Millions of Americans are facing challenges everyday because a criminal record from their past continues to haunt them. A prior arrest or conviction prevents former offenders from reintegrating into society, but an expungement or sealing can help these individuals have the life they desire and deserve.
With even a small blemish on your record, you can experience many hardships. Expunging your criminal record can help with the challenges that you might face when trying to move forward. After your criminal record is sealed or expunged, you can put those old mistakes behind you.
How an Expungement Can Help
An expungement can help you move forward in many different aspects of your life. A lot of people may not know the many ways that a criminal record can affect one’s life so negatively, but an arrest or criminal conviction can have a lasting impact on your life.
The following are eight reasons why, if you have a criminal conviction or an arrest on your record, you should consider petitioning the court to expunge or seal your criminal record:
- Employment – Most employers conduct background checks on new applicants. With a conviction on your record, you may be unable to find a new job or may not be promoted from your current position because of your criminal record. Sealing or expunging your record will allow you to be evaluated based on your qualifications for the position and not a mistake from your past.
- Educational Opportunities – With a criminal record, you could be unable to attend the college or university of your choice, and you can also be disqualified from certain graduate programs. Additionally, students that are convicted of drug-related offenses are ineligible for federal student aid for specified period of time, which depends on the number of prior offenses.
- Firearms Rights – A criminal conviction can result in the loss of your gun rights. An expungement of the conviction that resulted in the prohibition could restore those rights. Laws on this vary by state; a separate firearm rights restoration petition, in addition to the petition to expunge, is required in some states.
- Housing – Most landlords conduct background checks on potential tenants as a part of the application process. They can legally deny you housing if you have a criminal conviction. Having the conviction expunged or sealed will allow you to find better housing.
- Loans and Financial Aid – A criminal record could make you ineligible for a loan or it could result in higher interest rates if you do receive a loan. Also as discussed above, drug offenses can remove the opportunity for a student to receive federal financial aid.
- Professional Licenses and Certifications – Some professions require certification in order to receive a license to perform the job duties involved in the profession. These certifications often require a criminal background check. Having a criminal record can prevent you from being certified or licensed, but having your record expunged or sealed could help you obtain the license or certification you seek.
- Adoption or Foster Parenting– A background check will be conducted before you can become a foster parent or adopt a child, and several states ban applicants that have criminal records. Expunging or sealing your criminal record will help you be able to adopt a child or become a foster parent.
- Volunteering – While volunteer work is a great way to give back to your community and show that you are rehabilitated, most volunteer positions that involve participation with youth or other vulnerable populations requires a background check to verify that you have a clean criminal record. Expungement or criminal record sealing will help you be able to help those in your community.
As we are now aware of the majority of information that was told to Congress, our state lawmakers and to the general public regarding sex offenders was in fact false and wrongful information and false and wrongful facts everything from the so called “Stranger Danger” to the misinformation on the 100,000 missing, unaccounted for and out of compliance. Sexual Violent Predators running amuck across the. U.S. molesting, raping and killing our children all in the guise of public safety when the true intent was to make it appear it was a lot worse than it ever was, what so that there would be more funding, donations, special programs, the ability for states to appear that it’s not weak on crime and for politicians to use it for get tough on crime platforms. Turns out our government lawmakers knowing this information was false that caused for people to be put in great fear, panic, anger, hate and rushing to judgement. It has caused for persons to have been killed, murdered and taken their own lives. It is major cause for persons to become homeless, unable to get fair housing and a decent job .t has caused for severe grief, sorrow , pain and suffering to both the offender and to their family’s wellbeing.
My major comment is this: knowing this why has there not been some major class action suites by some well trained lawyers in this field, causing some big and needed changes in the sex offender laws, rules and regulations as to opening the doors to getting the needed ability for getting more expungements.
Neil B Fisher
Very nice post about Expungement. Expungement is preferable to sealing a criminal record because there is no chance of the record ever resurfacing. However, you will usually not have a choice in this matter.
I was sent to prison in 1990 for a rape charge that i did not do. During the trial I kept telling them I was innocent. When my lawyer came back he said I have good news none of your semen, hair or saliva match, bad news they kept you over a 1 year and 2 days, we have to charge you with something on you can sue the state of Washington and any lawyer would pick up your case so go ahead and plead guilty. I denied so the judge gave me a rape 2 felony because I didn’t have money for a lawyer. 25 years later I moved back to Arizona. To get here and to have register as a sex offender, can’t get the job that I’m used to doing making good money because of what is on my background check. In Seattle I worked for the federal government and passed their background clearance but not in Arizona.