How Long Does A Misdemeanor Stay On Your Record?


How Long Does A Misdemeanor Stay On Your Record?

Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor crime? Unfortunately, it is going to follow you for the rest of your life. The good news is that misdemeanors are less serious than felonies. Therefore, you won’t face as many restrictions as you would with a felony conviction.

Nevertheless, some employers will consider misdemeanors when hiring new workers. If you’re trying to obtain excellent employment, you shouldn’t let your criminal record stop you. Many employers are felon friendly and some will be happy to hire people with misdemeanors on their criminal records.

How long will it stay on your record? Will it follow you for the rest of your life? Below, you will learn more about misdemeanors on your record.

Understanding Misdemeanor Convictions

Understanding Misdemeanor Convictions

It is wise to learn more about misdemeanor convictions. How do they differ from felony convictions? As mentioned above, misdemeanors are less serious than felonies. Nevertheless, it is still a conviction.

Therefore, employers are going to seriously consider it when determining whether you’re a good candidate for the job. There are certain categories of misdemeanors, including serious, aggravated, and simple.

Regardless of what you’re facing, the consequences could be serious. Simple misdemeanors tend to carry a maximum jail time of 30 days and fines of up to $625. Aggravated misdemeanors have harsher punishments.

If you’ve been convicted of an aggravated misdemeanor, you could be forced to pay a fine of $6,250. You be might be sentenced to jail time of up to two years.

If you’re facing trial for a misdemeanor, it is wise to team up with an attorney. Doing so could lead to reduced penalties.

Remember that a misdemeanor conviction is going to show up on your criminal record. It will be public so your landlord, neighbor, friends, and employer will find out about it. It will remain on your record forever.

Getting Out Of A Misdemeanor

At the end of the day, misdemeanor convictions will always be on your record. You can take steps to erase it though. Remember that this isn’t going to happen automatically once you’ve finished your sentence.

Instead, you will need to complete the expungement process. Once you’ve done that, the conviction will be removed from your record. Just remember that there are restrictions.

In certain states, you can only expunge certain offenses. Plus, you’ll have to wait a certain period before you can start the expungement process. Below, you will learn more about the expungement process in Iowa. Understand that it could vary in your state.

Expunging Misdemeanors In Iowa

In Iowa, it is possible to expunge certain criminal offenses. However, you will need to meet certain requirements before you can do so. For instance, your case must end in dismissal or acquittal.

In addition to this, the fines and restitution must be paid in full. You’ll need to wait at least 180 days after the judgment. You cannot be found unfit to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity.

However, it is vital to understand that few people will match these requirements. Thankfully, you can remove other misdemeanors in 8 years or longer. More about Iowa Code 901C.3 will be provided below.

Understanding Iowa Code 901C.3

According to Iowa Code 901C.3, you can remove certain misdemeanors from your record. You can begin the expungement process once eight years have passed. If it has been longer than 8 years since you were convicted, you can start.

Also, you cannot be charged with any other crimes. The applicants cannot have two deferred judgments either. Finally, you must finish paying all fines and restitution. After you’ve met these qualifications, you can begin the expungement process.

Another thing to remember is that certain crimes are not eligible for expungement under this law. Furthermore, you’re only allowed to use it once.

Expungement Doesn’t Remove The Record

You may believe that expungement is going to remove the record, but this isn’t the case. You’ll find that it is still going to be on your record. Once you’ve had the offense expunged, it will be hidden from certain employers and agencies.

However, it can still be accessed by certain federal agencies. If the agency has a lawful reason for checking the record, it can do so.

It is wise to defend yourself in the courtroom so you can avoid having a misdemeanor conviction on your criminal record. Teaming up with a skilled, experienced lawyer is highly recommended.

Why You Should Expunge The Misdemeanor Conviction

Why You Should Expunge The Misdemeanor Conviction

It is wise to take steps to get the conviction expunged as soon as possible. Having a misdemeanor on your record will continue to impact you for the rest of your life.

Once you’ve got the conviction expunged, you will be able to get a job much easier. Plus, it will make it easier for you to buy a house, obtain a better education, and get a loan. It might not seem necessary now, but it could be.

You can’t predict what you’re going to do in the future. You never know when you’re going to find your significant other. You might buy a home within the next two years. It is wise to get the conviction expunged so you can be ready for everything that comes your way.

It is hard to know when your background is going to be checked. When this happens, you’ll want to make sure that the conviction was expunged.

Once you’ve done that, you can rest assured knowing that your prior conviction won’t show up. However, it may still show up in some cases. Some agencies and employers can still find it, but others can’t.

How To Get a Misdemeanor Expunged

When it comes to expungement, there is no universal process. Instead, it tends to depend on your state and court. Each state has an expungement statute. Be sure to check out your state’s statute so you’ll know what you need to do.

First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure that you’re eligible. To do that, your criminal record needs to be reviewed. You’ll also need to submit certain information to the court. Once you’ve completed these steps, you will need to apply or petition the court for expungement.

You’ll need to submit the necessary paperwork to the court that dealt with your criminal case. You’ll also have to serve the district attorney or prosecutor with a notification of the request.

The prosecutor’s office will check the information and confirm that you are indeed eligible. It can also file objections to the request.

Once the court receives the petition and objections, it will schedule a hearing. During the hearing, the judge will listen to arguments from your attorney and a representative from the prosecutor’s office.

If your request has been approved, all courts and law enforcement agencies will be notified. The court records will be updated.

In general, it can take up to 60 days for this to happen. Again, you must understand that this is not going to remove the record. It’ll remain, but certain individuals and companies won’t be able to access it.

How To Get Started

Since the expungement process is long and difficult, it is often best to work with an attorney. You will find attorneys who specialize in expungements. Hire an attorney because they’ll make the process much easier.


Once you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor, you’re likely going to worry that it will haunt you for the rest of your life. Remember that this isn’t the case.

Misdemeanors aren’t going to impact you as harshly as felonies. Nevertheless, a misdemeanor conviction can lead to certain problems. You’ll likely have trouble getting certain jobs.

It is wise to do what you can to stay out of trouble and remove the conviction from your record. The best way to do that is by getting it expunged. Talk to an attorney so they can walk you through the expungement process.

FAQs on How Long Does A Misdemeanor Stay On Your Record?

How Long Does A Misdemeanor Stay On Your Record

Will A Misdemeanor Show Up After 7 Years?

In most cases, these convictions only show up on criminal records for 7 years. However, some employers can obtain older records too. Likely, it will only show up for 7 years, but it could show up later than that.

Do Misdemeanors Show Up On Background Checks?

Remember that misdemeanors will indeed show up on background checks. However, they’re not going to show up forever. Depending on the employer and position, it should only show up for 7 years. However, it may appear 8 or years later. It depends on the circumstances.

How Can I Clean My Misdemeanor Record?

You can try cleaning your record to remove the misdemeanor. The process depends on your area. In certain states, you will need to petition the court to remove it.

Just remember that you’ll need to wait for a year or longer before you are eligible for expungement. The expungement process isn’t simple so you might want to work with an attorney.

How Does A Misdemeanor Affect You?

A misdemeanor is going to follow you for several years. It isn’t as harsh as a felony, but it will still follow you. In general, it’ll prevent you from getting certain jobs. It’ll also make it harder to get specific positions. Depending on the offense, you might get denied for certain jobs.

Read Also: How Long Does A Felony Stay On Your Record?