3 Ways You Can Keep A Criminal Background From Hurting Your Future

In some states, once you complete your punishment from a criminal conviction, you can have the record sealed. Unfortunately, if your state does not allow expungement, your past could significantly hurt your future. Here are some tips for minimizing the impact of your record on your life. 

Be Honest

One of the biggest mistakes you could make about your criminal past is to be deceptive about it. Whether you are applying for a job or housing, you need to let the employer or landlord know up front about your criminal past. If you are dishonest about it and the truth is found, you could be viewed as dishonest. The employer or landlord could see this as an indication that you have not changed. 

Obtain Letters of Recommendation

In some situations, a strong letter of recommendation from someone with a good reputation in your community can carry a lot of weight. If possible, ask someone with a good reputation to write a letter attesting to what kind of character you have. If you have former employers or landlords who have positive things to say about you, ask them to write letters for you, too. 

Ask the person to be as detailed as possible. For instance, if you have a former employer who hired you after your conviction and he or she was aware of your background, ask him or her to include that in the letter. The idea that another employer took a chance on you and it worked out can be encouraging to a potential employer. The same applies if you have a former landlord that is willing to attest he or she knew about the conviction and they still leased or rented to you.

File for a Pardon

There are very specific guidelines that dictate whether or not a pardon can be granted. In addition to this, pardons are rarely granted. However, it could be worth it to ask for a pardon. To some employers and landlords, a pardon carries a lot of weight. To find out if your particular case meets the criteria for a pardon, talk to your criminal defense lawyer. He or she is most familiar with the specifics of your case and can help with the filing process. 

One of the best sources you can find to help you move forward with your life is your lawyer. He or she has represented other people who have been in your situation before. Your lawyer could help you understand your rights and also point you to agencies that can possibly help your case.

Contact a legal office like Devine Law PC to learn more.