permit reporting of these records at all. So what about criminal convictions? In many states, they are not governed by the 7-year rule. (See this chart for exceptions, which include both timeframe restrictions and salary caps.)