Having a criminal record for a single crime is troublesome. If your criminal record includes multiple arrests based on alcohol, drug or gambling addiction issues this further exasperates the problems that come with having a criminal record.
A criminal record can follow you well into the future making your post-arrest life difficult. However, in Texas you may be able to expunge your criminal record leading to a brighter future. The following are five reasons to expunge your criminal record.
What is an expungement?
An expungement, referred to as “expunction” under Texas law, is the process by which a person’s arrest record and subsequent charges are either destroyed or sealed. Note that almost all expungements are granted by state courts. Federal courts generally do not handle expungement proceedings and no federal law addresses expungements on a federal level.
Expungements generally remove most of the information about an arrest, dropped charges or an acquittal from the public record, although some information may remain. Moreover, depending on state law, certain criminal convictions may not be removed through expungement. In addition, even if a record is expunged, information on the crime in the press will remain. Still, there are good reasons to pursue an expungement of your criminal record.
Five reasons to pursue an expungement
There are five reasons why you may want to pursue an expungement.
- If you have a criminal record this information is accessible through a criminal background check. This could make it difficult to find a job since many professions will not hire someone who has a criminal record. If your criminal record is expunged, employers generally will not be able to see what you were arrested for or charged with.
- Certain professional licenses are off-limits to those with a criminal record. An expungement allows you to legally pursue these licenses if you go into business for yourself.
- If you apply for an apartment the landlord will generally perform a background check and may deny housing to a person with a criminal record. Expungement can resolve this issue. In addition, depending on the crime allegedly committed your options for where you can live may be limited. An expungement can remove these limitations.
- Depending on the alleged crime you may be barred from owning a firearm. This may be problematic for those who hunt or want to protect their homes and loved ones. Oftentimes, an expungement can restore your right to own a firearm.
- If the alleged crime was a felony offense it could affect your right to vote. This strips you of a basic constitutional right. Everyone has a right to have their voice heard in an election. An expungement can restore your right to vote.
As you can see, expungement of your criminal record can restore many rights that may otherwise have been denied to you.
Protect your rights post-arrest
Being arrested or charged with a crime is a harrowing experience and one that most people want to leave behind them. An expungement allows you to move into the future with a clean slate. Those in New Braunfels who have a criminal record may want to learn more about Texas law on expungement, so they can determine whether pursuing one is an option for them.