Some people are aware that criminal background checks are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). Typically, adverse information can't appear on a consumer report after seven years. However, criminal convictions are "special": they can be reported indefinitely.
This is one of those aspects of the law I absolutely hate explaining to people. Not only is it rigid and unfair, there's almost nothing that can be done about it. The only legal remedy that exists to remove a criminal conviction from a background report is to have the conviction expunged. While Minnesota has made this process slightly easier in the last few years, it still takes time and money to accomplish, which further delays getting a good paying job or safe housing.
Even though the above rule is extremely permissive, background check companies still manage to violate the law when reporting past criminal information. Here are a few examples:
1. Reporting criminal charges that did not result in a criminal conviction after seven years(even when related to the conduct that gave rise to a permissibly reported conviction).
2. Reporting a misdemeanor as a felony.
3. Treating a petty misdemeanor conviction as a criminal offense. In Minnesota, petty misdemeanors are non-criminal and, therefore, can't be reported after seven years.
4. Incorrectly reporting sentencing information - e.g. making it seem like a stayed sentence was fully executed.