Question: What do I have to disclose on my job application?

Benson Varghese: What you put on a job application depends entirely upon the question being asked and I will give you two examples of the most common questions that are asked. The first question is: “Have you ever been convicted of an offense?” It is important to remember that merely being arrested, accused of or charged with a crime is not a conviction. The fact that you have a current court case pending, that you’ve been to court for months or years, or that you received a further adjudication on a case that was resolved or had a case that was dismissed—none of those things are convictions, so the answer to that question, under those circumstances, would be “No” or “I have had none.”

Another common question is: "Have you been arrested or charged with a crime?" You’ll see those types of questions on applications when you’re trying to obtain a license or a clearance, or perhaps a high-level job. If they’re asking about both arrests and convictions, it is important to talk to your attorney before you answer that question, because the most likely answer to that question is going to be “Yes” and you would end up disclosing your arrest. Your attorney can advise you on how to best answer that question and what follow-up information you might want to provide to the person asking the question.