The person you were at 18 is a far cry from who you are at 40. And yet, a mistake you made when you were much younger can have lasting impacts on your life, regardless of how long ago that mistake occurred and how much you’ve changed since then. If you have a criminal record, you might be surprised by just how many people can access that information—potential employers, landlords, adoption agencies, insurance companies, and more. This can cause your criminal record to have ongoing negative impacts on your life. Luckily, there is an option that will give you a clean slate and the opportunity to improve your life significantly: expunging your criminal record. Keep reading to learn how expungement can make your life better.
Better Job Opportunities
Finding a high-paying, steady job can be next to impossible if you have a criminal record. Many companies will perform background checks on job candidates, and may refuse to hire someone with any kind of criminal record, regardless of how long ago the incident occurred or how minor the offense. When you have a criminal record, you might feel as if you’re stuck in low-paying jobs forever, with little opportunity for advancement. Expungement can be an investment in your future career, opening up more doors to better jobs so that you can build a career that supports you and your family.
More Education Opportunities
Speaking of investing in your future, getting a higher education is a great way to do this. While you can complete your high school degree and attend most undergraduate schools without your criminal record being a problem, graduate schools can be a very different story. Graduate programs are already highly competitive, and your criminal record may act as the deciding factor between you and another program candidate. If you’re hoping to go to graduate school to further your education, it might be a good idea to expunge your criminal record before applying.
More Housing Options
It’s no secret that the housing situation is already highly competitive. Finding a decent rental property can feel impossible, and that situation isn’t aided by having a criminal record. More and more landlords these days are performing background checks on potential tenants before agreeing to a rental contract, and your criminal records are quite easy for them to obtain. If you have any kind of criminal past, many landlords will reject your rental application.
Fostering or Adopting a Child
Fostering or adopting a child can be a wonderful way to expand your family and help a child find a home. However, the process for fostering and adopting is extremely thorough, and that includes a background check on potential foster parents and adoptive parents. It is extremely difficult to get approved to foster or adopt if you have any kind of criminal record. Expunging your records can allow you to grow your family and build a life centered on the person you’ve become, rather than the person you used to be.
Receiving Public Assistance
Even after you’ve served your time and paid your debt to society, prior felony convictions can still come with something known as “collateral consequences.” This means you can face certain punishments regardless of how long ago the crime occurred. For example, in some states, individuals with a prior felony drug conviction can’t receive SNAP or TANF benefits. This, compounded with difficulty finding a job with decent pay, can leave you feeling absolutely helpless to provide for yourself and your family. Expungement can allow you to qualify for public assistance again so that you can receive the support you need.
Lower Insurance Premiums
Certain charges on your criminal records, such as DUI convictions, can force you to pay higher insurance premiums for the rest of your life. Additionally, a DUI charge may make you ineligible for a CDL, which can close many job opportunities to you. Expunging your criminal record can lower your insurance premiums and save you significant amounts of money over the years while also opening more opportunities to you.
Get Help with Criminal Record Expungements
At The Harr Law Firm, we are highly experienced in working with individuals to expunge their criminal records. If you’re ready for a clean slate and a fresh start to your life, we can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our attorneys; we’ll help you determine if your charges are eligible for expungement, and provide you with the support you need to complete the process successfully. Call now to schedule a consultation!