A criminal record is a natural byproduct of a conviction or guilty plea in Indiana. The state reports arrests and convictions to those seeking information about an individual’s background. Even individuals who know they did not break the law sometimes decide to plead guilty when facing criminal charges. They don’t want the matter to go to trial or think that a guilty plea might Inspire lenience on the part of the judge sentencing them.
Whether or not someone’s sentence is lenient or they accept a plea to a lesser offense, a criminal conviction could very well haunt them for years to come. Some people with criminal records in Indiana may be eligible for an expungement. An expungement is a court process that seals the public record of a conviction. The following are some of the primary benefits of seeking an expungement.
Improved personal opportunities
Someone convicted of a criminal offense may have to discuss the situation at length every time they seek out new opportunities in life. Many parties perform background checks before doing business or offering opportunities to individuals.
Employers often perform thorough background checks and may not hire those with significant blemishes. Landlords frequently also perform background checks and may consider criminal records when deciding who should rent a unit. Educational institutions and even scholarship organizations also perform background checks when screening applicants.
Individuals who made a mistake years ago may lose out on countless opportunities because of a criminal record. An expungement may help those people move their careers forward or pursue higher education.
There is a lot of social stigma that comes with a criminal record. Individuals convicted of criminal offenses may feel anxious about the possibility of employers and others learning about their prior experiences with the legal system. Someone with a criminal record may hold themselves back from opportunities by choosing not to apply for them because of their criminal record. Someone who successfully pursues an expungement may then have the confidence necessary to enjoy the best life possible.
Expungements are only available under certain circumstances and can take time to obtain. Understanding the benefits derived from an expungement may help people evaluate whether sealing records of a criminal infraction would be a smart move in their case.