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Should I provide court records to BI?

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  • Should I provide court records to BI?

    I'm currently working on getting a position with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). I'm not anywhere near the background check stage with either of my applications (I'm trying for two positions), but I'm preparing ahead of time as much as I am able to.

    I'm not terribly worried about most aspects of the background check, since I've never done any kind of recreational drug (I've never even been drunk), I've only had one speeding ticket in my entire life, I've got decent credit (a chunk of schooling debt I'm working on paying off, but I've never missed/been late for a payment) and have never been fired from a job. However, there is one thing that has me concerned.

    When I was 17 or 18 (I honestly can't remember which), I was cited for shoplifting with a friend (misdemeanor). I could give the usual explanations ("I was young," "I was stupid," "I wasn't thinking," "it was a one-time thing," etc), but the reality is that there is no excuse. I regret doing the actual deed, but I don't regret getting caught - in fact, I'm glad that the store staff caught me and called the police! It helped me realize how uncomfortable I'd been with the whole thing all along, and how idiotic it really was. I believe the common term is "scared straight," but it was really more like "recognized my own stupidity."

    Anyway, I went and had my day in court, and rather than having me plead (guilty or not guilty), the judge offered me a "diversion" due to my age and my lack of previous offenses. There was no conviction. I was told that if I did some community service and paid a fine, the incident would be "removed from my records." I agreed.

    Now, I know that things aren't actually "removed from records." It's always possible to find things out. And even if it had somehow been miraculously expunged, I would still tell the BI about it - I would not consider hiding something like that. My question is this: I am going to the courthouse to request a copy of the records relating to this case (I have the case number, it wasn't hard to find) to refresh my own memory and make sure I have all my facts straight (like my age at the time of the citation). Would it be appropriate to provide the BI with a copy, or should I simply disclose the incident and leave it to the BI to look into it further? I don't want to overstep any bounds by doing something that's inappropriate, but I also know that the BI will have a LOT of investigations on his or her desk, and if I can make that a bit easier, I would like to.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you might be able to offer me.
    ICE 1811
    Written Test Taken: 07/31/2009
    NOR: 08/10/2009 - Passed 87
    Submitted DOCs: 08/19/2009
    Second NOR: 02/10/2010 - Rated 89.6
    Personal Interview: 08/04/2010
    Structured Interview: ?
    Referral for Selection: ?
    Medical/Background: ?

    ICE IEA - Seattle Field Office
    Applied: 5/11/2009
    Written Test Taken: 06/05/2009
    NOR: 06/22/2009 - Passed 98
    TO: 10/08/2009 - Paperwork Submitted 10/19/2009
    Medical/Physical: 11/13/2009
    Drug: 11/05/2009
    Oral: 12/02/2009
    BI: ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by LBKing View Post
    I'm currently working on getting a position with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). I'm not anywhere near the background check stage with either of my applications (I'm trying for two positions), but I'm preparing ahead of time as much as I am able to.

    I'm not terribly worried about most aspects of the background check, since I've never done any kind of recreational drug (I've never even been drunk), I've only had one speeding ticket in my entire life, I've got decent credit (a chunk of schooling debt I'm working on paying off, but I've never missed/been late for a payment) and have never been fired from a job. However, there is one thing that has me concerned.

    When I was 17 or 18 (I honestly can't remember which), I was cited for shoplifting with a friend (misdemeanor). I could give the usual explanations ("I was young," "I was stupid," "I wasn't thinking," "it was a one-time thing," etc), but the reality is that there is no excuse. I regret doing the actual deed, but I don't regret getting caught - in fact, I'm glad that the store staff caught me and called the police! It helped me realize how uncomfortable I'd been with the whole thing all along, and how idiotic it really was. I believe the common term is "scared straight," but it was really more like "recognized my own stupidity."

    Anyway, I went and had my day in court, and rather than having me plead (guilty or not guilty), the judge offered me a "diversion" due to my age and my lack of previous offenses. There was no conviction. I was told that if I did some community service and paid a fine, the incident would be "removed from my records." I agreed.

    Now, I know that things aren't actually "removed from records." It's always possible to find things out. And even if it had somehow been miraculously expunged, I would still tell the BI about it - I would not consider hiding something like that. My question is this: I am going to the courthouse to request a copy of the records relating to this case (I have the case number, it wasn't hard to find) to refresh my own memory and make sure I have all my facts straight (like my age at the time of the citation). Would it be appropriate to provide the BI with a copy, or should I simply disclose the incident and leave it to the BI to look into it further? I don't want to overstep any bounds by doing something that's inappropriate, but I also know that the BI will have a LOT of investigations on his or her desk, and if I can make that a bit easier, I would like to.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you might be able to offer me.
    It would probably be sufficient to list the arrest/adjudication on your Personal History Statement. The Background Investigator will do the rest. Just an additional note. In Law Enforcement Background Investigations, there's really no such thing as an expungement. So, your idea of listing all is a good one. You could pull the court records if you wanted to, and have them available if needed. My sense is( and I've been wrong that providing the records won't be neccessary. Good luck in your efforts.

    Comment


    • #3
      I had a class c misdemeanor back in 91. I sent copies of all court records along with 5 yr driving record with proof of payment on any citations I had received along with my background packet, plus a copy of all military records. I don't really know if it helped, I'm sure the BI did all the leg work just the same. I just wanted everything out in the open.
      My start date is Oct 26.
      Last edited by parjr; 10-06-2009, 06:24 AM.
      Roach

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you both very much for your answers, they've been a great help. I think I will get copies of the court records and have them on hand and ready to give to the BI if s/he wants them.
        ICE 1811
        Written Test Taken: 07/31/2009
        NOR: 08/10/2009 - Passed 87
        Submitted DOCs: 08/19/2009
        Second NOR: 02/10/2010 - Rated 89.6
        Personal Interview: 08/04/2010
        Structured Interview: ?
        Referral for Selection: ?
        Medical/Background: ?

        ICE IEA - Seattle Field Office
        Applied: 5/11/2009
        Written Test Taken: 06/05/2009
        NOR: 06/22/2009 - Passed 98
        TO: 10/08/2009 - Paperwork Submitted 10/19/2009
        Medical/Physical: 11/13/2009
        Drug: 11/05/2009
        Oral: 12/02/2009
        BI: ?

        Comment

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