Federal Employment question? non adjudicated 3rd degree felony

Asked about 6 years ago - Clearwater, FL

I recently was hired at by the U.S Government and now I have to fill out my hiring papers and I have to answer this.

your answers should include convictions resulting from a plea of nolo contendere (no contest), but omit (4) any conviction set aside under the Federal Youth Corrections Act or
similar state law.

During the last 10 years, have you been convicted, been imprisoned, been on probation, or been on parole?

to provide the date, explanation of the violation, place of occurrence, and the name and address of the police
department or court involved

Technically i wasn't convicted, or imprisoned for the offense but I did have to go 18 months probation. So how should I answer the question? I was just going to explain the situation and hope for the best. It was 8 years ago and the only thing on my record. Do you think this will disqualify me from employment?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Darren Mark Finebloom


    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Answer the question truthfully. Although you were not convicted for the offense you were placed on probation. My assumption is adjudication was withheld which translates to no formal conviction. There is a possibility this will exclude you from employment but they will definitely be able to find it so the best policy is to be truthful.

  2. Dina Mayling Sheridan

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . I have had many prospective clients tell me, after being rejected for a job, that they did not list prior crimes because adjudication was withheld or they otherwise believed that they were being honest on their applications when they said they had no convictions. Most employers can forgive prior indiscretions...what they cannot forgive is dishonesty. In other words, they often don't care what you did; they care if you lie about it. List your priors and give a short explanation of your plea and sentence as best you can, if the form provides space for an explanation. Simple online searches by employers will give them the information anyway so I always advise clients to be honest.

  3. Don Waggoner


    Contributor Level 17

    Answered . Darren is correct. The federal government does not recognize no contest pleas or withheld adjudications and considers them to be convictions for the purposes of the question they ask. They can, and probably will, find any that you have and if you lied, you may be facing a perjury charge. Tell the truth.

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