Misdemeanors are less serious offenses than felonies. They are often punished with fines and community service, and may result in probation. These offenses are recorded in county courts and sometimes in state repositories. In some states, they can stay on your record for a long time.
Getting a clean record will have benefits for you in the future, particularly when it comes to finding a job, housing, or a loan for college. However, it does not mean that the misdemeanor will go away. It can still negatively impact your life. Even if the court has dismissed your charge, your name will still appear in a criminal background check.
There are a few ways to make your misdemeanors go away, including expunging and sealing. While expunging is the best, it’s not always the easiest option. You’ll need to learn about your state’s laws and find an attorney who can help you navigate the process.
If you want to get rid of a misdemeanor, you should be sure to research the state’s laws. Your state’s law might be different than the one you live in, or there might be a different income level requirement. One way to avoid having your criminal history used against you is to wait until you’re asked to provide a list of pending charges. Many employers use address histories to track candidates, so you need to be honest about any past crimes.
There’s a new law in Iowa that allows certain misdemeanors to be cleared from a criminal record. Unlike in many other states, this law is lenient and gives you a fresh start. Before you start applying for a job, you’ll need to find out what you need to do to make your record as clean as possible.
Whether or not you need to worry about a criminal record depends on the type of crime you committed, your background, and the nature of your employment. For example, a criminal record will be more prominent if you have a felony, a serious violent offense, or any other offenses. But a clean background can benefit you when it comes to a loan application, renting an apartment, or even getting a license.
Another option is to have your conviction sealed, which will hide your misdemeanor from the public. This is not as strong a move as expunging, but it does the trick. The record is kept secret from the public, but can be accessed by local and state government officials.
However, you’ll need to wait a while before you can seal your criminal record. Some states require a five-year waiting period before you can get the ball rolling. Others will allow you to do so at the discretion of the court.
If you have more than one misdemeanor conviction, you may need to petition the court for an expungement. The court’s rules are complex and vary from state to state. You’ll need an attorney to help you navigate the process, and to argue your case in court.