If you have ever been convicted of a crime, you may have paid a fine, served a sentence, or paid your dues to society in some way. Unfortunately, having a criminal record is much more costly than simply paying and forgetting. Criminals find themselves continuing to pay for their crimes two, five even ten years after their sentence. Misdemeanors and Felonies can prevent anybody from following their dreams in ways that are hard to imagine.
In comparison to the vast array of crimes that can be committed, misdemeanors are relatively miniscule, often overlooked and often ignored. More and more these days though, misdemeanors can exclude and prevent people from attaining things that seem very basic. For example, an increasing number of apartment complexes within the cities will not allow residents with past misdemeanors to rent apartments in their complex. Some employers will have strict policies about giving jobs to records with past misdemeanors. There are even certain places within downtown Oklahoma City that persons with misdemeanors cannot go. If you have a past misdemeanor on your record and are planning to do any of these things, having an expunction hearing should be your top priority before doing so.
Having a felony on your record can be one of the worst things that can happen to a person in the United States. Convicted felons are looked at as the lowest type of citizen. Many basic rights are taken away from convicted felons, and finding a job is an impossible task. Most employers who perform background checks on their employees have a policy of zero tolerance for convicted felons and as soon as they run your background check, your chance of getting that job is zero.
Gun ownership is another stripped right. If you have ever been convicted of a felony, you can never go hunting for the rest of your life. Hunting licenses are denied to all convicted felons and even owning a gun is restricted, making it very difficult for convicted felons to protect themselves in their own home, let alone hunt.
Voting –If you have been convicted, you are not given the right to vote, nor will you be granted the right to vote for up to seven years after your sentence is served. Loans are difficult to get as well. Banks now perform background checks when giving loans, and while you can still get a loan with a felony on your record, it gives you much less leeway if your credit is less than perfect.
Even if you don’t plan on voting, getting a loan, applying for an apartment, having a misdemeanor or felony on your criminal record retires you of many rights and privileges as a citizen. Getting these charges expunged should be the most important item on your agenda. Contact Atkins and Markoff to get the process started with our team of attorneys and to understand what expungement entails.