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How do I answer this question: Have you ever been convicted of a crime classified as a misdemeanor or felony?

Philadelphia, PA |

I was arrested on Long Island, NY in 2002 for a DUI (NYSVTL 1192.2). Several months ago, I had to have an FBI report done. In doing so, I learned that the charge was on my record. I contacted the appropriate court in NY, and was told that the charge was plead down to a traffic infraction. I ordered a Letter of Disposition and sent it to the FBI in order to update my record. The FBI wrote back, informing me that my record was now modified. I just got refingerprinted yesterday and am awaiting an unofficial copy of my FBI report. I just don't know if I need to answer "YES" to the question: Have you ever been convincted of a crime? I know NYSVTL 1192.2 is a misdemeanor & a traffic infraction is not a crime. However, do I need to acknowledge what I was originally arrested for? Please advise!!

Many, many thanks for those of you who have answered. The FBI report is for certification as an educator in the state of Pennsylvania; that is why they ask for it.

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Attorney answers 3


If you were convicted of DWAI (Driving While Impaired by Alcohol), VTL 1192(1), a violation level offense and the most likely reduction, then you have not been convicted of a crime. There are implications in regards to your privilege to drive in New York and possibly other states with this charge. You likely owe fines and surcharges to the court, and will possibly have to pay administrative fees to DMV to get your license or right to drive in New York reinstated. If you have a license in another state, that could also have been affected. You might want to check your driver's record in your home state.

On most job applications, they ask whether you have been convicted of a crime, not whether you have been arrested for a crime. The answer to that question, based on what you have said, is "No." A normal business should get a criminal history sheet that might not reflect lesser offenses. If your application is to a federal agency or a criminal justice agency, they will likely be able to receive a more complete criminal history, and you may be required to provide a more complete explanation. It is best not to misrepresent such matters if you are undergoing an FBI check for some reason.

DISCLAIMER I do not practice law in your state. This answer is provided solely for general informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.


Most jobs will not ask if you have been arrested but rather if you have been convicted. It should only matter what offense you plead guilty to or were found guilty of that matters.


I don't practice in NY. If you plead to an infraction, then you can answer the question "no."

Edward J. Blum

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