Those accused of criminal activity, especially those facing non-violent charges, often decide to plead guilty. People don’t want to go to trial even when they maintain that they did not break the law. They think that pleading guilty is the fastest and simplest way to resolve the criminal charges they face.
While a guilty plea is certainly more expedient than a trial at which someone attempts to fight criminal charges, the possible penalties are still a real concern. Anyone convicted of a criminal infraction in Indiana could face penalties ranging from driver’s license suspension to incarceration. They also have a criminal record that can affect their life for the indefinite future.
Some people in Indiana are eligible for the expungement of their criminal records. The consequences of having a criminal record may make the effort involved in expungement worthwhile. Expungement, for those who are eligible, can mitigate or eliminate the following challenges associated with having a criminal record.
Reduced employment opportunities
Even entry-level positions in the service industry typically require a background check. Someone hoping to work as a server or a cashier could lose out on opportunities because of a prior criminal conviction. Getting a job isn’t the only concern. Some employers terminate workers who get convicted during their employment. Businesses may also perform background checks when considering people for promotions. Blemishes on someone’s criminal record can hold them back from many opportunities in the workplace.
Background checks are also commonplace during college and graduate school application processing. Most institutions of higher education perform background checks before extending an offering enrollment to prospective students. They may also have student codes of conduct that allow them to expel enrolled students convicted during their enrollment at the institution. Additionally, both government financial aid programs and private scholarship organizations may consider someone’s criminal record when determining their eligibility for financial aid.
Difficulty with housing and insurance
Many landlords perform background checks before renting to a new tenant. Those with convictions may have a harder time finding a place to live, especially with the rental market being so competitive. Even insurance providers may treat people differently after a criminal conviction. Those with criminal records may end up paying more for car insurance or could have a very hard time obtaining life insurance.
After a brush with the criminal justice system, the only way to avoid all penalties is to remove the blemish on someone’s permanent record. Understanding the negative impacts a criminal record can have on someone’s life may help them understand why in Indiana expungement is worth pursuing.