While representing clients, or after my representation has concluded, I am often asked about what must be disclosed when applying to college or for a new job. This often comes up for DUI / OVI, Physical Control and Reckless Operation offenses. Whether disclosure is required or not often depends on the position you are applying for and how the question is posed.
The first question that must be addressed is whether you were “charged” with an offense or “convicted.” You have been “charged” with an offense when you are cited or arrested by an officer. Even if you go to the arraignment and enter a not guilty plea, you are still in the “charged” phase. Thus, being asked if you have ever been “charged” with a criminal offense is different that being asked if you have ever been “convicted.” Moreover, if the case was ultimately dismissed, you were never “convicted.”
The next thing to understand is that a DUI / OVI, Physical Control or Reckless Operation conviction is not pursuant to Ohio’s criminal code. It is made under Ohio’s traffic code. Therefore, if you are asked whether or not you have been convicted of a criminal offense, you can honestly state “no” on the application. Moreover, many applications only ask whether you have been convicted of a felony offense. If you were convicted in a municipal court, the offense was a misdemeanor and you can state “no” on the application.
Another common question that occurs on many college and employment applications is “Have you ever been convicted of an alcohol or drug related offense?” If you have been convicted of DUI / OVI or Physical Control, you must answer “yes” on the application. If you were convicted of Reckless Operation, you can answer “no” because the conviction is not associated with alcohol or drugs.
While this is not an exhaustive list of the questions you may encounter, it should be a good starting point. While you don’t want to deceive a potential employer or college, you also don’t want to disclose something that you are not required to disclose or could impede your application process. If questions arise, however, you should consult an attorney.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your criminal offense case.