Re: plea in abeyance and job applications, if asked about convictions/pending charges, should this be disclosed as conviction?

Asked 12 months ago - Lehi, UT

In Utah where it is unlawful to ask an applicant about arrests on a job application - if the verbiage on the employment application prompts someone to disclose only 'pending charges' and 'prior convictions' - does the law expressly identify a PIA as 'pending' for this purpose? Ideally this would have been disclosed, but I was denied employment and non-disclosure was given as the reason where I believed (or possibly misunderstood) the technicality of what was being asked and how the law identifies the PIA (whether being indicated on a background check as probation during the PIA or if it should be included among pending charges). Likewise, must/could/should there be more specific verbiage on an employment application to more clearly describe where a PIA can be disclosed?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Kevin S. Vander Werff


    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . A plea in abeyance is not a conviction, therefore it does not have to be disclosed on an application which asks about prior convictions.

    The whole purpose of a PIA is to avoid conviction. If an employment application is more detailed beyond asking about "convictions" it may need to be disclosed. It really depends on the employer.

  2. Dain Smoland

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . As the other attorney mentioned, a PIA is not a "conviction" if it's completed successfully. Before the case is dismissed, I think it would be considered "pending" however. I believe, technically, the PIA period is not considered "probation" but it is very similar, so I wouldn't be surprised if some people even in the court use that term. The best thing to do will be to get your record expunged. You'll be eligible 30 days after it's dismissed. That way you don't have to mention it at all.


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