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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    My question involves a professional license in the state of: Any

    I was arrested and charged with indecent exposure after a very intoxicated public pissing episode when I was 18 and in college. I was fingerprinted upon arrest. Did 1 year of probation on deferred judgement, had case dismissed, and subsequently sealed.

    I noticed that some medical licensing boards, which I will be applying for a license with in the near future conduct an FBI background check and ask whether you've been charged with a crime, etc, etc. Prior advice on this forum led me to believe that when I got my FBI background check it would list the arrest with the proper disposition of dismissed and/or sealed.

    I got the FBI background check (Identity History Summary) result today and it was completely clear, no record of it whatsoever. CBI (my state's investigation bureau) check also clear. My lawyer at the time said it was a municipal rather than state charge if that makes any difference. So then why would I disclose it when I have an order saying its sealed and I never have to disclose it?

    Is this FBI Identity History summary the same one medical licensing boards use or are they privy to more info from the same background check? Wouldn't make sense since this should include everything about my arrest records if they have it on file since it was sent to ME. Perhaps the record never made its way to the FBI?

    Also has anyone gone through Fieldprint to get this report as I have? It was on the approved list on FBI webpage and the result literally came back within a few minutes of submitting the fingerprint

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    Any isn't a state.
    The status of dismissed cases is very state dependent, as is what can be asked about on employment applications.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    The problem here is that it matters (1) in what state you are applying for the license and (2) in what state the deferred judgment and sealed records order took place. Understand that even if the law in State A where the records were sealed says you don’t have to answer yes to questions about the arrest that only helps you in that state. So if you go to State B it may be that your State A sealing has no effect in State B and you would have to answer the question yes for a license in State B.

    Even if you go for licensing in State A, you need to look carefully at what the law regarding sealed records is. In many states the includes an exception that requires disclosure of sealed arrest/conviction records when applying for certain licenses, especially licenses to practice law, medicine, or nursing. So not knowing the states involved no one can give you a simple answer on this.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    What you more likely found in this forum is the admonition that if you want to know what is going to show up in your FBI record, you should obtain your record from the FBI -- which you did. As you now understand, not every offense will show up in an FBI record -- and some offenses continue to show up despite state orders of sealing or expungement.

    There is no state called "any". You are describing the sort of outcome that could result from a conviction for a violation from New York State, where there is a local record but the conviction is not abstracted to the state. Those local records can show up in the darnedest ways, but they won't show up on a state criminal record abstract and won't be abstracted by the state to the FBI. There are likely similar types of petty offense or local prosecution that are not made part of a state record in certain other states, but laws vary by state.

    As for what you have to disclose once your record is sealed, and whether you could face issues for denying the existence of the incident if it is later discovered by a licensing board, that will depend upon the question asked and the laws of the state in which you seek a license.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    My home state where the offenses occurred are in colorado. Will one day apply for a Medical License in NY state but eventually would like to come back to COLO.

    Both new york state and colorado at this present time don't even require background checks for licensure. I presume they will follow suit of most other states and require it in the next 5-10 years. Even if they do follow suit they would require an FBI check like the rest of the states correct. And if I'm not mistaken that's the one I just took and came back all clear. My FBI check is clear. My CBI (Colorado) check is clear. That's the only sources for boards actually look at and if it's clear, I think I can answer No. Specifically in NY, it doesn't outright ask to reveal sealed records anyways as it does in some other states.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    Quote Quoting FutureMD
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    My home state where the offenses occurred are in colorado. Will one day apply for a Medical License in NY state but eventually would like to come back to COLO.

    Both new york state and colorado at this present time don't even require background checks for licensure. I presume they will follow suit of most other states and require it in the next 5-10 years. Even if they do follow suit they would require an FBI check like the rest of the states correct. And if I'm not mistaken that's the one I just took and came back all clear. My FBI check is clear. My CBI (Colorado) check is clear. That's the only sources for boards actually look at and if it's clear, I think I can answer No. Specifically in NY, it doesn't outright ask to reveal sealed records anyways as it does in some other states.
    The line of reasoning that goes “I don't have to disclose it because they will never find out about it” is flawed. If the law of the state in which you are applying for the license requires that you disclose it then you need to disclose it. Those laws won't say you only have to disclose it if the licensing agency won’t find out about it. Either you will have to disclose it or not. If you do and fail to disclose it and the licensing agency finds out later (and there are various ways that might happen apart from a FBI or CBI check) that you lied on the application you may lose your license and perhaps might also be criminally prosecuted for perjury. If you are thinking that disclosing this matter would automatically bar you from a license, that’s not likely. The charge was minor and occurred when you were 18. Assuming you can show you’ve matured since then it’s not likely to be a significant problem. But lying on the application certainly could be a huge problem. Indications of dishonesty are one of the big things that will lead to being rejected.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    Well those laws tend to be hazy. In strict states such as LA, CA, MN, and TX it asks the same question and makes sure to mention that you must reveal sealed/expunged records. Then there is another category of states such as NJ/PA that specifically say you need not report records that have been expunged, which I'm assuming also applies to seal because in those states expungement=seal. But then there are states such as NY where it asks if you've ever pled guilty or been convicted of any misdemeanor or crime. But it does not go on to say to mention this even if it was sealed.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    Quote Quoting FutureMD
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    But then there are states such as NY where it asks if you've ever pled guilty or been convicted of any misdemeanor or crime. But it does not go on to say to mention this even if it was sealed.
    The question on Form 1 for licensing in NY asks: “Have you ever been found guilty after trial, or pleaded guilty, no contest, or nolo contendere to a crime (felony or misdemeanor) in any court?” (Underlining added.) That question does not seem at all vague to me. If you were ever found guilty after a trial, or pleaded guilty, no contest, or nolo contendre, you must answer yes and then explain the circumstances. Including the word ever means that if it occurred at any time it would need to be disclosed even if something later changed the outcome. This would mean you would answer yes if, for example, you were convicted at trial or plead guilty even if the conviction was later overturned, dismissed, or sealed. The exact same question is asked on the nursing application, and the NY Education Department (which is the agency that handles professional licensing in NY) says this about what is required on its nursing application FAQ page:

    You must report all criminal convictions and disciplinary actions against you, regardless of whether it occurred in New York State or elsewhere. You do not have to disclose "youthful offender" offenses, if your records have been sealed.

    Note that it only exempts reporting sealed records for youthful offender crimes, which suggests that adult crimes that were sealed do have to be reported. So in the case of NY it seems pretty clear to me you would need to disclose it. The state does expressly state that a criminal conviction does not automatically disqualify you from getting a license. The details matter, as I indicated before.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    Youth offenders pertains to minors. You were 18.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Do You Have to Disclose a Sealed Offense That Does Not Appear on Your FBI Record

    If I were to disclose they would certainly ask for more detail into the incident and court records. Does that include all discovery including "victim" statements? Can those still be accessed even though the record is sealed?

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