Help me get over a Class C Misdemeanor
November 14, 2007 9:44 AM Subscribe
How can I convince myself that my career options aren't completely limited due to a single arrest for a Class C misdemeanor nearly four years ago?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (18 answers total)
Nearly four years ago, I was arrested outside of a suburban bar for public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor in my state. It was one of those stupid stings where cops just sit outside the bar and monitor people coming out. I was far from hammered, but was targeted for questioning due to the fact that I was leaving alone and walking to my car around 11 PM on a Saturday night.
I was submitted to a field-sobriety test, which I thought I passed (but they didn't say anything about) and then asked if I wanted to blow into a breathalyzer. I refused, knowing that I was over the legal limit of .08 (not by much, but I knew I was over). I was then promptly arrested and hauled to the town's small jail for the night.
The following morning I was given the option of a future trial or immediate plea. I pleaded "No Contest" and was simply given a fine (which I paid in the required thirty-day limit) and released.
I've no idea if my current employer at the time was ever notified. If they were, they never said anything to me. A year later, I was laid off in a round of position cuts. Since then, I've been self-employed, but for a multitude of reasons, I'm ready to get my career back on track.
However, I have this ever-present doubt in my head that any potential employer is going to see this arrest on a background check and immediately chunk my resume into the recycle-bin, especially if it's a competitive position and there are a lot of people applying. I also dwell on the thought that many employers these days are doing extremely thorough background screenings for potential employees and any ding on my record would automatically disqualify me without so much as a "sorry". It significantly haunts me and completely kills my confidence to the point that I don't even see the point in applying.
How can I shake this out of my head? How common are situations like mine, and how do people move on? Am I completely over-thinking a plate of beans here?
I know realize that I probably could've taken some steps somewhere in this whole process that would've dealt with the situation better, but it all happened very suddenly and I was very, very scared and humiliated. I still haven't told my parents about this and very few of my friends know. Plus, like I said, this was nearly four years ago and what's done is done.
Other possibly pertinent info -- I've got a bachelor's degree in a very generic field. I'm not looking to land a job with the Feds or anything -- ideally I'd like to find something in the non-profit world, but I've not worked in that field before.
Sorry for the length, but I wanted to be thorough. Throwaway e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks in advance.