The Effects of a Class C Misdemeanor on Your Record

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The law categorizes misdemeanors based on the nature and severity of the crimes involved. A class C misdemeanor is typically a lesser offense, but it's still considered a criminal act and conviction can lead to lasting, negative effects when it appears on your record. Laws vary somewhat by state, but conviction of a class C misdemeanor is usually punishable by up to a $500 fine. It does not usually result in jail time.

Effect on Criminal Record

As with the conviction of any criminal offense, conviction of a class C misdemeanor will lead to a mark on your permanent record, including the date of your arrest and the details of your conviction. The only exception to this rule is if the conviction occurred when you were under the age of 18 and you were charged as a minor. Most juvenile records are sealed and the details of the conviction are not made public.

Effect on Employment

In some cases, conviction of a class C misdemeanor may affect your ability to obtain employment. This is particularly true with careers in the nursing field, law enforcement and careers relating to child care and the education of children. Although qualifying convictions vary by state, typical class C misdemeanors that may exclude an applicant from these types of employment include convictions related to domestic violence, assault, and sex crimes such as possession of child pornography or indecent exposure.

Effect on Your Right to Bear Arms

In some states, conviction of class C misdemeanors that relate to violence or assault may negatively affect a defendant's future right to bear arms. Examples include convictions based on domestic violence, criminal assault and criminal charges that are filed as a result of violating a protective or restraining order. Although laws vary by state, some jurisdictions might permit you to reapply for a gun permit after a sufficient period of time has passed since the time of your conviction.


In some states, individuals who have a class C misdemeanor record may apply to have the conviction removed from their permanent record after a period of time has passed since the date of conviction. This process is called expungement. Most states also require that in addition to successfully completing a mandatory waiting period, the applicant applying for expungement must also have maintained a clean criminal record since the time of his conviction.

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