Being accused of a criminal offense can be devastating, particularly if you’re innocent of any wrongdoing. As well as affecting your morale, psyche and self-esteem, a false accusation can have long-lasting effects on your professional and personal life.

Despite the catastrophic impact a false accusation can have, they are more common that you might think. Whether it’s a vengeful ex-partner determined to cause trouble, a genuine case of mistaken identity, or ignorance of the law, millions of people are forced to deal with the impact a wrongful accusation can have.

What Impact Does a Criminal Record Have?

If you have a criminal record, it’s going to have an impact on almost every area of your life. Regardless of what the actual offense was, the mere fact that you have a criminal record will stand in your way.

Your career options will be severely limited if you have a criminal record, particularly because you’ll be prevented from holding certain licenses and certifications. Furthermore, you’ll find it harder to secure a job in any industry, because you’ll be competing against applicants who don’t have criminal records.

In addition to this, a criminal record can make it more difficult to find suitable housing. If you apply for a mortgage or a tenancy, for example, your criminal record will need to be disclosed and this could make it harder for you to secure funding or obtain a lease.

Can You Delete a Criminal Record?

If you decide to go to college in the future, adopt a child, or even apply for a car loan, your criminal record is going to affect your success. Due to the far-reaching effects a criminal record has, it’s important to rectify the damage as quickly as possible.

Although a criminal record can’t be deleted altogether, it can be expunged. When a criminal record is expunged, it essentially dismisses your conviction. Technically, the record is updated to switch a ‘no contest’ or ‘guilty’ to plea into a ‘not guilty’ plea. When the courts approve your expungement request, the change means that the case against you will show as being dismissed when background checks are carried out.

How to Get a Criminal Conviction Expunged

If you’ve been convicted of a criminal offense, you may be eligible to have your record expunged. Although anyone can apply to have an offense expunged from their record, there are strict guidelines regarding what type of convictions can be expunged. To increase your chances of making a successful application, it’s important to seek expert advice. By working with an expungement lawyer, like ExpungeAmerica, for example, you can get the specialist help you need. By securing legal representation, you can put your case for expungement more effectively, which will increase the likelihood of your application being accepted.

With specialist firms providing advice and representation, getting your criminal record expunged may be easier than you think. Whether a false allegation or youthful indiscretion is holding you back, expunging your criminal record could give you the freedom you deserve.

— Featured photo by Flickr user littlebiglens, Creative Commons