Anyone in Virginia who has ever been arrested for a crime knows how important it is to find ways to move forward and rebuild their lives in a positive way after such an experience. Having a criminal record eliminated, or expunged as it is called, is one thing that can help to facilitate this. The Center for American Progress has initiated a campaign called Clean Slate designed to provide for a better expungement process than many people currently experience.
Perhaps one of the hardest things that people arrested for minor indiscretions in Virginia must deal with is the long-term implications of having a criminal record. Potential employers, landlords, lenders and more often complete thorough background checks on people before making final decisions about employment, housing or loans and even a small blemish on people's records might hamper their ability to make a positive step forward in their lives.
Should past mistakes follow Virginia residents around for the rest of their lives? We at the law office of Robert F. Rider believe that the answer is "not necessarily." A criminal charge or arrest can follow you around for a long time, and it can be difficult to get started on a new life when potential landlords and employers keep drudging up your past when you try to rent an apartment or apply for a job, but in some cases, it may be possible to remove past arrests or charges from your criminal record through the process of expungement, although the process is not easy and involves a lot of paperwork.
If you have a criminal conviction in Virginia, then you probably know how it can affect the many areas of your life. You could be unable to get certain jobs. It could keep you from renting from some landlords. It also could even make it difficult for you to volunteer at your child's school. To clear your record and remove that past conviction, you have to qualify for an expungement.
Having a criminal record can be a real hindrance to those trying to make lives for themselves in Roanoke. Imagine just starting in one's adult life and having to deal with such an issue. That is the struggle that many juvenile offenders face. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, roughly 2553 of every 100,000 juveniles ages 10-17 were arrested in 2016. Once those youths have completed whatever consequences resulted from their actions, how are they to avoid having their past criminal activity become a stumbling block for them in the future?
When some random guy on the street in Roanoke mistakes you for someone else, it is little more than an awkward inconvenience. When the Virginia state criminal database does, it can be devastating. You need only ask any of those that we here at Robert F. Rider, PLC have worked with to get an idea of how you mistakenly showing up in a criminal database can affect your life. You could be denied housing and/or employment, along with seeing the good reputation that you have cultivated in your community go down the drain. Yet such damage can be repaired.
For many people in Virginia who voted for the current Governor in the last election, the then-candidate's campaign pledge to work toward the legalization of marijuana may have been a key factor in their choice at the polls. As the last legislative session has now come to a close, however, their hopes may be somewhat diminished.
Facing the repercussions of any type of crime can make way for a long and tedious process. Depending on the case, those repercussions could last for months, and even many years. Virginia residents dealing with the effects of actions made a lifetime ago understand the severity of a criminal record. Not only can it can dangle above one's head in a number of situations; it can potentially threaten a person's reputation and overall quality of life.
The words "criminal background check required" may cause you to give up on the application for a job or home in Virginia that you need. Although discrimination is illegal, checking public records to discover if someone has arrests or convictions is not, and the employer or landlord may use the information to deny you work or housing. We at the law office of Robert F. Rider PLC are often able to help people with criminal records to file for expungement.