After your release from prison, many questions will arise in your mind. Although some felons are embarrassed about their past, this is something that you shouldn’t worry about.
You should know that at least one-third of Americans get arrested by the time they reach the age of 23. While some of them are charged with a more serious crime, others get charged with a misdemeanor on their record.
If you are wondering about the misdemeanor on your record and whether it will be challenging for you to bag a job then let’s take a look at how this can affect you.
- Understanding A Misdemeanor
- How A Misdemeanor Can Affect Your Life?
- Research Is Important
- Can A Misdemeanor Affect Your Job?
- Can A Misdemeanor Stop Me From Getting A Job?
- Can I Pass A Background Check With A Misdemeanor?
Understanding A Misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is a less serious crime that is not considered a felony. Figuring out what falls under the misdemeanor is solely dependent on the state or the jurisdiction. It involves a sentence that could include:
- Up to a year in prison
- Community service
Every state has different interpretations concerning what they consider a misdemeanor. The level of punishment depends on the nature of the misdemeanor in that state.
Let’s take a look at different classes of felonies based on their punishment.
Federal Class A
A crime that is punishable by up to a year in prison
Federal Class B
A crime that is punishable for up to six months in jail
A misdemeanor that is sentenced for up to 30 days in jail
A misdemeanor resulting in less than 5 days in jail
The most common misdemeanors include:
- Violating a restraining order
- Possession of a weapon without registration
- Resisting arrest
- Possession of controlled substance
- Property theft
How A Misdemeanor Can Affect Your Life?
When you are involved in a crime, whether it results in a felony or misdemeanor creates a certain impact on your life. While a misdemeanor cannot affect your life as much as a felony, there are certain charges that it will bring about and you need to learn how to live with them.
Apart from the jail time that you have to serve for the crime committed, other consequences include:
While you won’t be serving jail time, you are restricted from living your life with complete freedom.
Here the felon pays back the victim any monetary loss.
In such a case, the felon cannot leave their house for a specified time.
The felon has to give back to the community for a specific amount of days. It is usually part of probation
If you are involved in a crime involving an automobile then you may have to give up your license.
There are also various indirect consequences you may need to deal with. When applying for a job the employer will run a background check and your misdemeanor may show up during that time. To avoid any confusion and be disheartened after a long wait, it makes a lot of sense to speak about your misdemeanor at the time of the interview itself.
Research Is Important
There are certain jobs that you cannot apply for when you have committed a misdemeanor. So it’s important to research about the kind of jobs that you can apply for. You may also be prohibited from purchasing a firearm if you were involved in domestic violence.
If you have committed a misdemeanor then certification as a health care practitioner or a teacher can be an option for you.
You should remember that your criminal record is available for the public to view for at least seven years. While you may feel uncomfortable about it, you need to learn how to deal with the situation.
If you are involved in any crime involving finance then you can’t get a job that involves dealing with money. If you are fighting for custody of your child then this becomes challenging because of your misdemeanor. Adoption is also something that may be challenging since you have a misdemeanor on your record.
If you plan on continuing education in college you may have to consider switching colleges or studying from a distant education program.
Renting an apartment for individuals who have a misdemeanor on their record can be challenging because landlords are not comfortable accommodating people who were involved in a crime. Immigration could also become an issue since various countries don’t allow people with criminal records to visit them.
While a misdemeanor does impact you directly and indirectly it’s something you learn to deal with and work your way around it. The important thing is not to let your misdemeanor affect you as an individual and it should teach you how to improve your life and move in a positive direction.
Can A Misdemeanor Affect Your Job?
Almost every organization runs a background check before hiring a potential employee. There are certain legal requirements that you should meet and if your misdemeanor contradicts legal requirements then you may not get the job.
There are certain employers however who don’t care about your criminal history as much as your skill and it is important to check for industries and companies that are more open to hiring felons so you can get a fresh start at life.
Although the company will run a background check, the smart thing to do is be honest about your misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is not as grave as a felony.
Take your time to explore the possible opportunities where you can establish a successful career or give yourself the right education and training so you have what it takes to apply for the job and become a strong candidate in the running.
Can A Misdemeanor Stop Me From Getting A Job?
A misdemeanor can interfere with you getting a job if the crime committed was in some way related to the job you are applying for. A misdemeanor is less critical than a felony and organizations don’t look at it with a magnifying glass.
As long as you are talented and a strong candidate for the position, they look the other way. They could however reject your application if you are not honest about your record during the interview and it comes up during the background check.
Although it may be uncomfortable, it is important to inform your potential employer about the misdemeanor before they learn about the truth during the background check.
Can I Pass A Background Check With A Misdemeanor?
Almost every organization will run a background check. Your misdemeanor could mean nothing to a business as long as it doesn’t interfere with the nature of business.
If you’re honest about it then there’s nothing you should worry about. A misdemeanor will stay on your criminal record for as long as a felony.
This means in most states, a misdemeanor will show up for at least seven years every time a background check is run on you. Over time you will learn to deal with that and you will gain more confidence talking about your misdemeanor.
If you are still not comfortable with your misdemeanor or you are worried about it interfering with your career in any way then you can speak to your attorney about getting the record expunged or sealed. While it may not be possible to seal it, you can make an effort in the right direction.