Maddog’s Dilema

So I have a problem.  A question.  A concern.  Something that scares the crap out of me.

So when in doubt take it to the public and ask them if they have an opinion of the case.

So I started filling out the online application for the teaching job that I’m applying for.

On the second page it asks this question:

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime.  The existence of a criminal record does not constitute an automatic bar to employment, with the exception of certain sex or drug offenses specifically prescribed by the California Education Code.  In the cases of drug convictions, further consideration is given to personal rehabilitation efforts, as well as a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon.

If your answer is yes, please explain.  You must provide specific civil, penal, and/or other code violation(s) and describe each offense, date, place and sentence or fine imposed.

I’m sure the question you are asking, is why does this scare me.


Let’s just suppose that I had been arrested for some unknown crime.  And let’s just suppose it had nothing to do with drug use.  And let’s just suppose that it might have been a sexual offense.  Before you go there, it did not involve anyone else, especially children.  Just me.  In public.  Doing something I shouldn’t have been doing.

Yes, Adam knows all about this…

So here’s my dilemma.

If I even begin to tell them about what happened my application won’t even get a second look.

If I lie and they find out, I won’t be hired, or I’ll be let go on that basis.

So what do I do?

A friend I talked to tonight said LIE.  If you are going to have a chance at getting your foot in the door you can’t tell them the truth.  He also said that since it was in a different state, 13 years ago that it might not even come up.

And it…

Did happen 13 years ago.  I plead guilty, I paid a fine, was told to not go there any more, I moved away and that was the end of it.  I’ve always been afraid that it would come up again, and I’ve always been lucky that it hasn’t.

Until now.

Am I honest and hope for the best?

Do I lie and hope for the best?

Do I scrap the application until I can apply for a position that doesn’t ask these kinds of personal questions.

Give me some advice people.

That’s why you are paid the big bucks.


6 thoughts on “Maddog’s Dilema

  1. Rick January 19, 2010 / 05:52

    I would think something that long ago would no longer be on your record. Can you check with someone to be sure? Like a lawyer or something. At the least some Internet searching.

    As for other positions that don’t ask for such things, I think they all do. So it’s probably something worth investigating.

  2. Sarah January 19, 2010 / 08:45

    Weird that they are asking about misdemeanors along with felonies. I think it’s worth a chat with an employment attorney. After 13 years, you might also want to see about getting it expunged.

  3. Peter January 19, 2010 / 12:15

    L.I.E.! 😉

    I’m sure every job application has a question like that. But the suggestion of Rick and Sarah is a good one, check it out.

  4. Lemuel January 19, 2010 / 14:20

    I’m with Rick. Investigate. See if it can be expunged. I doubt that there are many positions these days that will not inquire after such a record, although there are two things that make me curious. Why misdemeanors? Felonies I can understand. Why are drug offenders offered the chance to explain and cite rehabilitation, but not “sex offenders”?

  5. Karen January 19, 2010 / 19:17

    In New Jersey, even to be a substitute teacher, youmust get fingerprinted and have a background check done.
    If California is the same I believe the background check might reveal your indescretion.
    But I do not know for sure.
    I met a lady in a Kinko’s who was working on her resumne. SHe told me she had applied for numerous jobs and kept getting turned down. Finaslly she got the idea to call a few of the places she had interviewed at and ask thme why she wasn’t considered. Turns out she had a WARRENT for her ARREST in West Virginia for an unpaid speeding ticket from 6 years ago.
    She called the town which fled and warrent and was told no, she couldn’t just pay the fine. She had to show up in West Virginia with a lawyer and go to a court date.
    Scary stuff.
    Anyway, that may have nothing to do with you, since you paid the fine etc.
    Perhaps one of your followers is a lawyer. You need some good advice. At least, better than most of us can give.
    (I’m just an elementary school librarian! I know nothing!!)

  6. dirkmancuso January 20, 2010 / 19:16

    I’m with Rick and Sarah. Expunging would be good.

    As for lying…I’m one of those people who feels compelled to tell the truth (ask The Fella how many times I’ve “confessed” to jay-walking, going through a yellow light, noting returning the 2 cents extra I realized the cashier gave me when I got home and how s/he is going to be forever branded a thief, etc) so I’m the last one to ask. If I checked no, I’d begin my interview with “Hi, I’m Dirk and I sort of fudged the truth on Question #__.” Yeah, I really am that lame…)

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