Anyone who has a criminal conviction on her or his record, no matter how severe the crime or how long ago it happened, should seek expungement. This act will remove the conviction from a person's official record, including all government databases. It can be a long and arduous process, but Texas Representative Beto O'Rourke wants to make the process more accessible to those who have drug charges on their records.
It is possible to expunge many different crimes from an official record. The process is particularly advantageous for teenagers charged with crimes because one simple mistake can remain with them for the rest of their lives. Here are just a few of the ways people of all ages stand to benefit from expungement:
1. Easier time applying for state licenses
You need a license to work as an electrician or fire sprinkler installer in the state of Texas. Jobseekers with any kind of criminal history face a significant disadvantage when applying for these licenses and getting jobs in general. For licenses, even with an expungement, you must disclose on your application any criminal acts the state convicted you of. However, organizations are more likely to look favorably on individuals who have expunged their records.
2. Simpler time getting an apartment
Similarly to employers, landlords typically conduct background checks on applicants, and some landlords will not rent to tenants who have criminal histories. Even if the landlord will accept the application, it is possible that he or she will charge a higher rent or request a higher deposit because the tenant is more of a liability.
3. Personal peace of mind
If for no other reason to seek out expungement, it takes a burden off your chest. It will not erase the mistakes you made in the past, but it can provide you with a much-needed fresh start. No longer will you have to think about skirting around the truth about your criminal past with friends, family members and employers.