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Does a pending open charge mean you have been arrested?

Orlando, FL |

I have a pending charge for petty theft. It's my understanding I can say I have not been convicted nor arrested. However, I'm not clear, if the pending charge means arrest and need to say so if asked.

An application says they want information about your conviction history and not to disclose arrests that have been dismissed. Then asks if you have been convicted, plead guilty, or no contest and explain. Since I am in PTD, I believe I can safely say no to this question. There is no question space to indicate you were arrested.

However, their statement seems tricky when they say not to disclose closed arrests. If pending charges mean arrest I must say since it will show on a check. Also, I read that pending charges can't be held against you since not final, is this true?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    No because not everyone is arrested for petit theft. You would know if you were arrested. If you have not been to the jail then you can answer no to the arrested or conviction questions.


  2. Technically when you are in PTd the charge is still pending. After you successfully complete PTd, then it is no longer pending but will be dismissed.


  3. Here is the rule of thumb: if you have not been arrested, booked, processed (meaning fingerprinted and photographed for a mug shot) you have not been arrested.
    Now, may you be charged with a petty offense without an arrest? Yes.
    Is that an evidence of guilt? No.
    Do you need to disclose any prior convictions with any pending petty charge? No, because the case is not completed and there is no disposition of any sort to know whether it will result in conviction. The case maybe stricken on leave, nolle prosed, (which means dismissed in vernacular) or may result in an acquittal.
    If you are still confused, please seek further clarification with a local criminal defense practitioner

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional information, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and materials provided above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual and legal circumstances related to one’s personal legal issues. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a competent legal advice before making any important decisions about your particular legal issue. For further inquiries please contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 102, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602 http://alexanderivakhnenko.com

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