Housing for Felons Can Be Difficult to Find
Serving your sentence does not mean that you will be embraced with open arms by society when it’s complete. Having a felony on your record can create problems for you long after your sentence is complete. Finding housing for felons can be incredibly difficult. Many landlords will not rent to you if you have certain misdemeanor convictions, but having a felony can really cause you problems.
The US Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex, religion, race, national origin, disability, or family status. It does not prevent landlords from denying housing to felons. Since many landlords will not rent to those with a criminal record, it can be very difficult to obtain housing for felons. When it’s difficult to find a place to live, you often have to live in less desirable housing.
If you don’t do anything about your criminal record, it’s always going to be difficult to rent the place you want to live. It may get somewhat easier with time, but your record won’t go anywhere.
So what can you do if you have a felony to get the best place to live?
The best thing you can do is get an expungement so that you can pass background checks when you’re applying to rent a place to live. Not everyone qualifies for an expungement, but we’re going to briefly go over the requirements below. You can also use an eligibility tool that lawyers at our law firm developed to see if you qualify for an expungement.
Do You Qualify for a Utah Expungement?
Even if you weren’t convicted, you probably still have an arrest record that could show up on a background check. To expunge an arrest record you cannot have any pending criminal matters, 30 days must have passed since your arrest, and one of the following must be true:
- No charges were filed
- Charges were filed but dismissed with prejudice
- Charges were filed but the person was acquitted (found not guilty)
- The statute of limitation has expired
If you were convicted, you most certainly have a criminal record that will show up in a background check. You cannot have any pending criminal matters, you must pay all fines, fees, or restitution, and you must satisfy the applicable waiting period listed below. In addition, you cannot have been convicted for any of the following crimes:
- A capital felony, 1st degree felony, or violent felony
- Automobile homicide
- Felony driving under the influence
- A registerable sex offense
To expunge a conviction, you must wait a certain amount of time. The length of the waiting period depends on the severity of the crime and begins on the date of conviction or release from incarceration, probation or parole, whichever occurred last. You can find the correct waiting period below:
- DUI/Impaired Driving 10 Years
- Felony 7 Years
- Class A Misdemeanor 5 Years
- Class B Misdemeanor 4 Years
- Other Misdemeanor or Infraction 3 Years
Start Your Expungement Now
There are housing units in Utah which are available for those who have been discharged from incarceration. Such units can be found within the Utah Housing Database. These units are very limited in availability and location. For those who are eligible for expungement, these housing units should be regarded as temporary solutions, steppingstones to a brighter and more stable future after getting an expungement.
Expunging your record can take time. Records need to be located, legal documents need to be drafted, and often a hearing is required. Courts schedule hearings based on a first come, first served basis, so getting the process started as soon as possible is important if you want to pass a background check and rent a nicer place to live.
The first step is to see if you qualify for an expungement. Our attorneys have developed an online, confidential eligibility tool to help you figure out if you are eligible. If you are interested in hiring our law firm to help you with a Utah expungement, you may schedule an appointment after using our eligibility tool. You may also call our legal team at (844) 947-3732. Our team of lawyers is here to fight for your rights and would be honored to represent you.
Related article: How to Improve Your Chances of Passing a Background Check