Purging a criminal record isn't easy, even for misdemeanors

Purging a criminal record isn't easy, even for misdemeanors

You’ve been stopped for a minor drug possession charge or maybe a DUI. If you’re convicted, you could be given a misdemeanor on your record and sentenced according to the laws for the state. Is a misdemeanor really that big of a deal after your sentence is served? Will it really have an effect on your life? The short answer to these questions is yes, and here’s why.

Although you may not go to jail over a misdemeanor, this doesn’t mean you won’t have repercussions in your daily life. Your permanent record will show your misdemeanor, making it possible for potential employers to see the misdemeanor and to question your potential as an employee. Interestingly, misdemeanors have the same kind of collateral consequences as a felony would.

These hindrances number in the hundreds, with up to 200 federal or state consequences resulting from the conviction. Your right to a loan, housing, family rights, and other rights could be affected. Your reputation is essentially destroyed due to this record.

Unfortunately, the ways you can seek to have these offenses removed from your record are few. A Presidential pardon, for instance, is one of the few that will fully remove the criminal activity from your record. One man who tried to get his life back on track following a misdemeanor reported struggling to get a job, and he was turned away from working for the National Guard. Despite his efforts to make himself a better person, the judge for his case told him that the only way the record could be wiped clean was a Presidential pardon.

Source: TIME, “A Misdemeanor Conviction Is Not a Big Deal, Right? Think Again,” Maya Rhodan, accessed May. 20, 2015

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