Those of us with criminal records were just stupid enough to get caught and charged for doing it.
I find this to be true. I would be completely fucked had an ADA not kept screwing up my charges until the case was open long enough the judge told them to finish it that day. I would have had a felony that would have put me in Huntsville State Prison in Texas (min 6 month stay). Because of the miraculous incompetence of the ADA I ended up with a misdemeanor and time served from my arrest as my sentence. If you care the case entire issue came about after some friends of mine went on a graffiti spree if Houston. I purchased spray paint and had given it to one of them who turned out was under 18. It is illegal in Texas to sell or provide certain aerosol products to minors, part of the state health code dealing with drug abuse. So I should have been charged with Criminal Mischief, a felony, but was charged with distribution of an aerosol paint to a minor for purpose of inhalation. I explain it on every application that asks about arrests or crimes, some specifically mention only reporting felonies on the application, and have not had a problem. If it had been the Criminal Mischief charge however I would likely be where the other two are at this time. One is working rigs in the gulf last I heard, and the other was able to land a job in Portland at some rock club.
It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.