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Can a disorderly conduct charge affect my employment ability

Kingston, NY |

I was charged with a disorderly conduct about 3 years ago and my job required me to get a dispostion from the court. I tried to explain to him that the charge was not on my record it is a violation and there was no reason for me to get this dispostion! he didnt believe that i had no record and its been 2 weeks and i still havent gotten the job because of this situtaion! i got him the disposition but i want to know if i am correct....if i was charged with a disorerly conduct is not on my record! also is he allowed to do that? i know felonies are to be reported to a job but i didnt think he was allowed to ask about vilotions and such! Thank you!

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Attorney answers 2


A violation is not a criminal offense and does not leave the defendant with a criminal record. However, a person can choose not to hire you for any reason other than a constitutionally-protected reason (age, race, gender, etc etc) So they can ask if you have ever been convicted of a violation and choose not to hire you because once in the last three years you were found guilty of acting disorderly. He can choose not to hire you because you wore a red shirt to the interview.


In NYS Disorderly Conduct is one of the most confusing and difficult to describe prohibited offenses. As you stated a violation is not a "crime" (misdemeanors and felonies are crimes). However, it is a prohibited action contained in the NYS Penal Law (NYS criminal code). So, one can be convicted of Disorderly Conduct and not have committed a "crime", but have violated the Penal Law (Criminal Law). Thus, a question posed as "have you ever been convicted of a crime" can be answered in the negative; but, a question posed as "have you ever been convicted of having committed a criminal offense" is a bit more difficult to parse.

Also, in NYS convictions for Disorderly Conduct should be "sealed" by the court involved. Sometimes this isn't automatically done (though it should be) bedause the court did not issue a sealing order. However, a sealing order issued by a state court can only bind state/local police agencies. It cannot bind federal agencies, like the FBI, who actually never get rid of information about arrests, even though they will say the voluntarily abide by state seailng orders.

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