Is a misdemeanor a criminal conviction?

Asked over 4 years ago - Edison, NJ

Is a misdemeanor a criminal conviction? I got pulled over for a driving under the influence in Ohio and I am a New Jersey Resident, I have a pending court date in ohio in this matter.

As I was taking a background check for an employment oppurtunity in NJ there was a question " Do you have any pending arrests or criminal convictions" and I answered "no." When the employer ran the background check my pending DUI court case (which most likely will be ammended to a wreckless driving) came up as a misdemeanor. My lawyer informed me that my current pending case is not a criminal case as this is just a traffic matter. Is a misdemeanor considered a criminal record? What can I give my employer as proof to prove that this is not a criminal case?

In other words does a pending misdemeanor case automatically mean a pending criminal case?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Lawrence Charles Kroll

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . To make matters more complicated, New Jersey does not have a "misdemeanor" category. Offenses are either felonies, and considered "crimes," or disorderly persons offenses, which by definition are not considered crimes in New Jersey. Motor vehicle offenses, such as a DUI, are neither.

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    NOTE: This answer is made is for advisory and/or educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site, or posting a question and obtaining an answer, you understand that no attorney-client relationship is being established between you and the answering attorney, and there is no attorney-client privilege between you and the attorney. You should consult with a licensed professional attorney in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. The information provided in this answer is designed to be general in nature and is based on the facts stated in your question, and might change based on further information.

  2. Kevin H Main

    Contributor Level 11

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . While considered a traffic violation in NJ, it appears to be a criminal offense in Ohio (misdemeanor) -

    Ohio Revised Code, Title 45:

    Chapter 4511.19 Operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs - OVI

    (G)(1)(a) Except as otherwise provided in division (G)(1)(b), (c), (d), or (e) of this section, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree… [other sections pertain to repeat offenders].

    You may want to check with another Ohio attorney for a definitive answer.

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  3. Aniello David Cerreto

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The problem is you are bound by ohio law. Does Ohio grade misdemeanors as a criminal charge. In NJ it is not but Ohio governs this one.

  4. Ronald S. Pichlik

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Drunk driving convictions are in fact criminal convictions. They are misdemeanors, however, their statute citation is usually under the motor vehicle code; nevertheless, a misdemeanor a criminal conviction. Additionally, Reckless driving convictions are generally also criminal misdemeanor convictions as well; they likewise, are usually under the motor vehicle code, but are still a criminal conviction. Regarding your last question, "pending misdemeanors" are indeed "pending criminal cases"; all misdemeanors are criminal cases and/or criminal convictions. This is a long shot, but if your attorney can get your case knocked down to "careless driving" this is generally considered a civil infraction.

  5. Edward Jerome Blum

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . I don't practice in NJ. Yes.

    Edward J. Blum

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