Getting a conviction expunged from your record can be a great relief. It means that you no longer have to worry that a mistake you made will haunt you whenever you look for a job or an apartment.
Typically, when you’re applying for a job, you aren’t required to mention any conviction that has been expunged. There are some exceptions, however.
When you will likely need to disclose your expungement
Depending on where you happen to be living, you may need to disclose your expungement if you apply for:
- A job in law enforcement
- A job in a school
- A professional license issued by the state
- Law school or the admission to a state bar
- A concealed carry permit for a firearm (and in some states when you buy a firearm at all)
- If you run for public office, whether it’s for the city council or governor, you’ll probably need to disclose it as well. The voters can then decide whether it matters to them.
It’s also important to remember that while expungement can keep potential employers and landlords from finding out your criminal record, the internet is forever. If your criminal offense made the news or somehow went viral, anyone can find it. That doesn’t apply in most cases, though.
Does expungement prevent deportation?
If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, it’s still possible to be deported for a criminal conviction, even if it was expunged. Under immigration law, as long as a person pled guilty or was convicted of a crime and received some type of punishment, even if it was something like a diversion program, that conviction could be used as a reason to deport them.
Despite these situations where your criminal record will remain with you even with an expungement, it can still be worthwhile to seek one. It’s wise to get experienced legal guidance to determine whether you’re eligible for an expungement and what it can do for you.