Ill try not to sugarcoat this...
When I was 19, my friends and I pulled a fraternity prank. We were messing around with some other kids our age. We followed him in our car, got out, went up to his window (he recognized us..same neighborhood), and said police, lemme see your license. There was a bit of verbal back and forth and then we got back in the car and he and his car full of ppl left. Later that night we were all arrested. In my wallet I had a second copy of my real drivers license that was altered to show I was 21. I was originally charged with a felony (the drivers license) and a misdemeanor (impersonation). I pled guilty to 1 Misd. possesion of a forged instrument. There was no other punishment aside from having the record.
Then I went on to graduate from college (one of these: Tufts, Cornell, WashU) and did ok. After college, I worked atyear (Investor Relations for PE group). I disclosed this incident and they investigated and then were fine with it. Now I work at a security consulting firm in NY where I do business development. I have been accepted with full tuition scholarship to an MBA program (one of these: Ross, Duke, Stern).
BUT, last fall (I was 26), on my way to a business conference in Las Vegas, I was traveling with some other colleagues from my security firm as well. We decided to go as cheap as possible, which meant bring all of our promotional, demo and marketing materials with us in our checked luggage. In my checked bag, along with some alarm system demo equipment, I also had some of our security guard demo equipment. This meant handcuffs, pepper spray, expandable baton, knives, etc. We checked with TSA ahead of time and they said that as long as its checked, its fine. At the airport, the Port Authority police had a different take on the matter. They arrested me and charged me with possession of these weapons (misdemeanors) and I also had in my bag a legitimate ID and badge from a police charity that I (and everyone at my company) was a member of. They were not able to get in touch with anyone at the charity at the time, so I was charged (again) with a felony (possession of a forged instrument).
The matter is resolved now, but because of my existing record, the DA would not accept anything less than a guilty plea to one misdemeanor. So I pled guilty to possession of pepper spray. So NOW, I have two misdemeanor convictions on my record. In my opinion, the fraternity prank is the more serious offense because it actually involved doing something to another person. IN both cases I was granted a "certificate of relief from civil disabilities," which is as close as NY state has to expungement. This certificate prevents my record from being held against me in situations where a criminal record would normally bar me from employment.
ANYWAY, I am about to start B-School and I am trying to gauge how much this will affect me if I decide to try to go into Investment Banking or perhaps Management or Strategy Consulting. For example, I don't wanna get a job offer at one place show up for work and then get shown the door and all my other offers have already expired.