Many states in the US allow you to expunge or perhaps, seal your criminal record as if it never happened. That means you can brag to your potential employer that you’ve never been charged or convicted of any crime. However, laws on expunging criminal records vary, including the kind of crime which can be expunged.
Going by how far a criminal record can impact one’s ability to secure employment, housing, and even a professional license, that is the more reason why expunging and sealing criminal records becomes beneficial to the individual, especially a repented, who needs another shot at life.
What Is A Criminal Record?
A criminal record is a list of a person’s arrests and convictions maintained by the criminal justice system. In the US, over 70 million Americans have a criminal record, almost 1 in 3 adults. In that case, nearly 1 in 2 kids have parents that have a criminal record.
Not only does the criminal justice system, such as the police, have access to your criminal record, but even landlords and potential employers can also have access to it. Your criminal record entails all the arrests and convictions, even arrests where you were deemed innocent. Minor offenses that took place years ago are all listed in your criminal record for the public to access, especially the justice system.
Barriers Posed By A Criminal Record
Having a criminal record is almost like having dents of blood in your white cloak. In that case, you’re soiled and a potential criminal. It limits one’s access to education, employment, housing, public assistant, and even civic engagement.
Some federal and state statutes deem individuals with a criminal record unqualified. Even a mere conviction resulting from a traffic ticket might get you disqualified from a life-changing opportunity. Even if there is no conviction on the record, an arrest record still decreases one’s employment prospect.
These impacts affect the barriers of these records and harm children whose parents have a criminal record. Most of the time, criminal records can be targeted at noncitizens for deportation, especially people of color going by the disproportionately high rates.
Can Criminal Records Be Cleared?
In the United States, some criminal records can be expunged and sealed as if they never happened. In that case, even a court or a persecutor cannot view someone’s expunged records. Some states have a process for expunging criminal records, but the federal government currently does not have a regular mechanism for clearing federal convictions.
To even have a chance to expunge a federal conviction, one will have to file a petition and also appear in court. There is a waiting period in which the individual must not re-offend. Remember, taking this step will cost you hundreds of dollars, coupled with some administrative fees.
Expungement gives an individual a second chance at employment and living an everyday life again. Economists speculate that the cost of excluding these individuals from the workforce to be over $87 billion in lost GDP annually. You have everything to gain sealing your criminal records.
At Franks & Rechenberg, P.C, we take our cases very seriously. To learn more about how we can represent you in your case, contact us today.