Bad things can sometimes happen to good people. An arrest or criminal charge is one of these things. Unfortunately, if this has taken place, the blemish that appears on your record can hamper you for the rest of your life.
However, if you qualify for an expungement, or the sealing or cleaning of your criminal record, you may not have to live with this charge. As a result of the expungement, there is a wide variety of things you will regain. Here are a few.
1. Expungement Will Make the Charges Disappear
Did you know that anyone who wants to know what is on your criminal background can access this information through numerous sites on the internet? This information can then be used negatively against you.
One of the most important things that will happen when you have your record expunged is that the charge will go away. While your original arrest and charge may still be found by law enforcement, it is not able to be seen by the average person running a criminal background check.
2. Expungement Will Open Up Employment Opportunities
Most employment applications ask if you have been convicted of any offense outside of a minor traffic offense. If you answer yes to this question, it can eliminate you from their consideration. Unfortunately, this elimination is legal in most states. If you answer no to the question, but a criminal conviction is found at a later time, you may be subject to termination for falsification of your application.
When your record is expunged, you no longer have to disclose the arrest and/or conviction. For all legal purposes, they no longer exist.
3. Expungement Will Re-Establish Your Right to Vote
If you live in any state other than Maine and Vermont, you will lose your right to vote when you are convicted of a felony. Although it is restored in most states once you have completed your sentence, there are 10 states in which you are required to petition the government depending on your conviction.
Expungement will re-establish your right to vote in these states without you having to go through the process of the petitioning the government. This can help keep you from having to wait for them to make a decision.
4. Expungement Will Qualify You for Financial Aid
If you are in school or want to go back to school, you definitely want to qualify for federal funding to assist you with the costs. Unfortunately, if you have been charged with and/or convicted of certain drug charges, you do not qualify for these funds.
Having your record expunged will position you to qualify for this federal funding, as well as other forms of financial aid that may have been blocked by a criminal record. This may make returning to school a little easier on your pocketbook.
5. Expungement Will Qualify You for Lower Life Insurance Rates
Did you know that a criminal record can increase the amount you pay in life insurance or result in you being denied a policy? This is because your criminal record makes you appear to be an increased risk to the company that is writing your policy. The higher risk you appear to be, the higher your premiums or your chance of denial.
When you have your record expunged, these charges are no longer visible to the insurance company and cannot be used in their calculations. Lower rates could allow you to purchase additional amounts of insurance and save you substantial money over the life of your policy.
Expungement is not always a straightforward process. Even in North Carolina, they can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. If you qualify, there is certain information that must be put in front of the court in order for a decision to be made.
If you live in the Raleigh, Durham, or surrounding areas, the knowledgeable attorneys of Barrett & Howell Attorneys at Law can help you get your expungement done. Once this takes place, you can begin to enjoy all of the benefits you have been missing.