Millions of Americans have criminal records. Many of them were asked to plead guilty in order to avoid further punishment. A criminal record of any kind can cause all kinds of problems. This can prevent you from getting the job or the promotion you want. It can also prevent you from renting a home or even buying one. A criminal record will impact all areas of your life including your career, ability to earn money, and even your ability to seek out higher education. Fortunately, there is a solution. There are ways to move forward after you’ve paid your debt to society.
Your Prior Record
Part of the process of moving past a criminal record can be limiting who is allowed access to your record. Potential employers and others are allowed access to many criminal records. The same is true of those who can look you up with a simple Google search. Modern laws have made it possible for some with this issue to get their records removed. This is known as criminal record expungement. That means that your record of prior criminal activity is considered expunged from the official records. This makes it as if it had never happened.
Are You Eligible?
You might be eligible for this process if you meet certain criteria. These vary by state and county. In some instances, you may be eligible for this process if the actions were committed while you were a juvenile. If you have a minor record this can also be eligible for the ability to get your record expunged. The same is true if you were arrested but were not convicted. If you are thinking about starting this process, it’s best to have help along the way. A good attorney can help you figure out your next steps as you go forward with this process.
There are other ways to move past this issue. For example, even if you have a criminal past, you can often apply for a recommendation. This can serve as a character reference when you are applying for a job. You can also write an article explaining what you did and how you are sorry. A victim’s statement of forgiveness can also help.
It is possible to move past your prior mistakes and into a new and better life. A few simple, very easy changes can truly create the life you want even if you have a criminal record.
Author information: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter: @RachelleWilber