Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:27 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
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.

Except that technically/as a term of art "imprisoned" means "after conviction." If you haven't been convicted yet you're not imprisoned, you're "detained." (Detention is to make sure you show up for court hearings/trial and/or don't pose a risk to the community; imprisonment is punishment/penalty.) Similarly "jail" is where you go before you're convicted, "prison" is where you go after you're convicted (that's like a super technical distinction because they can be the exact same space, but they also don't have to be).

To be fair I'm not saying I know what the form is asking for, but the above is why people are saying "imprisoned" doesn't encompass sitting in jail for a couple of days after being arrested. (Also, the person from the background check company who said arrests that are dropped need to be disclosed - that's confusing because it sounds like the answer to a totally different question.)

NickyTheWhip

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby NickyTheWhip » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:48 am

Question sounds like its from fed clerk application or the agency equivalent. The arrest is going to show up on the FBI fingerprint check you just did. Might as well be given the opp to explain it in the "remarks" box on the form.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:04 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
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.

Except that technically/as a term of art "imprisoned" means "after conviction." If you haven't been convicted yet you're not imprisoned, you're "detained." (Detention is to make sure you show up for court hearings/trial and/or don't pose a risk to the community; imprisonment is punishment/penalty.) Similarly "jail" is where you go before you're convicted, "prison" is where you go after you're convicted (that's like a super technical distinction because they can be the exact same space, but they also don't have to be).

To be fair I'm not saying I know what the form is asking for, but the above is why people are saying "imprisoned" doesn't encompass sitting in jail for a couple of days after being arrested. (Also, the person from the background check company who said arrests that are dropped need to be disclosed - that's confusing because it sounds like the answer to a totally different question.)

I agree with everything you said, and I understand why people are saying that, but you're approaching this as a lawyer and interpreting these words in the way a lawyer might. I don't think it's necessarily fair to assume the form is using "imprisoned" as a legal term of art. The dictionary definition is "to confine in or as if in a prison." That, to me, encompasses detention. And if you were to ask someone on the street whether being held in Rikers for six months pending trial means being "imprisoned" I think they would say yes, even though that is pretrial detention and legally indistinct from OP's situation.

Anyway I recognize I am making a pedantic argument that nobody cares about.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:05 pm

We all are - we're lawyers after all. :D

I just figure if it's a background check for a legal position, lawyers may have been involved in writing it.

Also, FWIW, OP, I don't think disclosing is going to hurt you at all.

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:46 pm

In this context, imprisonment doesn't mean held captive. If that were the case, being "imprisoned" in the back of a police car for five minutes would have to be disclosed. Being sentenced to a term of imprisonment is what is referenced.

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Teoeo

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Teoeo » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:45 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
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.

Except that technically/as a term of art "imprisoned" means "after conviction." If you haven't been convicted yet you're not imprisoned, you're "detained." (Detention is to make sure you show up for court hearings/trial and/or don't pose a risk to the community; imprisonment is punishment/penalty.) Similarly "jail" is where you go before you're convicted, "prison" is where you go after you're convicted (that's like a super technical distinction because they can be the exact same space, but they also don't have to be).

To be fair I'm not saying I know what the form is asking for, but the above is why people are saying "imprisoned" doesn't encompass sitting in jail for a couple of days after being arrested. (Also, the person from the background check company who said arrests that are dropped need to be disclosed - that's confusing because it sounds like the answer to a totally different question.)


This is exactly right. Imprisoned presupposes a conviction.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:14 pm

I used to work in government, including a more-than-precursory knowledge of the background check process. If you're trying to get around disclosure on a technicality (i.e. is "imprisoned" referring to a legal term of art), then you need to disclose because that could very well lead to problems down the road. This is especially true if you'll eventually need a security clearance - this WILL be found out by the investigator, they WILL pull up the background form you're filling out now, and that would very likely preclude you from getting a clearance. It would be a non-issue if you had disclosed.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I used to work in government, including a more-than-precursory knowledge of the background check process. If you're trying to get around disclosure on a technicality (i.e. is "imprisoned" referring to a legal term of art), then you need to disclose because that could very well lead to problems down the road. This is especially true if you'll eventually need a security clearance - this WILL be found out by the investigator, they WILL pull up the background form you're filling out now, and that would very likely preclude you from getting a clearance. It would be a non-issue if you had disclosed.


Same anon, adding a bit more for clarity. Not disclosing something like this because you felt you wouldn't need to due to an interpretation of a word/phrase is almost as much of a red flag as an outright lie during a background check and/or a security clearance investigation. If the background check were for employment with a private company this likely wouldn't be as big of an issue, but for government it definitely is.

Is there the chance it won't be found out? Possibly. However, your situation won't matter during a background check if you disclose it. Heck, it almost surely wouldn't even preclude you from gaining a Top Secret clearance (assuming it's actually as harmless as you make it seem on here).

Just disclose.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby LaLiLuLeLo » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:17 pm

I get what you're saying and I figured disclosure would come out in some other question - just not the "imprisoned" one. If that includes being arrested and sitting in a holding cell, the question should reflect that. If not, that's a poorly worded background check.

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Single-Malt-Liquor

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:29 pm

LaLiLuLeLo wrote:I get what you're saying and I figured disclosure would come out in some other question - just not the "imprisoned" one. If that includes being arrested and sitting in a holding cell, the question should reflect that. If not, that's a poorly worded background check.


Yeah, I don't read it as trying to get by on a technicality but literally. I read it as they don't want to know because they can't use it against you.

Also, I think the average person does know the difference between being imprisooned and being held pending trial or something less than that. Especially if they went through such a thing and were never convicted.

In the end I think we can all agree that even to non-lawyers that this shit is poorly written. The words "arrested or detained" would clear all doubt that they wanted what they wanted if what they really wanted was everything.

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Re: Does "imprisoned" include an arrest?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:18 am

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


My ADA gig didn't. Thank God.



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