Does Probation Go On Your Criminal Record?

If you want to apply for a job but are currently on or received probation in the past then you might want to know if it goes on your criminal record. The answer is yes probation does go on your criminal record. 

You don’t need to be sent to jail in order to have something put on your criminal record. As the judge found you guilty of a crime but decided that probation was the best course of action it’s still going to go on your record. 

There are special occasions when you can request to have it expunged, but it’s a difficult process, and not everyone will qualify to have their record wiped clean. We’ll cover more below.

Can you expunge probation from your criminal record?

An expungement means getting convictions removed from your criminal record like they were never there. It can give you peace of mind when it comes to applying for new jobs and relieve you altogether as you now have a clean record.

If you receive probation it’s possible to have it expunged from your criminal record, however, there is a list of conditions that must be met before this happens. 

The main one is that you must not currently be on probation, you’ll have to complete it before starting the expungement process. Once you finished your probation without any trouble the next thing that determines whether or not you can have it expunged is the nature of your crime. 

Not all crimes are eligible to be expunged. The more severe your crime, the less likely you have a chance of getting it expunged. Things such as rape and other sex offenses crimes can’t be expunged and will be stuck on your record forever. 

There is also a time factor that’s taken into account during the expungement process. If the offense was a misdemeanor then it must remain on your record for at least three years. If it was a felony then it’ll need to remain on your record for at least seven years.

Are both supervised and unsupervised probations visible on the record?

Supervised probation is when the judge decides not to imprison you for your crimes but instead gives you a number of rules that you must adhere to. These things include setting a curfew, passing drug tests, remaining within a certain distance of your home, and reporting to your probation officer. 

Unsupervised probation means the same thing, except you aren’t required to report to a probation officer. However, both supervised and unsupervised probation are the same when it comes to being visible on your record.

In both situations, you’ve been convicted of a crime and thus it will appear on your criminal record regardless of whether or not you were given supervised or unsupervised parole.

Difference between parole and probation on your record

parole and probation on record

Parole and probation both share some similarities, but they can also differ when it comes to your criminal record. 

Parole is when a prisoner is released early from jail as the parole board thinks there’s a good chance of rehabilitation and they can be put back into the community. 

What about deferred adjudication?

Deferred adjudication is when someone facing a charge enters into a guilty plea in exchange for probation. This can help them avoid a conviction if they complete various different requirements of the deal. 

It’s different from probation and parole because it allows the person to have the criminal charges removed and thus gives them a clean record. However, failing to meet the requirements of your deferred adjudication will turn it into a conviction and appear on your criminal record.

Should You Disclose Your Probation to Employer?

Yes, it’s a good idea to disclose probation to your employer. It’s going to come up once they run a background check on you so it’s better that they hear it from you directly instead of them discovering it or you covering it up. 

Having probation on your record will definitely hinder your ability to get a job but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Some employers will be willing to give you a chance depending on the type of job, what the crime was, and your attitude as a whole. 


Unfortunately, probation will go on your criminal record as you’ve been deemed to have committed a crime in the eyes of the court. This applies to both types of probation, supervised or unsupervised. It’s possible to have it removed, called an expungement, but it’s not easy and there are a number of conditions you’ll have to meet in order to be eligible.

bryan rucker
Written by Brian Williams

Brian is an expert in security, privacy, and information. He has studied background checks, criminal, people search, and such topics over the last 5 years. He is also an avid writer and enjoys sharing his knowledge through this blog. Read more of Brian's articles.