Dealing with the law in Washington State tends not to be cheap. To solve a legal problem, you are probably going to have to spend some money. If you look at these expenses as an investment in your future, the bills might not seem so onerous.
This includes expunging your criminal record. Expungement is a complex process, and trying to apply by yourself can be confusing and frustrating. So you hire a lawyer to help you, which can mean spending thousands of dollars. But if the court approves your petition and expunges your record, a new world of economic opportunities could open up to you.
You will have an easier time getting hired for better-paying jobs with more chances for advancement. If you want to go to college, you will have an easier time getting accepted into the school of your choice. And a sealed criminal record can make things much easier when you apply for a business loan or a mortgage. In the long run, most people can make a lot more money with an expunged record than one that pops up a conviction whenever a bank, landlord or employer runs a background check.
Automated expungement could help reduce costs
Still, anything that can reduce the cost of the expungement process would be welcome. One such thing would be automatic expungements, something we have discussed before in this blog. Down in Oklahoma, a bill that would authorize a computer algorithm that would identify eligible individuals and start the expungement process automatically passed a key House committee by a unanimous vote recently.
Whether you are ready to invest in your future depends largely on how much your record is holding you back. When you are ready, a conversation with an attorney who helps clients seek a second chance can be helpful.