My question involves criminal records for the state of: Indiana.
I looked through some posts here, but want to make sure the reply fits my particular circumstances, because I'm not sure if it matches others precisely.
In Dec of 1997, I had charges filed against me for harassment. I was talking to a girl who claimed I was talking perverted to her over the phone. I was 18 at the time the calls took place. I was asked if I wouldn't mind coming down to the police station to answer some questions about a case involving my phone number in my name. I said, sure. I wasn't read my rights, I was never detained, I was just voluntarily asked to come down and answer the questions. The actual charges show a date of Dec 1997. Class B misdemeanor (harassment). I guess it was a year after the initial contact with officers that I got notice saying I had to appear in court for this matter.
I found an atty and paid him $500 to rep me. We went to court and all I had to do was go in front of a judge and plead not guilty. The atty repeatedly told me that I had no record, had never been in trouble, not even a traffic ticket, so it would come down to my story vs her story and who the judge believed. Even IF the judge didn't believe me and found me guilty, I'd get no time at all, nothing to worry about. I met with him once at court to plead and once in his office to tell him what happened.
So, it wasn't until 1999 that the court date was set. As soon as I arrived, my atty took me aside and told me that he talked to prosecutor, and he agreed if I plead guilty, it would drop it. I was I think 20 yrs old, so I had no idea, just did what he said. He suddenly tells me that day that if I do go to trial and the judge believes her side, I could get 6 months in jail. So, I'm in a panic and just do what he says. I plead guilty. Court says they will take it under advisement for 1 yr. If no arrests or any trouble for 1 year, and no contact with alleged victim, court would move to dismiss the violation.
It also said I was required to go to court psychiatrist to ensure I wasn't a sexual predator.
My atty tells me that by doing this, it would be dismissed after a year, that it would never show up on my records, that if asked in the future if I had ever been arrested or convicted, I could say no. I believe he even used the word "expunged."
The psych evaluation comes back in my favor, no legal issues after this, The paperwork I have from the court says that a year had passed (the date is listed as OCT 1999) and the court moves to dismiss this matter.
So that covers that, but I filled out an application today for a part time job at a security guard place, and it asked if I had been "arrested" or "convicted" of any crime in the past 20 yrs. I left this section blank. Was that the right thing to do? I was never detained, I was never in a position where I couldn't leave, so I was never arrested. I plead guilty for the plea bargain, but is that considered a "conviction?" I assumed that there was no record of this, that the atty was being truthful when he said no one would ever know, the records would be destroyed, etc.
The apt I live in, when I filled out their application, on the basis of what my atty back then said, I answered NO to any arrests or convictions. However, a background check they ran showed this "harassment" charge. But, it doesn't list it as dismissed or anything. So, I had to go to the court in the town I lived in before (in Indiana) and get this file that says after the 1 year the charges were dismissed, plea bargain, guilty plea, etc.
I just want to make sure I'm right to list no arrests and convictions. It was over 10 yrs ago, and I guess some checks only go back 10 yrs?? I read that expungement in Indiana isn't possible if you plead guilty, even as part of a plea bargain, so apparently my atty was making crap up when he made that promise. I figure with most of these places, if this charge shows up, it will prob still show up with it being dismissed, and they'll think I'm a liar and not offer me a job or an explanation, so I won't have the chance to explain the situation as I've done here.
Just want to know if I'm answering honestly based on what I've listed here.
Any info. is much appreciated. Thanks