Top 5 Reasons to Expunge Your Record15-Apr-2014
If you have a criminal record, wouldn't you want it to go away? Wouldn't you want to erase documentation of your past mistakes?
Many people wish they didn't have a record, but they don't do anything to get the record expunged. Most people who do not petition for expungement fail to do so for the following reasons:
- They don't think they qualify.
- They think the process will be too difficult.
- They don't know that expungement is an option.
- They assume that the crime will "fall off" their record after a prescribed length of time.
- Their record hasn't caused them any problems . . . yet.
None of these reasons are valid excuses for not trying to get a record sealed. Many people qualify for expungement through either the expungement of a deferred sentence or a full expungement under Title 22 Section 18. Even those convicted of felonies may qualify if their convictions were for nonviolent offenses and they meet certain other eligibility requirements.
When you hire an expungement lawyer to represent you, the process is fairly simple, and your likelihood of obtaining a record expungement is high.
Unfortunately, the offense doesn't just disappear, no matter how long it has or how good you have been since your arrest or conviction. If you want your record cleared, you must petition the court.
Finally, just because your record hasn't caused you any problems that you know of doesn't mean it won't cause you any problems in the future. Most people know that they are required to disclose felony convictions on most employment applications, but even misdemeanor convictions can have a significant impact.
Following are the top ten reasons to clear your record:
- Employment. Almost everyone knows that having a criminal record can impact your ability to get a good job. Some professions automatically exclude anyone convicted of a felony. In some cases, while a conviction won't automatically exclude you from employment eligibility, it may cause employer's to view your application with bias. All other things being equal, most employers will pick an applicant with a clean record over someone with a minor conviction.
- Professional Licenses. A criminal record can prevent you from obtaining certain state licenses, for example a teaching license from the Oklahoma State Department of Education or a nursing license from the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. If a conviction prevents you from obtaining the license to practice the career for which you have trained, it can be tremendously costly to return to school to train for a new career.
- Education. And speaking of career training, your criminal record may have a negative impact on your ability to get an education. You may be denied admission to a vocational or technical school or to a university. If the university is willing to admit you despite your record, you may be unable to secure the necessary grants and loans to finance your education.
- Loans. An educational loan isn't the only type of financial assistance which may be denied to you based upon your criminal record. Some banks and financial institutions will see your prior conviction as evidence of your instability. They feel that lending to you would be an unwise investment on their part, and your loan application may be denied. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate at which you receive the loan may be exorbitant, making receipt of the loan an unwise financial decision on your part.
- Insurance. And since we are talking about high rates and financial problems, let's look at how your conviction can affect your ability to obtain insurance. Again, your conviction can make an insurance company think that you are a high risk, especially when trying to get car insurance after a DUI or reckless driving conviction. You may be denied insurance altogether, or you may be given high-risk insurance that may be cost-prohibitive to you.
Still not convinced that you need to get your record expunged? Check back next month, and we'll show you five more reasons to get an expungement.
If you're ready to move forward with a clean record, give us a call at 405-778-4800 to see how we can help.
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