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Legal Question: How Long are Criminal Records in the National Databases?

After vacating a criminal record, how long before it stops showing up in the national databases?

Unfortunately, the process available for vacating convictions in Washington is imperfect. When you get a conviction vacated, it will no longer show up as a conviction on a background check through Washington State Patrol. WSP is also responsible for notifying the FBI for purposes of federal background checks, and it usually takes 6-8 weeks for the FBI to update their records once they are notified by WSP. However, cases do slip through the cracks. Also, there are private background check companies out there who have their own databases separate from the FBI/WSP. There is no way to predict how up-to-date those private databases are.

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