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Can you be a police officer if arrested for joyriding with a class 1 felony?

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  • Can you be a police officer if arrested for joyriding with a class 1 felony?

    No prior criminal history before the arrest and no criminal history after the arrest. This happened at 15 years old....now 34 and was told by an investigator that joyriding charge shows as a class 1 felony and police don't hire felons. The investigator said the report don't show any details because it wasn't required back in 2001.

    Has anyone ever heard of someone getting a felony just for
    joyriding??

    I was not driving the car, I was in the back seat (the driver and another passenger didn't' get caught)...didn't have any weapons or drugs on me. Went to court and the case was thrown out. Never spent time behind bars...no probation....no supervision...nothing.
    but this issue is stopping me from moving forward at the moment. How can I fix this?

    Also I've had several jobs over the years. I've done background checks and been fingerprinted for some of these jobs and this issue never came up.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mario5891 View Post
    No prior criminal history before the arrest and no criminal history after the arrest. This happened at 15 years old....now 34 and was told by an investigator that joyriding charge shows as a class 1 felony and police don't hire felons. The investigator said the report don't show any details because it wasn't required back in 2001.

    Has anyone ever heard of someone getting a felony just for
    joyriding??

    I was not driving the car, I was in the back seat (the driver and another passenger didn't' get caught)...didn't have any weapons or drugs on me. Went to court and the case was thrown out. Never spent time behind bars...no probation....no supervision...nothing.
    but this issue is stopping me from moving forward at the moment. How can I fix this?

    Also I've had several jobs over the years. I've done background checks and been fingerprinted for some of these jobs and this issue never came up.
    In my state we don't hire convicted felons either, but based solely on what you describe, you weren't convicted either. Even if you were convicted (again in my state) juvenile convictions are not considered to be criminal and don't count unless you are tried and convicted as an adult.

    However, the circumstances surrounding an incident do count, whether there was an conviction or not. A lot can depend on what is in the arrest report, what other participants, witnesses, victims, the arresting officer, etc., say took place.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      I guess it depends on the department. Just for a little food for thought.. my friend was arrested for having marijuana on him. It was a misdemeanor and spent a few hours behind a cell. He was hired by CPD last year.

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      • #4
        If this was in Illinois, even being charged with the felony (possession of a stolen motor vehicle) is not a Class 1 felony. Being a passenger may have got you charged with a Criminal Trespass to MV (Class A misd). Find out what you were charged with and the exact disposition of the case.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the information everyone. This happened in Chicago. I'm in the process of getting a copy of my arrest record and criminal history report. Hopefully that will give more details. I'll send an update once I get more information.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ChiTownDet View Post
            If this was in Illinois, even being charged with the felony (possession of a stolen motor vehicle) is not a Class 1 felony. Being a passenger may have got you charged with a Criminal Trespass to MV (Class A misd). Find out what you were charged with and the exact disposition of the case.
            What he said^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mario5891 View Post
              Thanks for the information everyone. This happened in Chicago. I'm in the process of getting a copy of my arrest record and criminal history report. Hopefully that will give more details. I'll send an update once I get more information.
              If this happened when you were 15, there is a chance that it would not be on your criminal history report. So depending on the department, if you were never adjudicated on it, there is a chance (depending on cirumstances) that the report was destroyed long ago. However, as someone who does background investigations. I would tell you that absent some huge good deed in life, there are not many of us who think you are favorable for hiring. It depends on the circumstances of the incident. But good luck to you.

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              • #8
                In many states a juvenile record will be sealed when the individual reaches the age of majority (generally 18), so that record should not be readily available to anyone. Of course, there are exceptions for exceptionally heinous offenses, etc.

                From what the OP describes he was neither charged, tried, or convicted of any offense. All that may exist is a record of detention after being found as a passenger in a stolen vehicle. Perhaps a blip on the radar for the background investigator, but certainly not a disqualifying incident for a LE applicant.

                Quite a few years have passed. All I can recommend is to be completely truthful and forthcoming in every step of the hiring process. No one is perfect, most of us have histories that are blemished in some way. Keep in mind that when applying you are competing against everyone else in the hiring pool, so those without such an incident on their records may well be selected ahead of you.

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