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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 102146
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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In Connecticut. I am filling out a job application and it

Customer Question

In Connecticut. I am filling out a job application and it asks If i have ever been convicted or pled guilty or no contest to a crime or offense other than a traffic violation. 4 months ago i received a nole for 2 misdemeanors. And a felony . DO i answer yes or no to the above question.
JA: What state is this in? And can you tell me a little more about the charge?
Customer: connecticut.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: connecticut. assault vic 60, disorederly conduct and injury/risk impairing morals
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: First offense. After 90 days the nole was issued.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 9 months ago.

Good morning:

My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to provide general information regarding your question. As a reminder, all information provided here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

You mentioned that your matters were nolled after 90 days (which indicates a type of deferred adjudication or pre-trial diversion).

In order to obtain this outcome, did you have to enter a plea at the outset in order to get the program/pre-trial diversion?

Expert:  Ely replied 9 months ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.
Your previous expert has opted out and I have opted in.
The answer is - it is unclear.
CT has not created a strong precedent in case law one way or another, nor does a statutory explanation exist - about whether or not nolo contendere counts as "guilty" for purposes of employment applications.
The Court in Groton v. United Steelworkers of America, 254 Conn. 35 - Conn: Supreme Court 2000 addresses the issue and upholds:
1) "The only practical difference is that the plea of nolo contendere may not be used against the defendant as an admission in a subsequent criminal or civil case. 4 Wigmore, Evidence (Chadbourn Rev. 1972) § 1066 (2), p. 81; Lenvin & Meyers, `Nolo Contendere: Its Nature and Implications,' 51 Yale L.J. 1255 (1942)."
2) ". It is clear, however, that a nolo contendere plea also constitutes a waiver of all nonjurisdictional defects in a manner equivalent to a guilty plea. Lott v. United States, 367 U.S. 421,***** 1563, 6 L. Ed.2d 940 (1961); 50*50 United States v. DePoli, 628 F.2d 779, 781 (2d Cir. 1980)." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Madera, 198 Conn. 92, 97 n.5, 503 A.2d 136 (1985)."
So... it is unclear. The Court even states as such:
"Thus, it is simply too much to expect of the employer that it be required to set aside its legitimate expectations, solely because of the differences, which the law recognizes in contexts other than that of employment, between a conviction based upon a guilty plea or trial and a conviction based upon a nolo contendere plea."
(However note that the employer decision deals with another matter, and not the application process.)
As such, at the moment, there is no clear policy. One may wish to state NO, or NO but also include a cover letter explaining that this was nolo contendere, and not a guilty plea. If the employer is thorough, they will do a background check either way and then will see the record; it helps to be on the safe side and to offer an explanation in terms of the cover letter, rather than to say NO but then seem like a liar.
Good luck.
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