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Would a third degree theft charge be on your background if dismissed?

Seattle, WA |

I was wondering if a third degree theft charge (misdemeanor) would be on your criminal background if the charges were dismissed.

I have complied with the courts with the fines, community service, and other stuff, but I was wondering if this would prevent me from landing a job in the health care field.

Secondly, do i have to let employers know that i have a misdemeanor of third degree theft?

Please help me out. I am thinking lthis charge is preventing me from getting a job. which i need now. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. An arrest record is part of what a good solid criminal background check uncovers.

    If the misdemeanor is dismissed, you should get it expunged.

    So, to do things the right way from the start, hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you.

    On job applications, if the question asks about convictions, you are not yet convicted.

    A good solid application form inquires about matters involving deceit and dishonesty. Depending on how the question is worded, make sure you reveal the truth. Getting caught in a lie on an employment application can follow you around, too.

    And, in my experience, persons in the law enforcement, health care and child care fields have the most complete criminal background checks done during the application process.

    Good luck.

  2. In Washington state, these are very tricky questions. There are various provisions under the law that permit a court to "dismiss" a charge after a guilty plea with a deferred sentence. However, other statutes do not remove that conviction and sentence from your record. The court may tell you that you are free to say you have never been convicted of a crime, yet a criminal background check may reveal it. The potential employer then believes you are lying.

    There are also ways to remove the conviction from the Washington State Patrol public records for conviction, but many background checks are now done through private companies that maintain databases and are not required to update them. So even though the law says you should not have a conviction on "your record," it still shows up on these databases. And there are always records available to law enforcement that show every arrest and the outcome of every charge.

    You can check with the Washington State Patrol website to see if your conviction comes up on a background check you can do on-line for $10. Otherwise, you might want to try being completely honest with a potential employer, admit what happened and explain you have complied with everything. It also might help to provide a copy of the court's order dismissing the charge.

    After all, we all make mistakes. The real measure of our value is what we do when we make them. If we do everything we can to make it right, that's the best we can do.

  3. If the charges were dismissed, then you are eligible to have the dismissal expunged if it has been two years since the dismissal and you have no criminal charges pending against you. An attorney can help you with this.

    As to the effect that the dismissal would have on your ability to get a job in the health care field, it depends on a number of things such as the type of position you are seeking.

    Oftentimes, employers only ask about criminal convictions. In that case, you can presently and truthfully answer that you have no convictions.

    I strongly suggest contacting an attorney to assist you in determining whether your prior dismissal can be expunged.

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