Making mistakes is a natural part of life, but one past mistake shouldn’t determine how you live the rest of your life. Unfortunately, if you have a former conviction, even if it’s just a misdemeanor, it’s going to follow you for the rest of your life.
Don’t let one mistake hurt your future. In this article, we’re outlining the 10 most important benefits of spending the time and money to expunge your record and receive a fresh start.
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1. You’ll have better job opportunities
Thanks to Oregon’s “Ban the Box” law, it’s illegal for employers to ask job applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime on a job application. However, once you’ve landed an interview, the employer can (and most likely will) find out about your criminal record through a background check.
Although there are protections in place for applicants with criminal records, most employers will find a way to make a valid case against hiring someone with a record...particularly if you have multiple convictions.
Expunging your record will make it easier to get a job. When you expunge your record, your past conviction will not appear during an employment background check. Plus, if an employer does ask if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, you can legally and confidently say “no.”
2. It will be easier to rent a home
Here in Oregon’s highly competitive real estate market, it can be difficult to find the perfect place to rent – especially if you’re looking for something specific. However, if you’re sitting on a past conviction, your chances of snatching up that perfect place are even fewer.
When applying for a home rental, a background check will be conducted. Landlords and property management companies are legally allowed to deny your rental application due to your criminal history.
Expunging your record will give you a better chance of renting your dream home. Landlords and property managers will no longer have a glaring reason to deny your application, making it easier snatch up the home or apartment that’s perfect for you and your family.
3. You may receive better loan terms
Whether you’re applying for a student loan, home mortgage, or any other line of credit, a criminal background check will likely be conducted. While a lender cannot discriminate based on your race, religion, sex, marital status or age, they can absolutely deny you or impose stricter terms based on your record.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that since your arrest or conviction was small and happened years ago, it won’t be a problem. When it comes to borrowing money, an arrest or conviction will almost always affect loan terms including the amount you can borrow and the interest rate.
Clearing your record will help you get a loan. Don’t allow you and your family to suffer financially due to a small transgression on your record that happened years ago. An expungement will help you receive the funds you need.
4. You can acquire necessary professional certifications and licenses
Depending on your career path or professional interests, a criminal record can hold you back from achieving your goals. Here in Oregon, there are certain roles that require certifications or licenses. In order to receive these, you’ll need a clean record.
Some positions that require special licensing include…
- Delivery drivers or other positions requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Court reporter or interpreter
- Department of Justice and Department of Administrative Services positions, including full-time, contract, and volunteer roles
- Working as a private investigator or private security positions
- Any position where you need special security clearance
Expunging your record allows you to succeed. Your past arrest or conviction should never hold you back when it comes to your professional career.
5. You can perform your civic duty in court
Being asked by the state to serve as a juror or witness in court is an important civic duty.
However, if you're ever summoned for jury duty or asked to serve as a witness and testify in court, your past record will be brought up and used against you.
A criminal record prevents you from being deemed a credible source, and your testimony will be considered invalid.
By expunging your record, you’ll once again be considered a credible source. This is especially important if, for example, you are ever sued for damages in a civil suit and your testimony is the key to a positive outcome.
6. You can volunteer at your child’s school or in the community
Do you have children and want to help out at their school? Are you volunteer-minded and interested in giving back to your Oregon community? Your ability to do so is severely limited if you have a criminal record.
Most volunteer positions – especially those involving working with children or at-risk populations – will require a background check. If yours comes up positive, you’ll be disqualified from participating. Even a decades-old marijuana possession on your record will keep you from tagging along on your child’s first school field trip.
Clear your record of a past arrest or conviction and you’ll be able to volunteer again!
7. Adopting a child will be much easier
If you are hoping to adopt a child at some point in your future, consider how your record may affect your ability to do so.
If you have a record due to offenses against children or a sexual offense against an adult, it will prevent you from adopting. Other types of crimes will look poorly on your adoption application and can also greatly hurt your chances.
By expunging your record, your ability to grow your family through adoption will be possible.
8. You’ll be free to travel internationally
Did you know that even a minor conviction can limit your ability to see the world? Your criminal record travels with you. Depending on your past offenses, you can be banned from entering a foreign country completely. In fact, certain convictions, such as a felony drug offense, will revoke your passport completely.
Since every country handles foreign criminal offenses differently, you’ll need research ahead before traveling with a record. Even better, you can expunge your record and stop your criminal history from grounding your travels.
9. You can own a firearm
In Oregon, if you’re buying a gun from a licensed firearms dealer, you must first go through a background check. Federal law bans anyone who has been convicted of a felony and even some misdemeanor crimes from possessing a firearm. If your background check shows a criminal record, your ability to purchase a gun will be denied.
By expunging your record, you’ll be eligible to own a firearm. Additionally, you’ll no longer be disqualified from receiving a hunting or other recreational license.
10. You can relax knowing you have a bright future
Perhaps the best benefit of an expungement is the peace of mind that comes with it. When your daily life is clouded by a mark on your record, it’s difficult to feel like a contributing member of society. Many people feel stuck in a rut because of it.
There’s no reason for the small mistakes of your past to dictate how you live now. By expunging your record, you’ll have the freedom to look ahead and feel confident in your future.
Check your eligibility for expungement in Oregon
Stop beating yourself up for your past mistakes! We’re here to help you clear your record and get a fresh start. We help clients with Oregon expungement cases ranging from drug possessions and burglary to domestic violence and theft.
Get ready to reap the many benefits of a clear record by checking your eligibility for expungement.