General Question

askingforemployment's avatar

Should I tell the police department about my expunged misdemeanor?

Asked by askingforemployment (6points) November 11th, 2013

I am applying for a job as a police officer. I have a Class B misdemeanor for ¼ ounce of marijuana in Texas, about a country or 2 away from the Town here I am applying for the job. It has been expunged from my record, and I do not legally have to disclose it for any reason. It know for a fact it doesn’t show up on the normal background checks that normal employers do. Should I be honest with the PD? Maybe leave it off of the application, but tell the oral review board or recruitment officer? I want to be honest, but I don’t want to risk getting points taken off that I didn’t need to take off.

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14 Answers

Pachy's avatar

Yes. Why take a chance having them bring it up now or later, which I suspect wouldn’t be good for you. In applying for a job, especially with the PD, honesty is probably the best policy.

Rarebear's avatar

And I wouldn’t. If it’s expunged, and you’re not required to mention it, why mention it?

glacial's avatar

I’m pretty sure they’ll know about it whether or not you disclose it on the application. I know that an acquaintance of mine was surprised when customs informed him of an expunged infraction when he crossed the border once. I guess it would depend on the wording of the application. Do they not have an HR office you could call for advice? They must get this question all the time. Presumably, you wouldn’t need to give out your name to get information.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Unless they ask directly about expunged files, I wouldn’t volunteer the information. If it has been expunged, it means legally it never happened.

If they ask about expunged records, I would tell them.

fundevogel's avatar

@glacial “I’m pretty sure they’ll know about it whether or not you disclose it on the application. I know that an acquaintance of mine was surprised when customs informed him of an expunged infraction when he crossed the border once.”

So are the cops just using a different definition of that word ‘cause…

glacial's avatar

@fundevogel Exactly. I tend to assume they’re looking at data on a monitor, and that there’s a line item for each expunged misdemeanor, which ends with BUT DON’T TELL THEM THAT YOU HAVE A RECORD OF THIS ONE!!!!

Unbroken's avatar

I would leave it off the app unless they have a place for expunged crimes.

And tell my them at the review board. Or your recruitment officer. Considering the nature of the job I would feel weird withholding this info. That’s just me and I have no experience in this matter.

livelaughlove21's avatar

When I worked with probation, they pulled NCIC rap sheets on every potential employee. Those rap sheets show all arrests, charges, and convictions. If something is expunged, the rap sheet will say that, but it’ll still show that there was a conviction at one point. They don’t run your standard background check – they have access to the good stuff.

I took a couple of classes with a former cop, lawyer, and judge. She said to spill your guts when applying for a government or law enforcement job. A lie by omission is still a lie, and they know that people have pasts and may have made stupid decisions during the course of their lives. They’ll know it’s expunged, and that will definitely matter. I doubt it’ll be a big deal as long as you’re honest. Tell them.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, just do the right thing, you never know when it will come back to bite you in the ass. Besides, it will relieve your conscience, if you have one anyway.
She who had one misdemeanor theft as a teen and has an impeccable record of one parking ticket in 38 years. lol

Smitha's avatar

In Texas, if your criminal record is expunged or sealed, it will no longer be visible to the general public, including potential employers. In most cases, you may say that you were never arrested or convicted of a crime. But there are a few exceptions that vary by state, where you may be required to disclose an expungement, depending on where you live:

Applying for a law-enforcement job. Disclosure is required for a federal law-enforcement position, such as with the FBI. In some states, you must also disclose expungements if you want to be a local police officer, or even work as support staff with the agency.

bolwerk's avatar

Don’t take any legal advice from the Internet except this: ask a lawyer. Surely one of the first things you’ll learn in pig school is nobody should ever tell the police anything they don’t have to, and almost everyone does.

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

I would tell the interviewer orally, in light of the information from those in the thread with more experience, that “I have an expunged misdemeanor conviction. Must I disclose the details on the application?” I wouldn’t put anything on paper, either the fact that there is an expunged conviction, or certainly not what it is about, until you have confirmation that “you must disclose”.

If it’s possible to merely discuss it orally with the interviewer at that point, then even better. Since it is an expunged conviction, there should be no need for you to disclose it in writing. That would un-expunge it in writing (in your writing, no less) on an official application, which is certainly contrary to the purpose of having it expunged in the first place.

flutherother's avatar

I’d go with your own suggestion and not put it on the application (that would be foolish) but I would mention it at the end of the interview as evidence of your honesty. (they will likely know about it anyway.)

whitenoise's avatar

I wouldn’t volunteer it.

if they ask explicitly for your criminal history, you could opt to mention you’ve had a misdemeanor that was expunged.

Whether the file is still available to the government and law enforcement depends on the jurisdiction of the court where you had the records expunged. You might check there for more advise on their ruling.

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