There are no federal time limits for criminal convictions established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, according to the Houston Chronicle. There are established national standards for time limits of background checks done by consumer reporting agencies; however, the laws don't apply to employers doing their own background checks in-house.
Some states, such as Texas, do follow a seven-year rule in that bars employers from going back more than seven years for criminal convictions on a background check, according to the Houston Chronicle. However, this does not apply to jobs with salaries over $75,000 a year. Therefore, state law should be checked to verify how far a criminal background check can go.