When the court convicts you of a crime, it will appear on your official record for the rest of your life. It doesn’t matter if you made a drunken mistake in college, plead guilty to escape a more serious crime, or took the fall for someone else. Your criminal history can keep you from getting the job that you want and traveling when you want to. Some people have issues because of a crime committed in the past, even though they never served jail time. With pardons applications, you can clean up your official record, but you may want to know some of the reasons to seek a pardon first.
Find a Better Job
You may not realize that your history can keep you from getting the job that you want. Many employers have applications that ask you point-blank if you have any arrests or convictions on your record. Those companies may not even bring you in for an interview because of things you did in the past. Other employers may extend a job offer after an interview and then rescind that offer after doing a background check. A full pardon can help you find a better job and move up through the ranks at your current company.
Clean Your Online Reputation
Some websites specialize in showing mugshots and arrest reports. These sites pop up each time you search your name. Your conviction will also appear on government websites when someone does a background check. This can not only change the employers willing to take a chance on you, but it can also limit your dating pool. Many single people now do a quick online search before going on dates or getting serious with someone, and a potential match may walk away from you because of the things you did in the past. With a pardon, you can clean up your online reputation.
Become a Volunteer
Did you know that a criminal record can prevent you from doing volunteer work? While some nonprofit organizations will welcome volunteers of any type with open arms, others do background checks to weed out those with criminal records. This is especially true of organizations that work with children, women, the elderly, and the homeless. Once you get your pardon, your criminal record will appear clean, which will let you do volunteer work anywhere you want.
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Travel With Fewer Restrictions
While you might have a passport from before you committed a crime, that crime can prevent you from traveling and using your passport. Border patrol agents can run your name through the system and decide that you risk and ban you from crossing the border. Even something as basic as a DUI charge can keep you from traveling between countries. Instead of asking the court for a letter that gives you the right to travel, you can apply for a pardon and travel whenever you want without your record getting in your way.
Find a Rental
Not everyone can afford to buy a home, but when you need to rent a home or an apartment, you might find landlords turning you down because of your criminal record. Landlords often do criminal and civil background checks to weed out tenants with financial issues or criminal convictions. Even if you committed a crime five years ago or even more, some landlords will still refuse to rent to you. Getting a pardon removes that conviction from your record and shows landlords that you are a mature and responsible person.
See Your Kids
If you have children, you should really consider seeking a pardon. Even if you have a happy marriage, you never know what might happen in the future. Once your spouse files for divorce, he or she can seek full custody and ask for limited visitation on your part because of any crimes you previously committed. Your record can keep you from seeing children you had with a former partner and lead to you losing custody too. Whether you want to find a new job, get an apartment, travel freely, or improve your reputation, you’ll need to file for a pardon.