If you have ever been arrested, you have a criminal record – even if no charges were ever filed against you. If you’ve been convicted, you probably know that you have a criminal history. You’ve likely felt some of the consequences because of it.
Fortunately, in many cases, it is possible to seal your criminal record from public view, such that it won’t show up on criminal background checks; and there are plenty of benefits for doing it.
Take a look at the top five reasons we always recommend trying to seal your record if you can. Then, talk to an attorney to find out if you qualify for NC criminal record sealing, and to get started on this very important process.
Your Employment Options Will Change for the Better
Over 80 percent of employers conduct criminal background searches on prospective employees. Furthermore, most employment applications require applicants to disclose any criminal history.
This means that landing a well-paying job and promoting your career is very difficult if you have any kind of blemish on your record. On the other hand, when your NC criminal record is sealed, you can truthfully say that you have never been convicted of a crime.
Even if you already have a job, there’s a chance that new management can come in and do a search on all current employees, putting your current job in jeopardy.
Therefore, it’s highly advisable to pursue criminal record sealing regardless of your current employment status.
Better Opportunities When It Comes to Higher Education
Most colleges require undergraduate applicants to answer criminal history questions as part of the application process. Other schools run criminal background checks routinely on all applicants. Under some circumstances, you’re also ineligible for federal financial aid.
Although there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding how a criminal record will affect your admission to the college of your choice, it’s safe to say that a criminal record will not affect your application favorably.
Successfully seal your criminal record, however, and you can truthfully answer on your college applications that you have no criminal history. Let them run a background check. They won’t find a thing.
More Doors Open When You’re House Hunting
Similar to employers, landlords routinely do criminal background checks on their prospective tenants. If you have a criminal history, it’s likely that your housing application will be denied.
Alternatively, if your landlord sees you as a less-than-ideal tenant but accepts your application, you could be required to pay a higher deposit or higher rent.
Sometimes Your Gun Rights Can Be Fully Restored
If you are a convicted felon, you are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition, regardless of the nature of the offense in question.
However, in North Carolina, if you were convicted of a non-violent felony and have that record sealed, you will again be allowed to own and possess firearms.
You Can’t Put a Price on Peace of Mind
We’ve said before that often your wallet is the biggest victim of a criminal conviction, but knowing you no longer have a criminal record can have significant psychological benefits as well.
Freely applying for jobs, housing, and higher education, knowing that you don’t have a record that will hold you back can bring you the peace of mind you may be missing. There’s nothing quite like starting with a clean slate.
If you or a loved one have a criminal record, consider the gift of a clean slate for the holidays this year. Although the criminal record sealing process requires some work and investment on your part, the rewards of no longer having a record that restricts nearly every aspect of your life speak for themselves.