Once of the things I routinely argued during the fight against the Conservative’s omnibus crime bill was that a pardon was not so much a form of forgiveness as it was permission to get back to work and find a decent job. Most people understand this. Certainly most of my clients do. That is why it was so hard to comprehend why the Conservatives had such a hard time with it. In this day and age job hunting with a criminal record is about as promising as fishing for trout with a live tiger on the end of your line (I’m not sure where that particular comparison just came from).
Of course some of the people I speak to on the telephone don’t see the value in a pardon either. Often it is a case of the criminal record never having affected them in the past. Since it hasn’t been bother for several years it will not be a bother in the future. That’s the logic as far as I can see it. And the logic does make sense to a certain degree. The problem is that you never know what is going to happen in the future. I’ve had many clients who worked for the same company for years with a criminal record. They were well liked and loyal, hard working employees who never thought a small blemish from the past would affect the security of their job. But then one day the company policy changed and every single employee was required to get a criminal background check. The job was lost.
I also have clients who worked for the same company for years but lost the job because of a promotion which required a background check. Not only was the promotion gone but the original job was gone as well. This should never happen.
Even if you have never had any problems arise from a criminal record you should get a pardon anyway. There is no sense having a criminal record tied to your back when there doesn’t need to be. It may seem like a big financial investment now but if you look at the cost over the course of a lifetime (or compared to losing a job) the financial investment is minimal.
Getting a pardon is an investment in your future. It is confirmation that you no longer desire to be associated with either repeated criminal activity or maybe just those mistakes from our youth that so many of us have had over the years. None of my clients considers themselves a criminal. But if you have a criminal record an employer will each and every time.
Considering how hard it can be to find the right job these days investing in a pardon may possibly be the best investment anyone with a criminal record can make. Don’t waste time. Get a pardon started and get working towards a great job and a better future.