A Misdemeanor Conviction Is Not a Big Deal, Right? Think Again

Only about 10% of all federal convictions in 2010 were misdemeanors, but research shows the majority of people who find themselves in state criminal courts are facing charges for minor crimes like possession of marijuana or driving with a suspended license. Misdemeanor convictions, in fact, don’t always result in jail time. And yet, misdemeanor convictions can trigger the same legal hindrances, known as collateral consequences, as felonies. And there are fewer routes to expunging them from criminal records.

There are many organizations working to curb the impact of criminal convictions, but few have turned their attention to the impact of misdemeanors. In fact, there is little research that dives deep into the impact collateral consequences have on non-felony convictions. Despite the fact that a minor conviction can get a permanent, legal resident deported. 

Maya Rhodan 

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