I received five years deferred adjudication for my case (theft) but was released after having served two and a half years of my time, whereupon I was informed that my case was dismissed with No Finding Of Guilt. How should I answer questions that pertain to convictions when applying for a job? I understand that I would have to answer YES if asked if I was arrested but if asked if I was ever convicted, which I wasn't, how should I proceed? Thank you in advance for any help and assistance given.
First, you have NOT been convicted of violating any law. You pleaded guilty and you got probation, but, as you said, the case was dismissed.
Second, MOST people have absolutely no idea what the difference is between a conviction and deferred adjudication. They think that if you've been arrested and charged and got probation, you must be convicted. in order to combat this, you should go get a CERTIFIED copy of the order dismissing your case. While you're at it get 3 or 4 certified copies. Your prospective employer is going to find it and ask you about it. You should be prepared to say, no, the case was dismissed - here is the proof.
Third, it is usually better to be proactive than reactive. When I applied to law school, I openly admitted my legal transgressions and explained how my experiences changed my life and made me who I am today. The Dean later told me that this was one of the reasons why I was accepted. I could have simply said "no" when asked about convictions, but that's not the whole story.
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If your case was deferred, with an ultimate dismissal with no finding of guilt, that certainly sounds like no conviction. You should be able to answer that question with a resounding "No."
If you want to be super careful, or don't trust the info you got, obtain a certified copy of the disposition, and have it read by a local attorney.
Best of luck to you.
IF your case was "dismissed with No Finding of Guilt" and it is the only incident, then you have not been convicted of a crime.
The answer on the application would be "No." If asked if you appeared in any court as a defendant, the answer would be "Yes."
The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Since you have not been convicted, you should answer no. You should also look into sealing the case from public view five years from the date you were discharged from probation. After the case is sealed, you can also answer no when asked if you've ever been arrested.
Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an attorney who practices criminal law in your jurisdiction for the most accurate legal advice.
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