People sometimes make mistakes and have to serve consequences as a result. After imprisonment and probation have ended, however, people often suffer a number of difficulties due to having a criminal record. In some cases, there is a solution available: having your criminal record expunged. Here are four reasons why you’ll likely want to pursue expungement.
Finding a Place to Live
For many who have a criminal record, finding a place to rent can seem all but impossible. Furthermore, many end up living in subpar apartments and in bad neighborhoods. Through criminal record expungement, you can rent a home without having to worry about your criminal record getting in your way.
Getting a Job
Employers are typically allowed to conduct a criminal background check before hiring an employee, and many do so routinely. In addition, many companies have a blanket policy that prevents them from hiring those with criminal records due to insurance or liability reasons. By getting your record expunged, you can gain a job based on your skills and qualifications. Note, too, that educational institutions might choose not to admit someone with a criminal record, which can prevent them from moving on to a better life.
Receiving a Loan
For people just leaving prison, a loan can be the key toward getting their life back together. Unfortunately, those who’ve been adjudicated as having committed a crime might have difficulty obtaining one even if they meet all of the other requirements. As many loan providers believe people with a criminal record are less likely to make their payments, they might simply deny loans to such applicants. Through expungement, you keep your financial options more open.
Having a Clean Slate
Many people are convicted of crimes because of immature decisions or struggles in life. Those who’ve been able to get on a better life trajectory since their past mistakes, however, often find that their criminal record feels like a weight on their shoulders, making it more difficult to move on in life. Although expunging your criminal record won’t change the past, it does demonstrate that the legal system believes you’ve fully paid your debt to society and deserve to move on.
Having a criminal conviction can have long-lasting effects that can keep you from living the life you want to live for you and your family. Fortunately, some people are able to mitigate and even remove these burdens. Even if you don’t think you need an expungement right away, it’s still something generally worth pursuing as soon as possible.
Author information: Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.