There is no greater social stigma then being considered a convict.
Often times a criminal record will preclude an individual from being eligible for a job, a loan, housing and multiple other benefits we take for granted day-to-day.
In the society we live in, a criminal conviction can follow you in every aspect of your life. This includes misdemeanor offenses, felony offenses and simple infractions. Here are six reasons why an individual should expunge their criminal record.
1. Getting a Job
Multiple employers in the State of Missouri will do a criminal record background check. Not to mention, most employment applications inquire into whether the individual has ever been arrested, pled guilty or been convicted of a criminal offense. Answering “yes” to any one of these three questions can often preclude the individual from being eligible for employment. In most cases once an individual has expunged a criminal conviction, the answers to all three of those questions becomes “No”.
The expungement process eliminates the concern of whether or not, “I’m going to get this job because of my criminal history?”, or whether an individual can even apply for a job because of criminal history. That is why expungement of a criminal record opens the door to many career opportunities that had previously been unavailable.
2. Getting a Loan
Many loan agencies take a criminal conviction as an indication that an individual is unlikely to meet their financial obligations. This means that even in situations where someone may be getting a loan, their interest rate might be higher because of their criminal record.
In many loan applications, you will find that they are required to divulge whether or not they have any type of criminal history. Expungement process will allow you to say you have no criminal history and could potentially save you a significant amount of money over the course of a loan. Even more importantly, is that in situations where loan agencies are unwilling to grant loans to those with criminal convictions, criminal record expungement could allow for an individual to be approved for such loan.
This is especially true with federally approved financial aid for college tuition. The FAFSA application precludes individuals who have had any type of drug conviction from being eligible for federal student loans. Expunging a criminal record should allow for those individuals to be eligible to receive federal government approved financial aid.
3. Case Will No Longer Show on Missouri CaseNet
Missouri is one of the few states that has most criminal convictions listed on a central database accessible to the general public. That service ran by the Missouri Courts is Missouri CaseNet. This means that employers, friends, family have the ability to search to see if a person has a criminal history. After expunging a criminal record, an individual no longer has to be faced with their case and criminal information being assessable to the general public on Missouri CaseNet.
4. Adoptions, Divorce and Custody Battles
In situations where custody battles take place in the State of Missouri, courts will often look at an individual’s criminal record. Even the most benign of charges can have an impact on the outcome of the custody case. In a situation where an individual has expunged their criminal record and was going through a custody battle, they would be able to answer “No” to whether or not they had any type of criminal history.
In a situation where an individual would want to adopt a child, Missouri requires criminal background checks. Criminal background checks in adoption proceeding can often times determine whether or not an individual will be allowed to adopt a child or not.
5. Peace of Mind
It can difficult on an individual knowing that the stigma of having a criminal conviction is attached to their name. Expunging a criminal record offers a clean slate. While the process of expunging a criminal record can’t completely eliminate the past, it begins a fresh start. Expunging a criminal record marks a start of putting the past behind and living without the burden, the stigma and the negative consequences of a criminal conviction.
6. Cleaning Up Your Driving Record
The Missouri expungement law allows an individual to clean their driving record at the same time of expunging the criminal conviction. It is important to hire an experienced expungement attorney in handling the expungement so that your driving record will no longer show a criminal conviction. In a situation where you’ve been convicted of a driving offense, the Department of Revenue, in many situations, will assess points to an individual’s license. Having points on your driver’s license will negatively affect your insurance rates going forward. Expunging a criminal record with an experienced attorney can remove these points and clean up your driving record showing no points or criminal convictions.