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First, what is an expungement? When your record is expunged, the court will impound the physical criminal file and delete it from their computers so that it no longer exists. The court will also order that any interested police departments must destroy all records pertaining to that case. So it essentially means that your criminal record is destroyed, which is great news!
Why am I calling it an investment? Investment is defined as the act of investing money in order to gain profitable returns, and that is exactly what you’re doing with an expungement. You are investing money so that it will pay off for you in the future.
How can getting an expungement “pay off”? There are many, many benefits to getting an expungement, but here is a list of my top six reasons clients should invest in one:
1. Getting a Job
Whether you have a job, or are looking for a new job, having a criminal record can really hurt your employability. Current employees may be terminated for having a criminal record, and future employers may refuse to employ you once they find out about your criminal record. After all, if you’ve ever filled out a job application you probably remember the section where they ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime. This always creates a problem for someone with a criminal record. They can either answer truthfully and risk not getting the job, or lie and risk being in violation of the law once again. If you successfully expunge your record, you should be able to truthfully answer “no” to that question.
2. Renting a House or an Apartment
A lot of private landlords and/or real estate agencies may also run background checks, which can cause a person not to be able to rent property and live in a decent area. Expunging your record eliminates this information from view.
3. Getting a Loan
If a bank or other lender runs a background check on a potential borrower, his or her criminal history will come up. Companies have varying policies on lending to people with criminal records. Some loan agencies think that a criminal conviction is an indication that someone is less likely to meet their financial obligations, this means you may be facing higher interest rates or be unable to get a loan at all, which can result in difficulty buying a car, a home, or paying for any other necessities of life. While it is against the law to deny people a loan based on their gender, religion, race, or other protected status, it is not against the law to deny people loans for having a criminal record.
4. Getting a College Education/Obtaining Student Aid
For students, having a criminal record can be even more hurtful; your university may expel you from your current program, or they may refuse any kind of aid or any sort of grant. They may also make you ineligible for any kind of honors or awards. If you apply to a university, you may not get admitted based solely on your criminal record. An expungement could prevent colleges from seeing this negative information.
5. Buying or Possessing Firearms
A criminal record can definitely restrict your rights to possess or purchase any kind of firearms. Gun ownership and possessing other kinds of armor may be restricted, or even banned, for people with a criminal record. Contact our office to find out if an expungement can help you regain your rights to firearm possession.
6. Adopting a Child
Have you ever considered adopting a child? If so, getting your criminal record expunged could help you in this process. In Illinois a fingerprint-based FBI and State criminal background check is required for a prospective adoptive parent as part of the adoption investigation. The results of the criminal background check shall be provided to the court for its review. The court may, in its discretion, weigh the significance of the results of the criminal background check against the entirety of the background of the petitioners. Your adoption petition could be challenged or even denied, if you have a conviction in the past.
At Culley, Feist, Kuppart & Jordan, we don’t believe in letting your past dictate your future. To learn more about how we can help you expunge or seal your criminal record, please contact our office by calling us today for a free consultation at 618-252-7422.