The practical benefits of an expungement are numerous:
Many states allow employers to terminate employment of employees found to have had a prior conviction.
Most states allow employers to deny jobs to people who were arrested but never convicted.
Most states allow employers to deny jobs to anyone with a criminal record, regardless of how long ago or the individual’s work history and personal circumstances.
Most states ban some or all people with convictions from being eligible for federally funded public assistance and food stamps.
Most states make criminal history information accessible to the general public through the internet, making it extremely easy for employers and others to discriminate against people on the basis of old or minor convictions to deny employment or housing.
Many public housing authorities deny eligibility for federally assisted housing based on an arrest that never led to a conviction.
All but two states restrict the right to vote in some way for people with a criminal conviction.
Gun ownership is widely restricted with any conviction.
Private landlords can lawfully refuse to rent housing to persons with certain criminal convictions.
37 States have laws permitting all employers and occupational licensing agencies to ask about and consider arrests that never led to a conviction in making employment decisions.
Employers in most states can deny jobs to – or fire – anyone with a criminal record, regardless of individual history, circumstance or business necessity.
29 states have no standards governing the relevance of conviction records of applicants for occupational licenses.
36 states have no standards governing public employer’s consideration of applicant’s criminal record.
45 states have no standards governing private employers consideration of applicant’s criminal record.
12 states have lifetime bans on voting for persons convicted of a crime.
Virtually anyone with an internet connection and a credit card can find information about someone’s conviction history online without his or her consent or any guidance on how to interpret or use the information.
28 states allow internet access to criminal records or post records on the internet.
27 housing authorities surveyed make decisions about eligibility for public housing based on arrests that never led to a conviction.
35 states consider the relevance of an applicant’s criminal record in making a determination about an applicant’s suitability to be an adoptive or foster parent.
15 states bar people with criminal records becoming adoptive or foster parents.
The Higher Education Act of 1998 makes students convicted of drug related offenses ineligible for any grant, loan or work assistance. Approximately 140, 000 students have been denied financial aid because of this legality.
Most professional certifications require a criminal history check prior to issuance
Many landlords now demand a criminal history background check prior to leasing or renting.
Almost all youth volunteer positions (Boy Scouts, Little League, Pop Warner, etc.) require a clean criminal history.
Insurance and loan rates could be affected by your criminal history in certain cases.
Most people don’t realize that if you were arrested and never formally charged or even if your case was dismissed or you were found not guilty, the record of your arrest and court case still exists.
Your non-judicial and judicial criminal record is a public record. Contrary to popular belief, a criminal record is not automatically sealed or removed over time.
It remains public and permanent until ordered sealed or expunged by a judge.
Expungement keeps the record of your arrest and/or court case out of the public record.
Expungement allows you to legally deny or fail to acknowledge that you were arrested for the incident which you sealed or expunged.
Expungement protects your privacy and may allow you to take advantage of job, school, and other opportunities once closed because of your arrest being a part of the public record.