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Becoming bonded means purchasing a surety bond insurance policy, which guarantees your employer or customers that you or your business are trustworthy. The answer to the question whether or not you can be bonded if you have a past misdemeanor offense on your record is maybe, but it will depend on the bond insurer and the type of bond you need.
Types of Surety Bonds
Surety bonds are available both for individuals and for businesses. For example, many states require auctioneers to be bonded in order to protect buyers and sellers from fraud. The same is true of auto dealers, cleaning companies, contractors and mortgage brokers. Other businesses that often buy surety bonds in order to gain customer trust and protect their customers are nursing home facilities, telemarketers and collection agencies. Likewise, employees of many of these types of companies may also be required by law or by their employer to become bonded.
A misdemeanor is a criminal charge. Misdemeanor charges are less severe than felony charges and usually do not carry the same strict penalties that are handed down to those convicted of a felony. Some of the crimes that can lead to a misdemeanor conviction include reckless driving, prostitution, trespassing, drug possession and petty theft.
Misdemeanors and Surety Bonds
When an insurance company bonds you or your business, they make a guarantee that you or your business will behave in an ethical manner. In order for the insurance company to make this type of guarantee, they do a background check, which looks at credit history, criminal records and other areas that may uncover potential problems. Whether or not a misdemeanor will cause you to be denied a bond is unclear. According to Coxwelllaw.com, a misdemeanor has the potential to cause you to be denied. Likewise, if you read the qualification requirements for surety bonds on the surety bond search sites Bondsexpress.com and Suretybonds.com, only auctioneer bonds list misdemeanors as a reason for denial.
If you are denied a surety bond because you have a misdemeanor on your police record, you may be able to have your record expunged. When a person commits a felony, it will stay on their record throughout their lives. However, many times it may be possible to have a misdemeanor removed from your record by appealing to the courts. You may need to consult with your attorney to find out the procedure for expunging your record where you live.
Donald Harder has been writing financial-related articles since 2000 when he founded the firm Securities Research Services. He has worked as a speech writer for the U.S. Department of Justice and written white papers and studies for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Harder holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from George Washington University.