A criminal conviction can lead to devastating consequences such as fines, jail time and community service. Unfortunately, a criminal record can also negatively impact future opportunities. Further, law enforcement adds to a criminal record not only with a conviction, but any arrest or charge.
Fortunately, the legal process of expungement exists to erase the criminal record. While this process might seem complex, there are numerous benefits to having a clean record, including:
- Employment opportunities: Depending on the position, the organization or the types of job responsibilities, a potential employer will likely perform a thorough background check. After the individual completes the expungement process, he or she can legally respond “no” to any question asking about criminal convictions
- Housing opportunities: Like potential employers, potential landlords and housing authorities will perform a background check when reviewing tenant applications. Unfortunately, the existence of a criminal record could mean the difference between getting that perfect apartment and having to look for another place.
- Educational opportunities: In reviewing applicants for various degree programs, school administrators typically perform a background check to sort individuals. Unfortunately, a criminal record can put a halt to college or other advanced education opportunities.
- Personal loans: Unfortunately, a criminal record could impede an individual’s chances of the bank approving them for a personal loan. The lending institution could worry that an individual might have trouble repaying the loan. The expungement process, however, erases the criminal record.
Individuals often feel that a minor violation or an arrest without conviction will not negatively impact their futures. Unfortunately, a conviction, charge or arrest will likely have a dramatic impact on a person’s personal and professional lives. It is wise to understand the eligibility requirements for expungement and pursue the process as soon as possible.