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View Full Version : Misdemeanor vs. Citation,????

11-27-03, 04:22 AM
I need some clarification.....

Anyway, my past record consists of 2 cite and walks for underage drinking, and a cite for open container. I went down to the police station with the officer for the Under Ages to sign some things. Are these misdemeanors? Was I technically "arrested"? Some police depts. require no misdemeanors within 5 yrs, no arrests, etc.

I've never been clear on this.......I am hoping someone can fill me in. Thanks.

11-27-03, 04:54 AM
You did not say where you are from, but in California a cite could either be a misdemeanor or an infraction. If it was a misdemeanor you would have signed a "promise to appear" and had a mandatory court date. An infraction basically means you just have to pay a fine and its all over. Basic speeding tickets, fix it tickets, etc, are all infrations (cite and release), you can either fight them, or pay them and be through. DUI, DV, etc are often misdemeanors and you are either arrested and taken into custody, or sign a promise to appear and either way must go to court.

11-27-03, 05:44 AM
In PA , underage alcohol or open container offenses are Summary Criminal violations. We would issue or file a citation that looks like a traffic ticket but is called a non-traffic citation. It is considered a criminal arrest but we do not take fingerprints or photos. Summary offenses are handled by a district justice, max penalty is $500 and or 90 days.

For any Misdemeanor ( or felony) we take prints and photos which result in a permanent criminal history that will follow you nationwide. Unlike a non-traffic citation. A Misd of the 3rd degree can be pled at the district justice but a not guilty plea will get sent downtown to Common Pleas court for trial. Max penalty is $1,000 and or up to 1 year.

11-28-03, 06:05 PM
A citation here (NV) is a misdemeanor......there are exceptions for juveniles where we can actually cite for a gross misdemeanor and felonies.

There are some local parking ordinances that are treated as an infraction if cited under the city code only.

11-29-03, 04:51 AM
Thanks for the info, guys. I was cited in PA, and I did recieve non-traffic citations,like mcsap says. Even though I don't plan on hiding anything, but what is the difference between a nationwide criminal record and a county criminal record? If someone ran a background check on me,would they have to go to PA county records to find my cites? I have never been convicted of a real Misdemeanor or felony, so does that make my record technically clean, or a little less than clean?I know a BI will look everywhere anyway, and I have no real reason to lie for any job I apply to, but I have always been confused when the space for "List All Arrests and Misdemeanor Convictions" comes up. I wasn't sure if non-traffic citations,or summary offenses, fell into this category.

11-29-03, 10:37 AM
The difference between a summary cite and a misdemeanor is huge.

If you got a summary cite in town A, town B next door would have no record or be able to find out you were ever arrested unless they specifically called town B. With a misd charge, a simple criminal history checlk would reveal a misd or felony charge from ANYWHERE.

Side note. In PA there is a mandatory drivers license suspension for an underage alcohol offense. Even though the summary cite don't show on a criminal history, the fact that you were suspended will show on your driving record and it will say why.

11-29-03, 10:43 AM
Plus, a BI is going to check records in every single town you have ever lived in. So if you received the cite in a town you live in, that town will probably have a record of it. And, the BI is going to interview your family, your friends, and others. They will ask about any times you have been in any trouble. Combine that with the license suspension, and I think it is a safe bet that the BI will find it. So, you better be honest. If you aren't and they do find it, not only will they immediately DQ you for ommitting that, they will tell every other department that you apply to that you were DQ'd for being dishonest. Essentially, you will be blacklisted.

02-11-04, 11:06 AM
In NC is it the same deal? If you are not required to go to court is it considered an infraction? I got a underage possession of alcohol ticket 3 or 4 years ago. Now i am applying to grad school. Wondering if it is considered a criminal offense.