It can be difficult for a person who has a criminal record to do many things, such as get a job or an apartment. As soon as your potential employer/landlord does a background check, they’ll figure out that you have a criminal record, and this will pretty much negate your chances of getting that job or apartment.
If the employer/landlord has the opportunity of getting an employee/tenant who doesn’t have a criminal record, they will probably go with that person unless they are quite open-minded and understand that having committed a misdemeanor once in your life doesn’t mean that you will continue to act in an unlawful way later on.
How Does Having an Expunged Record Benefit You?
There is a way to avoid having your criminal record get in the way of things that you want to do in life, and this is to have it expunged. Having your record expunged doesn’t mean doing away with it completely. There are certain circumstances in which certain individuals will be able to see your record even if it is expunged.
But by and large, this information will not be visible to everyone. So if you apply for a job or an apartment, your employer/landlord will, most likely, not be able to see that you have a criminal record. So having a criminal record does not need to get in the way of these basic things which you want to do.
Who Will Be Able to See an Expunged Record?
Most employers/landlords will not have access to your record if it has been expunged. But there are certain people who will still be able to see it.
- Judges and Prosecutors: If you’re in a court of law again, then the prosecutor who is bringing the case against you and the judge presiding over the case will be able to see your expunged record. This is because the legal system doesn’t want people to get complacent just because their record has been expunged. Just because you don’t have a record doesn’t mean that you should go violating the law again. So in order to prevent people from committing the same or similar crimes again and again, people in the criminal justice system are given access to expunged records so that they can prosecute/judge cases appropriately.
- Public Employers: In general, if your records are expunged, then an employer will not be able to see them. But this is not the case if the employer is a public one. For example, if you apply for a job working in a court, in a prison or in the police department of your city, they will have access to your record even if it has been expunged. This is also the case if you apply for a job in a human service agency i.e., a social work position, a counselor position or a probation officer position. Also, if you apply to work in a public school, they will be able to see your record even if it has been expunged.
- Professional Agencies: Certain professional agencies will also have access to expunged records. This is especially true if you need to get a license to work in that profession. For example, if you have any drug-related offense in your past record, then you may not be able to get a license to sell pharmaceuticals.
Can You Have Your Record Expunged?
The laws regarding expungement are different in different states, and certain states, such as New York, don’t allow expungement at all. However, there are others which do. If you have been having trouble finding work or a place to stay due to a small misdemeanor in your distant past, you can speak to a lawyer about having it expunged. They will be able to tell you whether your case qualifies for expungement.
Contact us for more information about getting your record expunged and how it can benefit you.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.