It took Teisha Wright about a year to get a 2015 reckless driving conviction expunged from her criminal record, and that was with help from a Utah legal aid lawyer.
Wright, 33, had never been in trouble with the law before nor has she since. But having a misdemeanor hanging over her head hindered her ability to get a job and housing. She didn’t like having to check “yes” on an application asking if she had ever been convicted of a crime and was embarrassed to explain the situation to an employer or landlord.
And you can’t lie. You have to tell the truth,” she said.
Wright, of Ogden, Utah, said it’s a relief to have her record cleared, including several traffic tickets she received a decade ago, earlier this year.
“To have a clean record, it’s just a better feeling for myself and then not have somebody judge me for that,” she said.
Wright’s reckless driving charge would likely have disappeared from the court system on its own under so-called “clean slate” laws that are taking hold across the country. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of people like Wright could have their nonviolent crimes expunged without doing a thing.