Q: I provided a false name and then later sucked it up and told them. I went to court for it and was told I had to do community service. I completed my community service, and everything was ok. But on job applications it asks if I have had a misdemeanor before. I’m confused if it shows I have one or not. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: I suggest that you find out if you pleaded guilty to the crime or were found guilty, and if so what specific crime it was and how it was graded. If “guilty” was entered, you must answer yes if asked if you were ever charged or convicted of a crime. If you were found not guilty or the misdemeanor or felony was dismissed or withdrawn, you would have to answer yes if asked if you were ever charged with a misdemeanor. If asked if you were convicted, you can answer no. If you were not convicted (not guilty, withdrawn, dismissed) of a misdemeanor or felony, the arrest record will nonetheless still exist, and you must pay an attorney to expunge it. Also, certain misdemeanors can be expunged after a certain amount of time passes. I suggest you copy your court documents from the UJS portal website or from the Allegheny County Clerk of Courts and take them to your lawyer. Once you are charged with a crime, that records stays in the system even if the charge is ultimately dismissed, withdrawn or you are found not guilty.