How Sealing Criminal Records Can Change Your Life
It’s a tradition when the years turn over to make New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight. Drink less. Call family more often. You know what we mean – you’ve likely made a few resolutions like these recently (and potentially even broken some already). Some of your resolutions might even revolve around criminal records and your criminal cases. This could be a great time to consider the benefits of sealing criminal records.
The idea of starting fresh is appealing to nearly everybody but particularly to those who have criminal records. Nobody is perfect, and everybody makes mistakes. When a mistake results in a criminal conviction, or even just a criminal charge, the impact can last much longer than you might think. Criminal records can haunt you for years, decades – a lifetime, even. In some cases, though, it’s possible to seal your record and start fresh. Learn more about why you should look into this if you have a conviction on your record.
Renting an Apartment
It seems like every time we look at the skyline, there’s a new (often massive) apartment complex going up. And it’s happening all over the state. Ever heard the saying that our state bird is the construction crane? Well, it’s true!
Even with all these new properties available to Denverites and Coloradoans, more broadly, the options can be limiting if you have a felony conviction on your record. Many landlords get nervous when it comes to renting to people with criminal records. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since the conviction or how far you’ve come personally since it happened. The landlord doesn’t know you beyond your paperwork and in this tight rental market, it’s likely that there’s another applicant around the corner with a clean criminal record. You can guess who’s going to get the apartment.
And good luck finding a landlord that won’t do a background check to find criminal records before you sign a lease. If you do find someone who doesn’t run background and credit checks, the deal is likely too good to be true, and you might be getting scammed!
Buying a Firearm
Even though guns end up in the hands of the wrong people sometimes (and when they do, the consequences can be deadly), generally speaking, the federal laws governing the purchase and possession of firearms are substantial. And firearm retailers take these laws very seriously. If your criminal records show a felony conviction or history of domestic violence, you will not successfully pass a background check for a firearm. In some states, a conviction for certain misdemeanor crimes will prevent you from ever legally owning a gun. In addition, even being charged with any crime as a domestic violence offense can impact your ability to even possess firearms or ammunition. Any arrests will show up as criminal records–even dismissed cases. That’s why it’s especially important to check your criminal records with the help of a good attorney and work to clean up anything that might show up!
One of the most difficult and potentially devastating effects of having criminal records is the impact it can have on your ability to get a job. There are certain professions that are more accepting of felons. There are also a number of organizations out there dedicated to helping convicted felons find meaningful and rewarding work (Homeward Alliance has a reentry program geared specifically towards parolees up in Fort Collins, for example). But the reality of the matter is that having a conviction on your record can forever limit your employment opportunities–whether it’s a felony or a misdemeanor. This, in turn, can forever impact your earning potential. When you have bills to pay, a family to support, or dreams you want to achieve, a lifetime of being held down financially can be devastating. Sealing criminal records can dramatically improve your ability find desirable employment, and improve your life.
Need Legal Help?
If you are in need of criminal defense or family law help, consider reaching out to Nicol Gersch Petterson for a free 30-minute consultation. Find more information at https://CoLawTeam.com or call 970.670.0378.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship. It’s a blog post and not legal advice. Each case is different, and this post is meant for generalized knowledge, only. If you haven’t signed an engagement letter (or even received an engagement letter) AND issued some form of payment (peanuts do not count), then no attorney-client relationship exists. Nevertheless, we will do our best to ensure your confidentiality should you choose to contact us privately, but do not post about your case in the comments here (because reaching out for help with your case should be confidential, damn it).
If you have done both of the things mentioned earlier–signed a letter and paid us–then, and only then, you might be a client. But merely chatting with us online does not a client make. Suffice it to say, if you aren’t absolutely certain about whether or not an attorney-client relationship exists between yourself and Nicol Gersch Petterson, you should probably ask for some clarity. Until then, we’ll keep your secrets but we don’t formally represent you… YET.