Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

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Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:54 pm

Got a government job (internship) and now I'm filing the background check documents. One of the questions asks whether I've been "convicted, been imprisoned, been on probation, or been on parole." I've never been convicted, been on probation, or been on parole. But I have been arrested, and spent roughly 35 hours at the booking station jail (didn't have the money for the $5k bond). The charge was ultimately dropped. Never made a court appearance. Does that count as "imprisoned"? Should I disclose?

1styearlateral

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:18 am

IMO, jail is not the same thing as prison.

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pancakes3

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby pancakes3 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:40 am

always disclose

RaceJudicata

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby RaceJudicata » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:42 am

This is tricky. Probably better to disclose, but I certainly see the argument that "imprisoned" is something different than being put in a holding cell after an arrest.

Also, its telling that the question doesn't mention arrest, especially when a holding cell (like you are describing) necessarily follows arrest.

But... I tend to avoid these sort of risks and would just disclose. Worst case, you don't get the internship.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Nebby » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:52 am

I would disclose

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encore1101

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby encore1101 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:51 am

From the words "conviction, probation, parole," it seems like "imprisoned" is referred to in the sense that a determination of guilt has been made, but yeah, I would disclose.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby john_brown » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:40 pm

You were in police custody, you were not "imprisoned." I would feel no obligation to disclose.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:58 pm

john_brown wrote:You were in police custody, you were not "imprisoned." I would feel no obligation to disclose.


+1. The question is very straightforward, as is "imprisoned".

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:09 am

encore1101 wrote:From the words "conviction, probation, parole," it seems like "imprisoned" is referred to in the sense that a determination of guilt has been made, but yeah, I would disclose.

Alternatively, for "imprisoned" not to be redundant, it would have to mean being incarcerated without being convicted, i.e. pretrial detention.

I think your reading is more plausible, but this is the risk with trying to lawyer your way out of disclosing something on the basis of a narrow interpretation of a clumsily worded question.

Is there an HR office you can call anonymously and ask?

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grand inquisitor

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby grand inquisitor » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:49 am

i too would interpret that as requiring you to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:02 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
encore1101 wrote:From the words "conviction, probation, parole," it seems like "imprisoned" is referred to in the sense that a determination of guilt has been made, but yeah, I would disclose.

Alternatively, for "imprisoned" not to be redundant, it would have to mean being incarcerated without being convicted, i.e. pretrial detention.

I think your reading is more plausible, but this is the risk with trying to lawyer your way out of disclosing something on the basis of a narrow interpretation of a clumsily worded question.

Is there an HR office you can call anonymously and ask?


Exactly. Unfortunately, there will be no opportunity for you to lawyer out of this one -- you will simply be told that you did not clear background check and will lose the job. This will then potentially become something you have to disclose on C&F.

ETA: By "you," I meant OP.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:16 am

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
john_brown wrote:You were in police custody, you were not "imprisoned." I would feel no obligation to disclose.


+1. The question is very straightforward, as is "imprisoned".


Every other response is nonsensical being risk adverse to the point of absurdity. This does not need to be disclosed on this question and to do so would show poor judgment.

For further evidence compare to every other question of this sort where they included terms like "questioned, detained, accused, arrested, suspect in"

And if you don't believe me, call the hiring department (don't disclosure your name) or a C&F attorney, they wont even take your money for this.

Finally the above poster is wrong. If you're not given a job because of something in a background check federal law says you have to informed of that and and given a copy of the info used to make that determination ao that you can challenge inaccuracies. And I'd be willing to bed that a government job isn't going to fudge around and break that law.
Last edited by Single-Malt-Liquor on Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby lawlorbust » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:19 am

Single-Malt-Liquor wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
john_brown wrote:You were in police custody, you were not "imprisoned." I would feel no obligation to disclose.


+1. The question is very straightforward, as is "imprisoned".


Every other response is nonsensical being risk adverse to the point of absurdity. This does not need to be disclosed on this question and to do so would show poor judgment.

For further evidence compare to every other question of this sort where they included terms like "questioned, detained, accused, arrested, suspect in"

And if you don't believe me, call the hiring department (don't disclosure your name) or a C&F attorney, they wont even take your money for this.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby bretby » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:38 am

Single-Malt-Liquor wrote:
LaLiLuLeLo wrote:
john_brown wrote:You were in police custody, you were not "imprisoned." I would feel no obligation to disclose.


+1. The question is very straightforward, as is "imprisoned".


Every other response is nonsensical being risk adverse to the point of absurdity. This does not need to be disclosed on this question and to do so would show poor judgment.

For further evidence compare to every other question of this sort where they included terms like "questioned, detained, accused, arrested, suspect in"

And if you don't believe me, call the hiring department (don't disclosure your name) or a C&F attorney, they wont even take your money for this.

Finally the above poster is wrong. If you're not given a job because of something in a background check federal law says you have to informed of that and and given a copy of the info used to make that determination ao that you can challenge inaccuracies. And I'd be willing to bed that a government job isn't going to fudge around and break that law.


That may be technically true, but they never actually tell you you didn't get the job because of a background check issue, they just don't hire you and move on. And there's precious little - most times nothing - you can do to get that information.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:50 am

This is untrue on many levels. First they don't do a background check until you're the candidate they want as it takes time and resources. Which is why every job offer you've ever had was contingent on a background check. Two, especially in government there will be a decision made about whether or not you passed the background check. Once that is done there is a paper trail that can easily be uncovered once a bereft applicant hears that "sorry we changed our mind, no reason, kyhnxbye"

Please stop advising on things you're not really versed in. I don't mean that to be rude, I know your heart is in the right place but you're gonna have this dude eliminate himself from the job pool for some shit he wasn't even convicted of.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:14 am

Single-Malt-Liquor wrote:This is untrue on many levels. First they don't do a background check until you're the candidate they want as it takes time and resources. Which is why every job offer you've ever had was contingent on a background check. Two, especially in government there will be a decision made about whether or not you passed the background check. Once that is done there is a paper trail that can easily be uncovered once a bereft applicant hears that "sorry we changed our mind, no reason, kyhnxbye"

Please stop advising on things you're not really versed in. I don't mean that to be rude, I know your heart is in the right place but you're gonna have this dude eliminate himself from the job pool for some shit he wasn't even convicted of.

If it isn't within the scope of the question, then could he even be disqualified for disclosing it? If the phrasing of the question means they only care about convictions, not arrests, and he discloses an arrest, what's the realistic downside here?

Honestly if it were me I'd probably be confident not disclosing it, but I'm not sure that's the right answer.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:20 pm

OP here, thanks for everyone's input. I talked to an attorney friend (30+ years in practice) and he too advised me that I didn't have to disclose. But I contacted the agency that conducts the background check, and the rep. told me that it includes arrests where the charge was dismissed.

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dood

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby dood » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:14 pm

what kind of gov job app doesnt ask about arrests? but to answer your question, no man. jesus.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:38 pm

.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:40 pm

Single-Malt-Liquor wrote:This is untrue on many levels. First they don't do a background check until you're the candidate they want as it takes time and resources. Which is why every job offer you've ever had was contingent on a background check. Two, especially in government there will be a decision made about whether or not you passed the background check. Once that is done there is a paper trail that can easily be uncovered once a bereft applicant hears that "sorry we changed our mind, no reason, kyhnxbye"

Please stop advising on things you're not really versed in. I don't mean that to be rude, I know your heart is in the right place but you're gonna have this dude eliminate himself from the job pool for some shit he wasn't even convicted of.


Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for everyone's input. I talked to an attorney friend (30+ years in practice) and he too advised me that I didn't have to disclose. But I contacted the agency that conducts the background check, and the rep. told me that it includes arrests where the charge was dismissed.


Nice work, Single Malt.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:20 pm

RaceJudicata wrote:
Single-Malt-Liquor wrote:This is untrue on many levels. First they don't do a background check until you're the candidate they want as it takes time and resources. Which is why every job offer you've ever had was contingent on a background check. Two, especially in government there will be a decision made about whether or not you passed the background check. Once that is done there is a paper trail that can easily be uncovered once a bereft applicant hears that "sorry we changed our mind, no reason, kyhnxbye"

Please stop advising on things you're not really versed in. I don't mean that to be rude, I know your heart is in the right place but you're gonna have this dude eliminate himself from the job pool for some shit he wasn't even convicted of.


Anonymous User wrote:OP here, thanks for everyone's input. I talked to an attorney friend (30+ years in practice) and he too advised me that I didn't have to disclose. But I contacted the agency that conducts the background check, and the rep. told me that it includes arrests where the charge was dismissed.


Nice work, Single Malt.


I'll take that but with two caveats. That's some poorly worded shit and two, a another attorney of 30 years agreed meaning that the person who answered could very well have no clue what they're talking about.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby john_brown » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:16 am

Regardless of what someone on the phone told OP, I still don't see how his 35 hours in a holding cell is responsive to the question. That's just not what "imprisonment" means.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Redfactor » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:47 am

john_brown wrote:Regardless of what someone on the phone told OP, I still don't see how his 35 hours in a holding cell is responsive to the question. That's just not what "imprisonment" means.


Agree to the point where I'm skeptical the phone rep gave accurate information. Of course the background check will show arrests; however the question, to me, clearly is not asking for arrests. It asks for post-dispo triggers.

There is a big difference between people being held in custody (jail) pending the outcome of criminal charges and someone held in jail or prison as a sentence requirement. Imprisonment is asking about the latter. If they wanted to know about the former, they should have used the term 'arrested'.

Just out of curiosity, did the background check company provide the questionnaire or did the government agency?

That said, disclosure is obviously the best course unless other information is obtained.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Teoeo » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:59 am

Spending a couple of days in jail is not being imprisoned. It just isn't.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:11 am

Teoeo wrote:Spending a couple of days in jail is not being imprisoned. It just isn't.

You guys keep saying this but I just don't see how it's self-evident. "Imprisoned" just means "held captive." If you're being held by the state against your will, that could reasonably be considered "imprisonment." It doesn't ask whether you were sentenced to imprisonment. I agree that is probably the information it intends to elicit, but it isn't what it says.



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