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Can I answer

Long story short, I’m just turning 21, however a few years ago when I had just turned 18 and was still in high school, my stupid friends and I took a stupid joke a little too far, and I ended up getting charged with terroristic threats. I live in a white, privileged, crime-less community and everyone knew that I was just a harmless, stupid kid who had no intentions to actually bomb my school, and was just clearly unaware of the repercussions of my actions and the seriousness of the matter. The charges brought against me were terroristic threats, but the judge clearly felt bad for my dumb ass and let me do probation ARD and soon after it was expunged. Since my official letter of expungement, I have done a background check on myself and nothing comes up. I am applying to be a notary, and on the application it asks if I’ve even been convicted of a felony. I’m not sure what that means exactly. Was I convicted? Or was my alternative to being convicted doing probation? I don’t want to say something I don’t have to say but I also don’t want to be denied my license because I lied. I read online that if you get your felony expunged via probation, you can say

Asked on August 10, 2016 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Expungement is meant to give people a second chance. Not only does the offense no longer appear when you search for it, so as a practical matter, it no longer exists, but the very point of expungement would be defeated if you discussed the offense and so were denied the second chance that expungement is supposed to give you. You can answer "no" with a clean conscience: the legal system and a judge have said you deserve a clean start.


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