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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A felon with deferred judgement looking for jobs

Do felons list “Deferred Probation” on Job Applications?

felonHello there,

I am hoping to get this question answered correctly, I currently live in Colorado Springs and in January of 2009 I picked up a felony menacing charge and 5 counts of child abuse without injury, after 26 days in county jail I finally accepted a plea for the felony menacing charge and 1 count of child abuse without injury, I was offered a 3-year deferred judgement, and told by my public defendant that this charge would never show up once the 3-year deferred was done, I learned that was untrue from my probation officer, I was also told I do not have to tell a potential employer about the felony unless it they specifically ask if it resulted in probation or a deferred adjudication, I hold a degree in Computer Technology and have been unable to obtain any work in my field since this charge, so my questions are:

1. Am I legally bound to disclose any of this to a potential employer?
2. Will I ever be able to work for the federal government or obtain a security clearance?
3. When doing a pre-employment background check, how will this charge appear to a potential employer, is it a conviction, or do they see it is deferred, or does it not appear at all (I was told by my probation officer that it does not appear).

If you can help me with these questions I would deeply appreciate it.

Thank You.


In most cases when the terms of deferred judgement are met, the charges are dropped. Since the charges were dropped, there is no conviction. Record of this can only be seen by the court system, law enforcement and certain government agencies. In deferred judgement, there is an initial plea of guilty. It is my understanding, at the end of the probationary period, if you have complied with all the conditions of probation, the guilty plea is considered withdrawn, the case is dismissed and no conviction enters. This is because a conviction is not final until there has been both a guilty plea or finding of guilt and the imposition of sentence. Since sentencing does not occur before the end of the probationary term, there is no conviction.

You can answer that question "no" on your employment application. However, be very careful to read the question correctly. As I encourage all ex-offenders and felons job searching, pay careful attention to the wording of the application. If it asks for convictions, you only have to list convictions. If it asks for arrests, you must list all arrests.

To get an absolute understanding, contact your local legal aid office. An attorney there can explain this better than I can.

I hope this helps.

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