If you have recently received a misdemeanor conviction and dismissed it in your mind as not being very serious, you may want to re-evaluate that sentiment. The unfortunate fact is, any criminal conviction can have long-lasting ramifications. Here is what you should know about misdemeanors and why they can more severe than you think.
Misdemeanors are not just minor offenses
If you try to convince yourself that a misdemeanor is just a minor offense, then you are severely downplaying the severity of your offense and its repercussions. People may believe that a misdemeanor is insignificant because it is often the charge defendants will plead guilty for to avoid jail. Because there are times a misdemeanor can result in a fine and not jail time does not mean it is insignificant. There are certainly times you can face jail time for a misdemeanor offense.
Your misdemeanor will appear on a background check
Possibly the main reason to prove that a misdemeanor is something to take seriously is that it will show up on a background check of your record. Not matter what the consequence was of your misdemeanor conviction, not only will it appear on your criminal record, but it will stay on your record for the rest of your life. This means it will be accessible to anyone who wants to find information about you, from landlords to employers.
A misdemeanor could keep you from a job
If you are speaking to a prospective company about a job opportunity, your misdemeanor conviction may be the deciding factor to keep you from being employed. If you and another candidate are equal in every category but you have a conviction on your record, which way to you think the hiring manager will go? If you want to work with kids or be a professional driver, a misdemeanor DUI conviction can likely disqualify you from consideration.
If you have been arrested and faced with a misdemeanor charge, it is very important to speak with a criminal defense attorney. With convictions staying on your record for possibly the rest of your life, it can be a mistake not take a misdemeanor charge seriously.