Hey all, I stumbled across a thread in the general education archives, and after not being able to post a reply, decided to post my response here instead. A misdemeanor is not a death sentence, and, as such, should not ruin your life. If you understood you made a mistake (or didn't, as the poster to whom I am replying was brought in on a marijuana charge ), and have paid your debt to society as ruled by the state judge, that's it. You're even. Talk to a criminal defense attorney about expungement or sealing. As a former lawyer, I can tell you that if come across a sympathetic clerk, you can probably do this yourself, but it's worth the $200 the process usually costs to be 100% sure that it's done perfectly. Once expunged, you have no duty to report it to no one in the majority of states. Do your homework to verify that yours is the same, but that's it. Only when you can put it behind you in your external life will you be able to put it behind you internally. I'm partially writing this out of my own irritation at the moralistic tyranny that we see so often in education. Teachers are only going to be role models when the parents have failed to do their jobs, and that is not our place. Those who rise to the occasion are commendable, beyond a doubt; but that is not the norm.