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I have a silly suspension of my driver's license on my full driving record for failure to pay a speeding ticket (I just forgot). I paid the ticket and was able to reissue my license. On my full driving record, it is still there though.

When I apply for jobs there is always a question to the effect of "have you ever committed a crime" or something like that... What do I put there? Currently, I've just been explaining it in the notes section of that answer but I'd prefer to not have to put anything. When an application form asks about committing crimes, do they mean stuff like that too? Should I list something as criminal if I am unsure if it is a criminal offense?

Let's assume the jobs I'm applying for are none-traffic related (that is driving is not my primary role).

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    This is not a legal question this is a question of how to fill out the application. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Oct 6 '14 at 18:27
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    In my opinion this is not a legal question... In the event an individual is uncertain if their behavior was considered "criminal" how should they fill out their application is a perfectly acceptable question. – RualStorge Oct 6 '14 at 21:04
  • You might consider adjusting your question to not tell the specifics of the legal issue and simply say something like. "I am uncertain a past situation qualifies as a crime." Then continue your question per normal. That might help people understand you're not asking legal advice but rather what you should be doing to your application. I think most people are getting caught up on your first paragraph. – RualStorge Oct 7 '14 at 19:42
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    I don't see this as a question seeking legal advice... I understand the question as: when an application asks about criminal behavior, what level of criminal behavior are they look for? I'd generally assume (if not explicitly stated) that they're looking for Felonies. That said, and not being a legal professional, my best estimate for the United States is that the speeding ticket was a misdemeanor and the suspension was purely administrative (i.e., not a direct result of any offense). – bdimag Oct 7 '14 at 21:42
  • How long ago was this? Such things generally "expire" after a number of years. – Mawg Feb 20 at 8:40
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Legal stuff

First, we don't cover legal stuff here, you should consult a lawyer or request your criminal record to see if you committed a crime. (likely if there is no record, no crime was committed in the official sense)

Filling out the application

For the sake of the question, let's assume you (the OP) got in trouble, your license was suspended, then later reinstated. You also have not been able to verify whether or not you committed a crime.

On your application, this can easily make or break your chances of getting a job...

If you claim no crime but there is one on your record and they do a back ground check, it's almost certain your application is going straight into the trash can.

If you claim no crime and either you have a clean record legally or no check is made, you proceed through the application process as normal.

If you claim a crime but do not have one, you are adding a factor against you. This won't likely disqualify you, but might put you at a disadvantage against other applicants.

What should you do?

First, you really need to know where you stand legally. Was this an infraction? If so, you're good to go; no criminal record! Or was this a misdemeanor? If so, you should continue noting it on applications. Many applications specifically state "excluding minor traffic violations" or similar. If so, you don't need to note your situation.

Second, I would continue to note it on your applications until you are able to confirm whether or not you committed a crime. Otherwise, there is a risk you could get put on "do not hire" lists for saying you aren't a criminal then having a background check flag you as one.

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First, I am not a lawyer, so this does NOT constitute legal advice.

With that being understood, in the U.S., you have often heard the phrase "A driver's license is a privilege, not a right." A suspension of that privilege is not a criminal conviction. If it were, you would have a right to a jury trial before such a conviction could be applied to you. You will notice your license was suspended without a trial.

To me, that clearly indicates that this is not a conviction, but rather a suspension of a privilege. Therefore, you have not been convicted of a crime.

Were I in your situation, this is the position I would take, and I believe it to be an entirely reasonable one.

  • Typically when driving violations shift from infractions (not crime) to worse (misdemeanor or felony) an arrest is made and the person is well aware they're in REAL trouble. (In otherwords unless the OP was taken to the police dept in cuffs, he's probably fine.) In regards to the trial by jury... You would NOT normally get a jury for this sort of case. Basically you have a straight forward case you had to pay a ticket, you chose not to. This would likely only escalate to involving a jury if the OP had evidence he paid, and the system had evidence he didn't and they fought it out. – RualStorge Oct 13 '14 at 14:29
  • @RualStorge - You are missing my point, and trying to reiterate what I have already said. – Wesley Long Oct 13 '14 at 15:21
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    @RualStorge The arrest is not necessary. For minor crimes, the perp might be informed through the mail of a court date. If the perp shows up, the perp might plead guilty, and therefore have a criminal record with no arrest, no jail (the judge might just impose a fine), no direct contact with the police, and no handcuffs. – David Thornley Feb 19 at 18:17
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You can always asks for a copy of your legal records ahead of time (in the US, that's usually available at the county courthouse). If the driving offense is not mentioned, then it wasn't a crime and you don't need to mention it. Note that in many places a drunk-driving offense is a crime, and even more so if there was an accident, and definitely if the accident injured someone..

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