A misdemeanor stays on your record forever unless you have it sealed or expunged. Even if you have the record sealed or expunged, law enforcement can access the record. But the general public can’t.
Having a misdemeanor record does not sound like a big deal. But some charges, such as petit theft, are considered crimes of dishonesty. These crimes can keep you from getting a job. Crimes such as simple or domestic battery or drug possession are misdemeanors that can keep you from getting professional licenses.
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor, make sure you hire an attorney to help protect your rights. If you think you qualify for an expungement contact an attorney immediately to start the process. The sooner you can seal the record the better off you will be.