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I was caught for theft 3. I wasn't taken to the PD and it has since been dismissed (thru diversion). Is it an "arrest"?

Vancouver, WA |

A job application asks if I've ever been arrested and I don't know what to put.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. You can be arrested without going to jail. When the police officer detained and questioned you about what happened, you were under arrest. When dealing with an employment application, it is always best to tell the truth. Often, prospective employers will understand youthful indiscretions or mistakes, but never will they permit deception on a job application. Unfortunately, in the modern age, it is quite easy to obtain records. I am not clear from your explanation if the matter was filed or immediately was diverted out of the court system. Either way, if you do not admit to the incident, it is very possible that you may not get the job or that you willl later be fired for deception when a record of the diversion is discovered. There are several ways that criminal records and even arrests can be cleared from your record. I highly recommend that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to see if your record can be cleared.

  2. You should follow attny Woods outsanding counsel and take care.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

  3. You need to have someone check with law enforcement and the juvenile system to see what type of record happened for the diversion. If you lost your license due to the diversion then you can rest assured that there is a record of this case and you need to divulge all info about this case to your potential employer so that it comes from you. In the future you will need to seek the case vacated from your record and then sealed in juvenile court. If you are talking about district court and you are an adult there are means to try and clear this from your record too but it is complicated and not easy. Get an attorney

  4. **Note: Please first see my comment to Attorney Woods' Answer below, as there are many other components to my response re: remedies, records, and duties of disclosure. However, if you have only one juvenile offense which was subject to diversion, you might want to review the portion of the juvenile sealing statute below as to a remedy which may apply in your situation. [*Yes, it still an arrest. No, it would not be a conviction under the statute, if the below applies, or according to WA Supreme Court case law. Your duties of and interests in disclosure regarding even a sealed conviction may vary with your situation, as set forth in my longer comment below. If you want to go into Law, definitely get an attorney to verify and advise you on all responses you give re: this record.] --

     RCW 13.50.050 (in possible pertinent part, provides)
        (17)(a)(i) Subject to subsection (23) of this section, all records maintained by any court or law enforcement agency, including the juvenile court, local law enforcement, the Washington state patrol, and the prosecutor's office, shall be automatically destroyed within ninety days of becoming eligible for destruction. Juvenile records are eligible for destruction when:

         (A) The person who is the subject of the information or complaint is at least eighteen years of age;

         (B) His or her criminal history consists entirely of one diversion agreement or counsel and release entered on or after June 12, 2008;

         (C) Two years have elapsed since completion of the agreement or counsel and release;

         (D) No proceeding is pending against the person seeking the conviction of a criminal offense; and

         (E) There is no restitution owing in the case.