When people are convicted of a misdemeanor in California, they may be tempted to view this as an inconsequential event. Because these offenses are considered to be less serious than felonies, they may not think this conviction will affect them for long. However, misdemeanors have the ability to affect their lives for several years.
According to Time magazine, people sometimes have few ways to remove a misdemeanor from their criminal record. If someone has been convicted of a federal misdemeanor, sometimes a presidential pardon may the only way to have the conviction removed. However, many people are not tried and convicted on major crime charges. Instead, it is often minor crimes which result in a conviction. These can include driving when a person's license has been suspended. One legal database records more than 45,000 repercussions of a misdemeanor conviction on both the federal and state level, and these include access to financial assistance and housing.
After a misdemeanor conviction, people may have difficulty finding employment. Chron.com says employers are sometimes concerned about hiring someone with a misdemeanor on their criminal record and may not always call these jobseekers after running a background check. This is because some employers worry that, if hired, these people will repeat the behavior that resulted in the conviction.
Because these convictions can follow people for a long time, it is a good idea for people to list their convictions on job applications. This is partly because people who apply for positions as teachers or caregivers are required to list any convictions on their record. However, mentioning them also allows people to explain how they have changed, demonstrating to employers that they are unlikely to commit the same offense again.