Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    1

    Default Can You Become a Police Officer With a Dismissed Drug Felony Charge

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Virginia

    In August 2013 I was charged with possession of controlled substance (Ritalin) and an arrest warrant came out for me a year and a half later dating back to the incident. I was placed on the VA 251 disposition program and I successfully completed the program having the charge dismissed. Even though this is great because I was never "convicted", however I can never become a police officer because the charge will forever remain on my record. I have a bachelors in criminal justice but I feel like even with that, I will always be rejected to any law enforcement agency I apply to. Also since VA 251 orders any defendant to plead guilty to the charge, many law enforcement agencies consider that in itself a "conviction." Would hiring a employment lawyer help me with my situation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,494

    Default Re: Can You Become a Police Officer With a Dismissed Drug Felony Charge

    Even if VA considers this an offense that is no longer a felony, under federal law you may still have lost your ability to possess a firearm. You may want to consider hiring an attorney well versed in firearms law to determine if the dismissal also restored your firearms rights. In many states such a dismissal does not restore firearms rights.

    Even if this DOES restore your firearms rights and is no longer an automatic bar to employment as a peace officer, many agencies may consider your prior arrest and conviction when evaluating your suitability for a position. Time and deeds since then may well set such indiscretions behind you. Three years is unlikely to be sufficient time for you to be seriously considered at this point.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,430

    Default Re: Can You Become a Police Officer With a Dismissed Drug Felony Charge

    I'm sorry, but there is a lot of misinformation in the original post and hence the answer is garbage in, garbage out.

    First, you don't have to plead guilty, but such is allowed. However, the agreement is that if you don't successfully complete the program, an adjudication of guilty will be entered. If you do complete it, you successful completion, no conviction is recorded. Provided a year has passed, there's no Virginia nor Federal prohibition on firearms possession in this case. It isn't that it is "no longer a felony" he never had a "felony conviction."

    However, all this information is going to be visible to the hiring department. You can be darned sure that a 251 is going to count heavily against you. While there's no outright law that says they can't hire you, why would they want to take the risk given other applicants with clean records? If you were doing drugs while in a criminal justice program, you have pretty much demonstrated that you are NOT a good candidate (and if you got it before you enrolled, if the program didn't ask you about your criminal record before enrolling you, it is just an indication of how reprehensible some of these programs are....tell me that it wasn't Everest or one of the other scam profit schools that you got your degere from. In which case it was a waste of time and money anyhow).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,244

    Default Re: Can You Become a Police Officer With a Dismissed Drug Felony Charge

    There is another issue here that has not been addressed.

    Law enforcement background investigations do not focus on criminal histories alone. They examine a wide variety of issues to determine if there is anything in your personal history that meets the criteria for disqualification. This can include areas such as, financial, driving, criminal, military and personal conduct, just to name a few.

    The fact that you were "never convicted" of the offence in question is irrelevant as it is your conduct in this matter that counts.

    Years back I did a background investigation on an applicant who committed a rape. The agency who investigated the crime mishandled the evidence and all the clothing containing semen, blood and other body fluids connecting him to the crime was excluded at trial. This reduced the matter to a she said/he said case and the jury acquitted. While the applicant was not guilty as a matter of law, he was still a rapist as a matter of fact and was disqualified on his background as lacking the traits of integrity, honesty, dependability, good judgment, and courtesy, all of which are minimum, requirements for being a police officer.

    I don't know the circumstances of your selling drugs. However, I do know that the police are overloaded with drug cases and tend to only go after the big fish and not waste time on the little ones. If an officer took time to obtain a warrant for your arrest for distribution, you were probably selling a significant amount, under circumstances that endangered the community. Given that it was only three years ago, I suspect you are going to meet the criteria for disqualification very easily and if anything, you may be looked at as someone seeking to infiltrate law enforcement to gain intelligence to assist other dealers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,494

    Default Re: Can You Become a Police Officer With a Dismissed Drug Felony Charge

    Yeah, I have to say that being hooked for distribution is probably going to make a law enforcement career a no-go. I have done many law enforcement backgrounds over the decades and have to say that we have never remotely considered anyone with a history of arrests for possession, much less for distribution. I did have one applicant once who admitted to purchasing an ounce of marijuana for his wife some 30 days before he applied to our agency! He somehow thought that was okay because it was a misdemeanor and not for him!!!
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Background Checks: Finding a Job as a Police Officer With a Felony Drug Conviction
    By Homicide99 in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 02-24-2016, 07:04 PM
  2. Application & Eligibility: Felony Drug Charges Dismissed Nolle Prossed
    By tll9284 in forum Professional Licenses
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-15-2012, 05:06 PM
  3. Drug Possession: Can A Felony Drug Charge, Dismissed Without Leave, be Refiled
    By yoyomah in forum Criminal Charges
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-30-2010, 09:06 AM
  4. Initiation of Charges: Can an Officer File a Dismissed Charge As a New Charge
    By Shocks in forum Criminal Procedure
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-07-2010, 11:33 PM
  5. Drug Trafficking / Distribution: When Will A Drug Trafficking Charge Be Dismissed
    By jhchoi01 in forum Criminal Charges
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-15-2004, 09:08 AM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources