All of us make mistakes at one point or another. If you are one of the lucky ones, your mistakes do not result in the creation of a record that can follow you around and create problems for years. Unfortunately, not all of us are so fortunate, and there are many functional, law-abiding, employed, productive individuals out there who have a criminal record of some sort.
For many people, a criminal record may stem from a youthful prank that involved the destruction of property or an alcohol-related offense that occurred during a rough patch in your life. For others, an arrest may have been the wake-up call they needed to turn their life around and not continue on their current path. Fortunately for people with a criminal record, Pennsylvania law recognizes that people make mistakes and allow people with qualifying offenses to have their records expunged, which means that they will be removed from the public record and destroyed. It is important to understand that you may have a criminal record even if you were not convicted, as a criminal record includes arrest records, docket entries, police reports, and criminal complaints filed with the court – and an expungement will eliminate the entire record.
Expungement can improve your life in a variety of ways. Three of the most important are discussed below. For more information or to discuss your specific case, call our office today at 215-546-0340.
Expungement can make it Easier to Get a Job
Many job applications ask applicants whether they have ever been convicted of a crime. If you answer “yes” to this question, it will certainly not make your potential employer more likely to hire you, even if the conviction occurred many years ago and was for a relatively minor offense. If an employer is faced with another equally qualified applicant who has not been convicted of a crime, it would be unlikely for him or her to choose the applicant with the criminal record. Fortunately, when you get your record expunged, you are legally allowed to answer “no” to this question. As a result, expungement of your criminal record can greatly increase your chances of getting a job.
Getting Your Record Expunged Wil Give You Peace of Mind
Criminal records are a matter of public record. As a result, anyone with sufficient motivation may be able to track down embarrassing information about your past. For example, let’s say that you are single and would like to pursue online dating, and you meet someone with whom you hit it off. You go out on a few dates, and things seem to be going well. Then, he or she decides to “google” you and finds out that you were arrested for burglary 10 years ago when you and your college friends decided to play a prank on a rival group and steal something from their house. Your potential partner, not knowing the relatively “innocent” nature of the case, may think something much worse and cut the relationship off. Even if he or she does not, you are likely facing an uncomfortable conversation in which you will be explaining away an embarrassing incident in your life.
Fortunately, when criminal records are expunged, it makes these kinds of records inaccessible to the public. For this reason, getting a criminal record expunged can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one will be able to learn about your criminal record unless you decide to tell them about it.
It will Improve Your Chances of Renting an Apartment
If you believe that you will ever want to rent an apartment in the future, you should definitely seek expungement of your record. Like employers with their potential employees, many landlords ask their potential tenants whether they have a criminal record. If you answer, “yes” to this question, it may make a landlord concerned that you will engage in criminal activity on his or her property or be less financially responsible. Fortunately, with an expungement, you can deny the existence of a criminal record, making it more likely that a landlord will rent an apartment to you.
Call a Philadelphia Expungement Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you have a criminal conviction on your record, you should call our office today to determine whether you may be able to have it expunged. Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Brian Zeiger is committed to helping people clean up their records through expungement and has a comprehensive understanding of the complicated laws involved with having a record removed and destroyed. For a free consultation, call our office today at 215-546-0340 or send us an email through our online contact form.