Having a felony on your record can be extremely detrimental to potential job prospects. Many ex-felons have a difficult time re-entering the workforce as many companies turn down those who have been convicted of a felony. Fortunately, many states offer remedies from expungement, setting aside the conviction, vacating a conviction, sealing the record and offering Certificates of Rehabilitation. Your past does not have to hold you back.
A felony offense is typically defined as an offense that can carry a punishment of one year or more. In the real world it means an offense that can prevent a person from getting a good job or quality housing for a lifetime. Many states provide ways to expunge a felony or take other steps to mitigate what would otherwise be a permanent problem.
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Choosing the wrong attorney to expunge your felony can cost you your only chance of successfully expunging your felony conviction. When choosing a felony expungement attorney, make certain they specialize in expungement. While any licensed attorney can represent you in court, choosing a specialized expungement attorney can make the difference when it comes to having your felony expunged.
Expungement of your felony record has endless benefits and opens you up to new employment opportunities. Once your felony is expunged, you can stop fearing the background checks and can apply for any job or professional license with confidence. The internet has made background checks accessible to all employers and landlords. Accurate history can be obatined fast and inexpensively. The post 9-11 world increasingly requires people to perform background checks to protect themselves from liability and to fulfill insurance requirements. While choosing to have your felony expunged may have required thought in 1993, it is a now a no brainer. Anyone eligible forfelony expungement or record sealing should find a way to make that important investment in themself. If your felony record has been holding you back, then it's time to seek a qualified expungement attorney.
In some states, such a California and Utah, you can have your felony record reduced to a misdemeanor. This step alone can reduce the harmful consqeunces of a felony record. It can also make it easier to have your felony expunged.
Criminal law is generally made and enforced by the states. So it makes sense that the expungement or sealing of the criminal records is generally a matter of state law. Just as states have different laws for civil matters, they have different laws for criminal matters.
State legislators weigh competing priorities and goals to construct laws that are designed to be good public policy. Allowing some to expunge or seal a record can provide benefits to the public. But, there may be negative affects on the public. Legislators try to weigh the positives and negatives to construct laws that make sense for that state.
One of the biggest barriers to having affective laws passed is that this area of law is not a high priority for legislators. There are competing political, social and fiscal forces that push other priorities ahead of criminal record expungement laws. However, with studies showing that the number of people with felonies or misdemeanors on their record exceeds 10 percent of the population and more than 80 percent of employers are checking backgrounds, legislators should help those who pose little threat to society have their record expunged or sealed.