The majority of the applications I've ever seen only require candidates to disclose felony arrest records, or perhaps misdemeanors that resulted in your incarceration (i.e. as opposed to simply paying a fine).
Note that, by those definitions, "small" offenses (i.e. speeding/parking tickets) wouldn't even come up on a candidate's application.
As for the criminal record affecting your employment...if employers are already starting to cull candidates based on their social media profiles (i.e. posting of photos of their drunken antics on Facebook), then yes, they should be taking into consideration actions where you were arrested & found guilty. However, by the same token, a candidate that lists a single arrest for public intoxication is not going to be viewed in the same light as someone with multiple instances of vandalism, drug possession, & trespassing, let alone someone with multiple counts of robbery, manufacture and/or sale of drugs, embezzlement, or more severe crimes.
As to whether it's "fair" or not... ask the victims of their crimes whether what the ex-criminal did to them was "fair".
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