Disclosing Summary Offense During Application/Interview Process

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Disclosing Summary Offense During Application/Interview Process

In my state a summary offense is not supposed to be considered by an employer. Most application forms/questionnaires ask only about misdemeanors and felony convictions. There is much conflicting advice online as to whether or not one should voluntarily and preemptively before an offer, disclose a summary conviction. Many HR workers are ignorant of the difference between summary and misdemeanor definitions and if the offense is one that can fall under either (i.e. disorderly), they will automatically assume the worst. This is exacerbated if the job is professional in nature in a field that typically expects a high ethical standard. Should one disclose a summary offense and, if so, at what point in the application process?

Asked on June 23, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You don't need to volunteer anything you are not asked about. You do need to fill out or complete the application truthfully and completely. Since your state draws a distinction between summary offenses and other offenses (e.g. misdemeanors), if the application only asks about misdemeanors and felonies, do not volunteer information about the summary offense(s). 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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