If you’re convicted of a crime, it’s going to go on your permanent criminal record in most cases. This means that police officers and other authorities will see it if you are involved in the criminal justice system again in the future. It can also come up if you’re trying to do things like purchase a firearm. Additionally, many employers will run background checks and they will also see your criminal record when deciding if they should hire you.
But you can often have this record expunged. This essentially means that the record is sealed. How would going through this process help your future and why is it so important?
First and foremost, if your record is eligible for expungement – not all are – then it can help you find employment because it won’t show up on a background check. Expungement seals that record from public access. Your prospective employer can still run a background check, but those criminal charges are not going to show up and prevent you from being hired. Many people find a record to be a massive barrier to employment, which can just make them turn back to criminal activity as a way to earn money, so expungement is a good tactic to move forward in a productive manner.
Accessing other services
Background checks can also be run in a variety of other situations, such as when you apply for a loan, try to get an apartment, apply to college or something of that nature. Things like this can be very competitive. A criminal record should not stop you from having somewhere to live, for instance, but a landlord who is considering two tenants will usually pick the tenant without that record.
Is your record erased?
Finally, one thing to remember is that your criminal record is not erased by this process. The police can still see it. It is just sealed from the public eye so that it doesn’t affect your life as long as you don’t get arrested again.
You can imagine just how beneficial this can be and how it can open a lot of doors for your future. If you’re interested in this process, take the time to look into the legal steps you need to take.