5 More Reasons to Expunge15-May-2014
Last month, we looked at the top five reasons to expunge a criminal record. These reasons included employment, professional licensing, education, loans, and insurance. If the negative effects of a criminal record on those aspects of your life are not enough to convince you that an expungement is in your best interest, we have compiled a list of more reasons to clear your criminal record.
- Adoption. If you wish to start or grow your family through adoption or becoming a foster parent, Oklahoma Department of Human Services will conduct an extensive background search, including a criminal records check. Oklahoma is not one of 15 states that automatically exclude convicted felons from adopting, but your criminal history can prevent you from being able to adopt a child.
- Gun Rights. Both state and federal law prohibit a person from possessing a firearm if he or she has been convicted of a felony. However, under Oklahoma law, you may be prevented from obtaining a firearm permit if you have certain other blemishes on your criminal history. If your OSBI background check shows aggravated assault and battery, stalking, domestic violence, and other similar offenses, you will not be able to get a gun license pursuant to the Oklahoma Self Defense Act.
- Volunteerism. If you have children, you may wish to volunteer at special events at their schools. However, Oklahoma public schools must conduct criminal background checks of not only teachers, but also parent volunteers. If you have a criminal record, volunteering at schools and other organizations may be prohibited. Typically, all programs that involve working with youth require volunteers to have a clean record, but other organizations are also likely to prevent you from volunteering if your record is blemished.
- Federal Assistance. Many people do not realize that you may be denied federal assistance, including subsidized or low-rent housing and food stamps, if you have a criminal record. Your conviction can prevent you from getting the help you need to get back on your feet and to support your family.
- Peace of Mind. One of the most important reasons to clear your record is your own peace of mind. With the criminal history removed through record expungement, you no longer have to worry that a nosy neighbor or curious co-worker will find a criminal history that you hoped was buried in the past. Oklahoma court records are publicly available online here and here. One quick snoop can lead to rumors, character assassination, and strained relationships. However, if your record is expunged, your name will be stricken from court records and will not show up in an online records check. You will also have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your record will not plague any of the previously mentioned opportunities, nor will it show up in unexpected places to prevent you from achieving other goals.
Click here to learn more about expunging your record in Oklahoma.
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