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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3802
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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What does it mean for a Class A Misdemeanor to get dismissed

Customer Question

What does it mean for a Class A Misdemeanor to get dismissed ? It was Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Illinois. I was never summoned to court or paid a fine. The campus Police still have my file from October 2011. They say that it is permanent unless I petition the Circuit Clerk for expungement. Can this be a reason why I am unable to find work despite a 3.7 GPA from a good school ? Can employers see this on my record ? The campus cops claim that employers call them on a daily basis to find out the on campus criminal history of a person. They say that this file is in the public domain but I was unable to find it through Lexis Nexis. What should my next steps be to put this matter to rest permanently without further damaging my career and naturalization prospects ? Also when application forms ask me if I have ever been convicted of a Misdemeanor, what should I answer ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

TexLawyer :

Good afternoon. I'll be assisting you with your question.

Customer:

Thank you Ma'm

TexLawyer :

If the case was dismissed, then you were, at some point, charged, but the charges were dropped for whatever reason.

TexLawyer :

So, the case is no longer considred active.

Customer:

Yes the Campus Police took a picture of me and had me sign something.

Customer:

I was scared and they smooth talked me into a confession.

TexLawyer :

As far as employers being able to see it, if they seek a criminal history report on you, it will likely show that you were charged, but that the charges were dismissed. Of course, that depends on whether the campus police passed that information on to the state, where it is collected and put into a person's criminal history report.

Customer:

Strangely enough, when I called them today to ask questions about the case, they say that there is a good chance the State's attorney threw the case out for lack of evidence

TexLawyer :

Most police offices do send it to the state.

TexLawyer :

If you are asked if you've been convicted, you can honestly answer "no."

Customer:

They insist that they sent it to the State

TexLawyer :

OK. Then if somoene were to check, the charge would show up.

Customer:

They also say that I need to wait 18 months from October 2011 before I can expunge it

Customer:

Does an employer differentiate between a person being convicted and a person being charged ?

TexLawyer :

It depends on the employer.

TexLawyer :

There is no law regarding how an employer should view a dismissed criminal charge.

Customer:

If I was rejected because of this are they legally obliged to inform me ?

Customer:

Or can they simply say that I was not chosen for another reason although the criminal record was to blame ?

TexLawyer :

If your job application was rejected because of a criminal charge, they don't have to tell you that was the reason. Often times they will, but they are not required to give you a reason.

TexLawyer :

They don't have to give any reason at all, so they may not need to come up with a cover reason.

Customer:

Jesus, I have been unemployed for 8 months and this might very well be the reason

Customer:

So what are my options ?

TexLawyer :

Your best option would be to have it expunged, which you can find more information on in the link below.


http://www.niu.edu/legal/topics/expungement/


Customer:

Is it true that I have to wait 18 months before I can get it expunged ?

Customer:

Wait has it already been 18 months? This was October 2011

TexLawyer :

You should be able to apply for an expungement now.

Customer:

Once I do that will my employers be able to see that I have case that has been expunged/sealed or will it be a clean slate ?

TexLawyer :

It will be a clean slate.

TexLawyer :

If something is expunged, it completely goes away...as if it never happened.

Customer:

Great. However governemnt jobs will still be able to see it correct ?

TexLawyer :

Not if it is expunged.

Customer:

So even the Peace Corps which I want to apply to will not be able to see it ?

TexLawyer :

Correct.

Customer:

Those are all my questions. Thank you soo very much

Customer:

I will rate you right away

TexLawyer :

Glad to help.

Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3802
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
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