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Marlin Bressi, a writer in Yahoo’s Contributor Network, makes the case that states with strict expungement laws tend to have higher unemployment rates.

“After a thorough examination of the expungement laws of all fifty states, one can see a clear pattern which shows that states with the most stringent expungement laws have the highest rates of unemployment, while states with lenient expungement laws tend to have lowest unemployment rates,” writes Bressi.

Bressi continues, “Generally speaking, states with high rates of unemployment do not allow misdemeanors to be sealed, even if it’s a low-grade misdemeanor. Michigan (with an unemployment rate of 11.1%) is one such example, along with South Carolina (11%), Florida (10.6%), Mississippi (10.6%), North Carolina (10.5%), and Georgia (10.3%). Of the 10 states with the highest unemployment, only four offer some sort of expungement for those convicted of misdemeanors, and in states like Illinois and Georgia, expungement of misdemeanors is limited only to first-time offenders and juvenile offenders. In other words, if you slap your wife in Florida or punch out someone in a bar in Michigan, you may never work again. ”

Bressi does not explain how some states with very restrictive expungement laws such as Texas and Virginia have below average unemployment rates, especially for states of more than 7 million people. Nor does he explain how Nevada, who has an effective and generous expungement has the nation’s highest unemployment. It would also be interesting to see if there is a change in unemployment rates after a state makes expungement more widely available.

You can read the complete article at

Written by Mathew Higbee, Esq

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8 Responses Leave a comment

  1. robin wilkins says:


    • robin wilkins says:

      I AM SEEKING HELP. I AM AUNIVERSITY GRADUATE WITH THREE DEGREES. I TAUGHT EIGHT YEARS IN ALABAMA. I’m simply trying to get another chance at gainful employment without tis hanging over my head.

      • robin wilkins says:

        How do I get my DUI’s expunged ? Can somebody help?

      • Polo Keeton says:

        Hi Robin my name is Polo Keeton I am a Pretrial Cordinator for a company called ACC Pretrial Intervention. I would like to lend you a hand in getting your record expunged. please visit this web site that has a lot of information. If you have any questions please feel free contact me a 404-917-3706 Polo

      • Dailene says:

        An arrest is not a bar to a prnsisfeooal license. Multiple arrests should not be a bar to a prnsisfeooal license (I’m talking about your teaching certificate here.)Convictions are another story. If no charges were filed, or if the case was dismissed, or if you were tried and found not guilty, you’re good. If you were convicted, you will find it very difficult to find work in that field.When asked about this when you apply for work, you’ll probably have to disclose this. Assuming you were not convicted, you should, of course, present very emphatically that you were not guilty and the legal systems agrees with that.

  2. Anthony says:

    Do you get rid of your children when they misbehave or do something not approved by family rules? Of course not, you guide them along the way letting them know it was wrong and why it was wrong. What is more scary a person willing to work, pay taxes, provide for their families, and move on and better theirselves for their sake and even their families, or the person offending no one knows about because he wasn’t caught. I feel after paying debt to society you should be able to have your record removed. If we make no advancement in aiding people who need help where will this country end up. Might sound lame but stop and ask yourself if you had a family you were trying to provide for but couldn’t get a job would you let your family starve or do everyone’s instinct and provide no matter what. Just think if we make no effort to help each other and rehabilitate people are we only hurting ex offenders or everyone in this country. When a person gets married they agree to stay together through thick and thin, sickness and health til death do them part, making a promise that not all keep but we let them get divorced and no one judges them forever and doesn’t give them a chance for employment even though they lied in front of many and all was forgotten by a divorce, made legal by the government. What are we teaching our kids- future of the u.s.a that we should all work against each other never work towards positive goals? What we need to do is have a law that will eliminate your past records after so many years, considering we technically are all working together to make this the best country yet our court system charges us with all kinds of random court fees some stating rehabilitation or safety classes about firearms yet in most states you can’t ever be forgiven for your past. I feel someone or something-government-should be held accountable infinite impact they make on everyone’s future in some ways even affecting their own. I hope we can make a change acknowledge no one is perfect and truthfully work towards rehabilitation cause we all know deep down if this was your son or daughter who hasn’t continued offending you would want them to have a second chance at a honest future.

    • Jose says:

      I couldn’t have said it better than Anthony did, he made many valid points which only a person with no common sense or no good heart would not understand. I feel that if you pay your debt to society and stay clean for a certain amount of years your record should be cleared and you should be given a chance to live a normal life to be able to qualify for good career jobs so that you may support your family.

  3. Mathew Higbee, Esq says:

    Nice perspective Anthony.

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