If you have not had your criminal record expunged, it can be easy to be skeptical. Hearing how expungement dramatically changed other people’s lives might show how powerful of a tool it can be under Washington state law.
Even if you were charged decades ago, just having criminal charges on your record can haunt you. In one case, a man was arrested and charged with murder. After a very long trial process, he was found not guilty and released from jail. He found a job that lasted 26 years, but when it came time to find new work, it became impossible. Every place he applied for a job did a background check and found the old murder charge. Even though the man was not convicted, nobody would hire him.
Finally, he began the expungement process. Once his arrest record was expunged, he got a job. Then he got another one that he loves.
Fired after four months
In another case, a woman lost her job because of two arrests on assault and theft charges. Both times, authorities quickly dropped the charges, but they still came up when her employer completed a background check four months after hiring her. Management at the retail store where she worked admitted she was a good employee but that they could not keep an employee with her record. The woman later got her record expunged and was able to find another job, as well as enroll in culinary school.
A whole new job market
Whether you made a mistake in the past or the police wrongfully arrested you, your criminal record does not have to hold you back for the rest of your life. An expungement can greatly improve your job prospects and your quality of life.