Having a criminal charge on your record can be devastating. Years after you committed the crime, your record can be accessible to potential employers, landlords and members of the public. However, there is a way to remove this information from public eye: expungement.
Expungement of a criminal record keeps the information from being publicly accessible. There are two ways this can happen, depending on the jurisdiction or the laws in your state. First, an expungement can destroy your criminal record completely, leaving no evidence the crime ever happened. Second, while the crime stays on your record, no one will have public access to it.
Either way, it can be beneficial to have your criminal record expunged for three main reasons:
- Employment: Some companies prevent managers from hiring applicants with a criminal record. Having your record expunged might open your job search to opportunities that were not available in the past. While your record will likely still be visible to law enforcement and federal government agencies you apply for, it will keep the majority of employers from having access to your criminal information.
- Housing: Almost all landlords require a background check nowadays. Landlords have a responsibility to other tenants and neighbors to keep the property safe. They also want to ensure quality tenants for financial reasons. If they receive an application from someone with a criminal record and someone without, they might think it is safer to give the apartment to the person with a clean record.
- Education: For many people, the criminal charge on their record occurred when they were a minor. If you received a criminal charge on your record and are now applying to college, expungement could increase your possibility of getting accepted and might even help your chances of receiving a scholarship.
Having a criminal charge on your record can be a difficult reminder of the past. In order to help you move on with your life, consider having your criminal charge expunged from your record today.