A conviction for disorderly conduct can impact your job prospects

For many Americans, competition is fierce when it comes to finding a job. The job market becomes a lot harder to navigate, though, when you have a criminal record.

One Center for American Progress study published in 2014 suggested that more than 70 million Americans at the time likely had criminal records. In many cases, a conviction on an individual's record can limit the jobs that he or she can get hired for. It's not uncommon for employers to run background checks on prospective new hires either.

A survey conducted by researchers at Harvard that same year showed that of all applicants applying for jobs, those reporting criminal convictions on their records received call backs or offers of jobs 50 percent less often than everyone else.

Since that study was published in 2015, at least half of all U.S. states have passed laws either expunging or sealing criminal records for relatively minor misdemeanor offenses. Crimes that often fall under this umbrella include possession of small amounts of marjuana, shoplifting and disorderly conduct.

While this may make it seem like you should just go ahead and plead guilty if you're facing a simple drug possession or drunk and disorderly conduct charge, you should think twice. In many cases, the aforementioned laws have established amount of years that you must wait before a judge will even consider sealing your criminal record.

Even then, the sealing of your criminal record is discretionary. A judge can decide whether to do it or not. Your criminal record can haunt you until that happens.

If you've been arrested and charged with a crime, then many career paths you may have anticipated following may have already been eliminated. In learning more about the circumstances surrounding your arrest, a Christiansburg drunk and disorderly conduct attorney can advise you of potential ill-effects of being convicted of the crime.

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