A criminal record can have lasting impacts on an individual’s life. A record can make it difficult to obtain employment and housing and there’s also a certain social stigma attached.
In some cases, restrictions placed on those with convictions may be justified, but this is certainly not always the case. Should someone convicted of relatively minor offenses be penalized forever?
In certain circumstances, individuals with convictions may be permitted to have their records expunged. What are the benefits of this?
For your mental well-being
Feeling as if you are being constantly stigmatized for something that happened in the past can be emotionally draining. You may have contributed positively to society for many years but always have the record dragging you down.
Having your record expunged can feel like a completely blank slate. In legal terms, this is basically what it amounts to.
For your privacy
A criminal record will show up on background checks. These are often conducted by prospective employers and landlords. A member of the public may even be able to access information related to criminal records. Not only can a criminal record prevent your access to jobs and housing, but it can feel like an invasion of privacy. Having your record expunged means that it will no longer show up on these checks and your privacy will be maintained.
A criminal record can also impact your ability to foster/adopt a child, receive certain state benefits, gain access to education and much more. These are just some of the key reasons why you should consider expungement.
The law regarding expungement is very complex, and not everyone is eligible. To find out if you qualify, the best place to start is by seeking as much legal information as possible.