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