Tangible and Intangible Benefits of Expungement
In a previous article, we covered discussed the very real and tangible benefits of an Ohio expungement and record sealing. These benefits can range from increased job opportunities or promotions to applying for college or student loans. Many people don’t realize that an expungement can also improve your credit to obtain loans or even an apartment. There are many financial, employment, and everyday benefits of having an old criminal record expunged to open doors of opportunities for your future, but there are also intangible benefits to pursuing a record expungement.
Personal and Intangible Benefits of Expungement
When considering the personal benefits of expungement, the best examples come from clients we have represented. For example, when preparing a client for testimony, we asked them why they wanted an expungement? They were established in business, and they clearly didn’t need it for job or financial reasons. The client said their children were now adults, and they knew nothing about the old criminal record. Our client just didn’t want their kids to discover the old criminal record and having to view their father in light of a criminal conviction.
Another client wanted to volunteer at her children’s school and help with the kids at their church, but she was afraid her criminal record would be discovered during the background check required to volunteer. As a result, she was missing valuable time with her kids as they grew up. Even though she had accepted the punishment for her offense, she never felt like her case was completely behind her if her criminal record is still out there.
We have had retired clients who are not working, who had no financial reason to get an expungement, and who no longer lived in Ohio. Some of these clients in their 70’s and even 80’s said they did not want to come to the end of their life with a criminal record. They just didn’t want that to be part of their legacy.
Other clients have more serious offenses where they have harmed others, including vehicular homicide cases. Their neglect when driving resulted in the death of another person. Even though they completed all the penalties and their case was closed, one person said there wasn’t a day that went by they didn’t think about what happened. They continued to punish themselves for years after the case was over. They went on to raise families and were successful in their job. But these clients needed closure, redemption, or some sense of forgiveness.
Relief and Peace of Mind
While expungement will not magically wipe away someone’s past, our clients tell us of a great sense of relief after the Judge grants their expungement. Our clients feel a peace of mind and a sense of freedom from their past mistake.
Ohio’s Supreme Court has called expungement and “act of grace.” (Barker v. State, 62 Ohio St.2d 35.) One Court of Appeals stated, “The legislature which is closer to the people recognized that people make mistakes, but that afterwards they regret their conduct and are older, and wiser… The enactment of [the expungement statute] is, in a way, a manifestation…of concepts of sin, punishment, atonement, and forgiveness.” … and…” The unarguable fact is that some people do rehabilitate themselves.” (State v. Hilbert, (2001) 145 Ohio App 3rd 824.)
Free Consultation – Ohio Expungement and Record Sealing Attorney
No one is perfect, and we can all use some grace and forgiveness. If you’re carrying around the burden of an old criminal record, maybe it’s time you consider an expungement to help put the past… in the past. We would be happy to speak with you after take our confidential and free consultation.