Recently, Missouri lawmakers made it easier for many people in the state to expunge their criminal records. On January 1st of this year, around 1,900 felony and misdemeanor crimes became eligible for expungement.

Expunging a record serves as a second chance. The person no longer needs to state on job applications that he or she has a criminal past. A burden becomes lifted, and there are many benefits to gain. Anyone with a criminal past needs to consider this option.

Finding a new job becomes simpler

Many employers around the state conduct background checks on potential new hires. Criminal convictions will come to light, and some crimes may impact your ability to get a job. For example, if you apply for a position in a retail store, then a manager may not want to hire you if you have a criminal history of shoplifting. Even your current job could be at risk if new management comes in and conducts background checks on all present employees. 

Renting an apartment

Numerous people throughout the state need to rent an apartment or house. Similarly to applying for jobs, landlords typically conduct background checks on prospective tenants. Landlords are within their rights to deny rentals to applicants with criminal pasts. In some cases, landlords rent out to people with convictions on their records, but the lease will state the need for a higher deposit or monthly rent amount. 

Attaining peace of mind

The most significant benefit to gain involves having peace of mind. You no longer have to consider lying on job applications and wondering if your boss may ever discover your criminal past. Under Missouri law, people need to wait three years to expunge a misdemeanor and seven years for a felony, so you may need to wait before pursuing this option. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you could expunge sooner.