Can I answer no on an employment application if I was charged but never convicted of a felony

Asked almost 6 years ago - Chicago, IL

I was arrested in texas when i was 17 ( im now 27)and charged with feloney possesion of marijuana but not convicted.d I may have been put of probation BUT im NOT sure. I wasnt told that i was on probation and i was allowed to leave the state of Texas two days after being arrested so im assuming that i wasnt put on probation.

is it legal for me to deny an conviction of a felony in a college application and if so is it than legal for the school to put a hold on my school account because of hearsay about the above mentioned case and a question of wether or not i lied on my application nearly three years ago when i first began ? I call it hearsay because i believe she was told by someone with whome i sharred information about my arrest with about the case.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Charles Shinkle Watson

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . What did the application ask? If it asked for arrests, you would have to answer yes. If it asked for convictions, based on the few facts set forth in your question, you would be able to answer no. you should check with the courthouse back in Texas to backup your vague memory.
    Your situation involves important and complicated matters of law and fact. I urge you to consult with a lawyer on this matter.

  2. Simon Jenner

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . The answer depends on whether you were charged and either tried and convicted or plead guilty to the possession offense. Based on what you have stated, that "two days after being arrested" you were allowed to leave Texas, it sounds as though matters never progressed beyond the arrest. Certainly, you were not on probation unless you were convicted or plead guilty. Probation is something done under court order following a conviction or plea. If you were under probation, you would know about it.

    Based on these facts and assuming their accuracy, it seems that you did not lie on your application. A mere arrest is not a conviction. It should be noted, however, that depending on the institution, some applications require that you divulge whether you have been arrested in the past. If the question was about an arrest and not merely a conviction, then the failure to disclose your arrest may represent a more serious omission.

    Nonetheless, if the application is as you describe it, and your school has based its decision to hold your account on the application, then your school's actions are suspect. Large institutions can be difficult to deal with and rather bureaucratic. I recommend you contact an attorney who has experience in education law or in dealing with universities. The Illinois Bar Association should be able to help in that regard. Good luck.

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