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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23155
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hello. I live in NYC, when I was 16 (2009) I was arrested

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I live in NYC, when I was 16 (2009) I was arrested for shoplifting, this resulted in a DAT, I went to court, did two days of community service. When I went back last month to get a certificate of disposition, I see that the case was dismissed and sealed after 6 months.

My question is, when I apply for a job, Can I legally say I was never arrested or never convicted?

I did a NYS background check (CHRS) on my self and I see nothing came up.

Most employers ask if you have been ever convicted, and I haven't, as it was dismissed, but when they ask if you were ever arrested, what do I say?

I am applying for EMT positions through out NYC, if that makes a difference.



If this was sealed in 6 months, then you got an ACD, which is a conditional dismissal. You can honestly say that you have no criminal record and this is sealed and should not turn up on a background check.

An ACD gets sealed under section 160.50 of the CPL. It is a very deep seal. It means not only that your arrest records have been destroyed but your court record (which does still exist) is under seal and would require a court order for most people to access. Anything sealed under 160.50 is not going to turn up on your RAP sheet.

That said, for purposes of certain licenses and employment this can be found. If you were looking for regular employment outside of the governmental sector, I would tell you just to say you'd never been arrested or convicted, as they would never know otherwise. An EMT position, however, is a government position and they would likely be able to access this. It's my belief that it's safer to say "I got arrested for something stupid when I was only 16 but it was dismissed and sealed" than to say nothing and risk getting caught in the lie.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX more questions


1) The emt positiion in the FDNY (which is the city) I understand it might turn up, but if I was applying for a EMS company in the private sector (such as transcare, seniorcare) ETC, they shouldn't have access to that since they are not a governmental organization.


2) I see those places ask, have you ever been convicted of a crime?

Even if it wasn't sealed, I'd still be able to legally say No, since it was dismissed and I was never found guilty or anything.



Hi Lukas,

Correct as to the private sector. That's my understanding too.

Government can ask about your arrest history. The private sector can only ask about convictions and are not allowed to consider an arrest.

You have never pled guilty to a criminal offense. You have never been convicted of a criminal offense. You can legally say no, you have never been convicted of a crime, and that would have been true before the 6 months ended and the ACD sealed itself.
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