Misdemeanors are low level crimes thought to be more dangerous than a typical citation, but they are still crimes and the court system will treat them as such. Many misdemeanor crimes will come with penalties like probation, rehabilitation classes, fines and usually some community service.
The maximum punishment for misdemeanor crimes is 12 months incarceration however, this is not a typical punishment, especially for first time offenders. If you are lucky enough to be a first time offender, then your chances of getting a slap on the wrist type punishment are far greater. Those who have numerous misdemeanors on their record are considered habitual offenders and will be treated with much stricter penalties which is where jail time may be considered.
Will A Misdemeanor Stay On My Record Forever?
Unless your attorney is able to get the conviction sealed (usually after all probationary activities are completed by the defendant), then a misdemeanor will stay on your record for life. There is something that works towards your benefit though if you were unlucky enough to not be able to get your record sealed.
Background Checks Are A Tell All, For 7 Years Anyways
Colorado uses a 7 year rule on background checks which means that when a background check is being performed, it can only show what is on your record for the previous 7 years to date. This means that if your misdemeanor conviction or completion of probation was more than 7 years ago, the person doing the background check may not find it.
Misdemeanors are also typically handled at the county level so if the person doing a background check skips the county level, then your records may not show up. There are many different ways to do background checks and some people even use previous addresses to know what counties to check for convictions in, so it is always recommended that you be honest on any applications that ask for this information.
Can Misdemeanors Keep Me From Getting A Job?
Misdemeanors can still bar you from different types of jobs within certain industries and many employers are looking for employees with clean criminal records so if you are able to get your record sealed, it is most likely worth it. The repercussions may not be huge for misdemeanors in the long run, but can still have a big impact on your ability to land your dream job, so it is important to always live within the limits of the law to avoid charges in the first place.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, feel free to get in touch with our misdemeanor defense attorneys for a full case review and a solid defense to go to court with. We also help misdemeanor offenders get their records sealed in times where it is deemed a possibility so give us a call today for an expert defense at (719) 578-1106.