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Expunged Misdemeanor

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May 21, 2007 8:06 pm

  I currently work for Ameriprise Financial Advisors.  I have been working here for 2 years now.  I love working here, and I've done well.  However, I am selling mainly Variable Annuities, Long-term Care and other Insurance related products.  I would really love to expand and get more into the money management sector.  I think it's the point in my career where I'm ready for a change.  I'm 25 years old. I am looking to make a change to a wirehouse or a bank.  While I'm excited for a change, I'm also realistic with how this industry works.  When I was in college I used to throw parties for my fraternity.  Some of these parties would get a bit loud and rowdy, and finally it got to the point where the neighbors complained and pressed charges.  I pleaded "No contest" to a misdemeanor of "Disorderly Conduct."  I paid a 500 dollar fine and received 6 months probation.  I had the misdemeanor expunged.  Ameriprise did a background check and it didn't come up.  However, I've noticed when it comes to hiring they will hire anyone that can pass the exams and bring in a few accounts.  The background checks don't seem to be as thorough as it might be with a bigger firm.  I've heard at major wirehouses and banks that even the smallest misdemeanor could disqualify you from employment or have an offer rescinded.  Regardless of having a misdemeanor "expunged" it will still come up in a background check.  Being fully licensed and already being in the industry I hope would help me.  It was a small and petty misdemeanor, but I know in this industry they want squeaky clean.  Any insight or information would be greatly appreciated before I make any moves to another firm.  Thank you.

May 21, 2007 8:15 pm

My expectation is that it will be less of a problem if you are up front about it when you go talk to them the first time.

  I get the feeling from your post that you did not reveal this little problem to AMP during the hiring process.  If that is the case and your next employer finds out you're the type who withholds information, that might be a greater problem for you than the actual misdemeanor.

May 21, 2007 8:38 pm

In this industry, there really is no hiding from your past.  I know this personally.  When I was 18, I was pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor.  That was in 1998.  Of all things, it was a spam prank email that contained an inappropriate joke.  Totally childish, very stupid.  Had it expunged.  Supposedly it was "wiped" off my record.  In 2003, when I was 23, I went to apply for a job as a broker at a major wirehouse.  I was told to disclose it, and it "won't hurt me."  I disclosed it, and was told by their branch manager the interview process was over.  The misdemeanor wasn't "appropriate for the industry, regardless of how petty and foolish it was."  I then went and applied at a small independent firm, and I disclosed the conviction straight off the bat.  Their response "You got a misdemeanor for a prank email???"  They were cool about it and they hired me.  They ran an FBI background check for the NASD, and it came up.  But I disclosed it, hadn't lied to them, and they were cool with me when it came up since it wasn't a surprise.  I've been with the same firm since 2003, and things are going great.  I'm fully licensed, and have a book of clients.  A major firm may not hire me, regardless of my qualifications because of this misdemeanor, but i love where i'm working now and I'm happy with the money I'm making.  Trust me, just always be upfront and honest.  You may not like the answer you hear or the decision that is made by the firm you're applying to, but you never know.  There are always smaller firms or banks that may give you a shot.

May 21, 2007 9:07 pm

I certainly don’t want to be an advocate for dishonesty, but I have always thought that the reason these things were expunged was so that you would not have to disclose them.  Otherwise, if it’s always going to be on your record, why would the court bother with expunging it?  Just as much as most employers know some misdemeanors are a joke, the court system does as well and is willing to give second chances.  I wouldn’t disclose it, but if you’re really worried, call the PD where you got the fine and ask them if it will show on a background check.

May 22, 2007 1:29 pm


If you visit this link you will find an extensive discussion of the impact of criminal histories on your ability to work in the industry:

Also, this link will explain what can happen to you if you don't fully disclose your relevant background:

Finally, the fact that you have had a conviction "expunged," does not necessarily relieve you of the obligation to disclose its prior existence on industry forms.  The expungement generally has an impact to the extent that you are no longer an individual subject to the conviction but the fact that you "once" were convicted may still need to be disclosed with the explanation that the prior conviction has since been expunged.  This is a very tricky question and needs to be handled carefully.


Sounds to me like it would be a good idea for him to consult an attorney with experience in these matters....
Jan 3, 2011 9:31 pm

I have a similar problem. I was told to talk to the people at and that they can not only expunge your record but they can make sure that it gets removed immediately. I guess if you want to take it one step further you can ask them to help you with applying for full criminal pardon. Check them out they might be ale to help.