The lingering effects of a past criminal conviction can often be far-reaching, but an expungement can help free you from the restrictions and burdens the conviction can have on almost every aspect of your life. It can truly help you move on from your past in numerous ways.

What is an expungement?

When you receive an expungement, the files containing the public information relating to your conviction will be sealed. You will no longer be required to disclose your conviction on things like job, loan, or housing applications, and people will be unable to look up your offense.

However, in order to receive an expungement, you must convince the court that either the harm to the privacy of the convicted person or the unwarranted adverse consequences to the convicted person outweighs the public interest in retaining the record. The court will consider several factors, including the character of the convicted person, good behavior or success post-conviction, and the severity of the underlying conviction. 

Having a criminal conviction removed from your public record can provide several benefits across many areas of your life. Here are three of the most significant. 

1. More Job Opportunities 

A criminal record can substantially impact your ability to gain employment in various industries. According to research from the Prison Policy Initiative, formerly incarcerated people have an unemployment rate five times higher than the general population in the US. And even while there have been some initiatives aimed at easing this issue, the work is far from over—not to mention the fact that some occupations and organizations (including many government jobs) have strict policies prohibiting hiring people with criminal records. In other instances, you may have no choice but to take a less-than-ideal job with even less leverage over your pay rate simply because it doesn’t conduct background checks.

With your record expunged, you won’t have to worry about your previous conviction appearing on a background check and affecting your employability. This will give you the confidence and ability to apply to better jobs with the confidence of knowing you won’t be disqualified or turned away. In that aspect, an expungement is essentially an investment in yourself. 

2. Better Education Opportunities 

Here is one aspect of having a criminal record that few are unaware of until it happens: It can affect your educational opportunities. According to Criminal Watchdog, 66.4% of colleges collect criminal background information on at least some applicants. If your record gets flagged, it can hinder you in several different ways. 

For one, many colleges will refuse to admit you. And even if you do get into your college of choice, you may be barred from enrolling in certain classes or degree programs because of your criminal history. It will also impact your chances of qualifying for financial aid, grants, and scholarships, not to mention hindering your ability to take out a student loan. And if that’s not enough, you may also be excluded from obtaining student housing. 

Fortunately, all of these obstacles can be removed with an expungement, freeing you to pursue your educational goals without your past conviction getting in the way. 

3. More Options for Housing 

Many landlords use background checks on their potential tenants to search for any criminal history and will refuse to rent a home or apartment to anyone that gets flagged. This can greatly impact where you can live and even the quality of your housing. With an expungement, you will vastly increase the number of options you have for housing and avoid worrying about being denied for your previous offense. 

Your Attorney Can Make all the difference

The expungement process can be complicated and is not something you want to navigate on your own. Put simply, aside from the nature of your conviction and eligibility, your chances of getting an expungement hinge on the quality of your legal representation. 

Overman Legal Group, PLLC’s dedicated and award-winning attorneys always provide personalized service and will exhaust every last resource on your behalf when pursuing expungement. We have helped scores of clients receive expungements and fully move on from the burdens of their past while being freed to pursue their goals unhindered. 

We believe that every qualified individual deserves the best chance to free themselves from any past criminal records currently creating burdens in their lives, and we would love to assist you. Our team will first review your existing OSBI background report to determine eligibility and then move on to the appropriate next steps in the process. 

Contact us today for a free consultation.