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How do I answer job application questions about arrests/convictions if my summary offense record was expunged in Pennsylvania?

Philadelphia, PA |

I had a retail theft summary offense expunged 3 years ago. The incident was from 20 years ago. I'm applying for a hospital job and do want to lie on the application but also don't want to be dismissed for 1 mistake I made in my youth. I have been answering "no" for any arrest or conviction questions but am afraid of something showing upon a background check. I googled myself and paid to have a few background checks done and nothing shows up. Even an FBI fingerprint check shows nothing. Am I in the clear or could a hospital do a more thorough background check? It's a very tough job market right now so I don't want to disclose it and be discriminated against. Worst case scenario is getting a job offer and having it rescinded if it appears that I lied on my application.

I meant to say "I do NOT want to lie..."

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You do not need to put a summary offense that has been expunged on your application.

    This is not intended as individual legal advice and there is no attorney client relationship established by this answer. It is advisable that you seek individualized legal assistance. This is not a substitute for hiring an attorney.


  2. The granting of an expungement petition is the legal system's way of giving you a second chance. Legally, you have no convictions. You are not lying by providing the legally correct answer. And really, if you decide to disclose the retail theft, what was the point of the expungement?


  3. An expunged record is officially the record that do not exist. You are doing the right thing


  4. The correct answer is "no." The matter has been expunged.

    This response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The response is intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between Mark D. Copoulos, Esquire and any party. The responses provided on this website are offered only for general informational and educational purposes. They are not offered as and do not constitute legal advice or legal opinions. You should not act or rely on any information contained in these responses without first seeking the advice of an attorney.

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