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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 110479
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I have a final job interview Friday. Theyve asked me to fill

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I have a final job interview Friday. Theyve asked me to fill out paperwork, and 1 of the questions is : Have you ever been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony or misdemeanor other than minor traffic-related infraction? (It also says conviction or plea wont necessarily disqualify you. It will be assessed with respect to time, circumstances, seriousness of offense, and job responsibilities) I have been to court for a OWI (this is in the state of Indiana) and signed a plea agreement, however the judge simply took it under advisement and I do not go back for several months. My lawyer told me this means I am not yet convicted, so Ive answered that question 'no' on applications. However, this one asks about simply pleading to it. My question is do I have to answer this 'yes' now? Is there any way for a potential employer to see that I have signed a plea agreement before the judge has even accepted it? Is it public record?Also, I am considering changing my plea in light of new evidence.
If the plea has not yet been accepted by the court, then it is not recorded. In order for a plea to be valid, the court must actually enter an order stating it has accepted the plea of guilty. The entire court file is public record and the fact you offered a plea and that the court is taking it under advisement would be in the file. I would advise you to be 100% honest with the employer because while the case itself would not disqualify you from the position, if they find out later after they have hired you that you did not disclose it, they can fire you for not being truthful. So, technically, while you have not plead to anything yet, it is splitting hairs because your intent to plead guilty would be in the file.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I intend to try and withdraw or re-negotiate the plea because when I went to the court order book and read my own file, some of the information my attorney used to get me to sign the plea was incorrect. (as in reason for stop and evidence) Therefore, I do not feel it would be dishonest for me to not disclose it, even if they found out afterwards, because at this point I intend to change it. Also, if they find out later, the date it will be listed on record will be the date the court accepts the plea correct? So there will be no way for them to find out the plea date? I know they say disclosure wont disqualify me, but we both know it usually does. So you are saying that if anyone were to do a criminal background check on me currently that it would show nothing and will still show nothing until the 'acceptance' or 'sentencing' date?
You are correct in your reasoning, but again the employer can still believe it was dishonest and because it is such a close call, even if you did sue to get your job back you may not recover much. The court file will show the dates the plea became official, which is when the court accepts it.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok I accept. Do you know anything about if you are fingerprinted for the job if the fingerprints will come back with arrest record? Do most companies use 3rd party background check companies or do they search court records themselves? Arent most checks run before hiring someone and not after theyve already started working there? Sorry to be so annoying, but it has been over a year since I've worked and I'm very excited about a final interview! :)
All arrests come back on a fingerprint check, unless all the employer has requested is convictions. These companies then go research everything that shows up on the record they received, so they will go look at the court record. I understand your position here, I really do and you are in a difficult position, but all I can do as an attorney is advise you that honesty is the best policy.
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