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jenek84
01-12-09, 09:41 AM
I'm applying to be a police officer in New Jersey and on the form it asks, "Have you ever been convicted or charged with a crime?"

I didn't know if a summary offense was a crime or not and New Jersey does not use the term "summary offense", it just calls is a "citation". Pennsylvania was the state I got it in.

I asked someone at the department what they consider a "crime" because I know that some departments do not count citations as "crimes". They said that if something shows up on a criminal background check, then it is considered a crime.

Not really clear on that. So would a summary offense (aka non traffic citations) show up on a criminal background check?

If not, should I mention it anyway?


Citicop
01-12-09, 09:45 AM
If it's not serious enough to arrest you for, it will probably not be a dealbreaker with the department you are applying at.

Would you rather they find out from you, or some other way? Why would you risk having to explain why you failed to mention it?

You can't be 'too honest' on a police job application.

-Citicop.

phantasm
01-12-09, 10:17 AM
In NY crime = misd or felony, BUT some things that are summonsable are still misdemeanors (non penal law misdemeanors).

If there is a section for tickets, then list it under there, if there isn't, then maybe you should list it as a summary arrest, especially if there's space to elaborate.


jenek84
01-12-09, 01:39 PM
OK, I called the court of common pleas in the county that I recieved the offense in (which I should've done in the first place; sorry to bother you guys) and the rep I got on the phone first asked me if I was incarcerated, and of course no I wasn't.

She said that as long as no time was served, then the record only stays with the agency of the officer that gave it to me. I was not arrested or fingerprinted.

I asked her about my police application and she said (I quote), "If it is asking if you committed a crime then put 'no' because summary offenses that are not punishable by incarceration are not considered crimes. If it asks you to list any problems with the police or any citations then I recommend you do that, otherwise, there's no point in saying 'yes' to something that is really a 'no'."

So that's what I'll do. It doesn't ask for citations or if I had any problems with the police, but I think I'll answer "no" and if it comes to the point where I have to mention it, then I will.

Drew27k9
01-12-09, 01:51 PM
Well it depends on what the summary citation was issued for. There are several things in Pa. that are listed as summary violations, like Underage Drinking, Disorderly Conduct, ect.

I think if it was me, I would put the reason you were cited on the application.

jenek84
01-12-09, 02:39 PM
Well it depends on what the summary citation was issued for. There are several things in Pa. that are listed as summary violations, like Underage Drinking, Disorderly Conduct, ect.

I think if it was me, I would put the reason you were cited on the application.


The citation was for harrassment. Somebody punched me and I pushed them off me. The cop who responded said that I didn't have to puch him back so he arrested the other guy for assaulting me, but gave me a citation.

I don't know why he did that, I should've gotten off on self-defense. But in any case, I pleaded guilty to it (instead of fighting it in court like I should have had) and now I'm worried about it being on my record, that is all.

mcsap
01-12-09, 04:32 PM
The citation was for harrassment. Somebody punched me and I pushed them off me. The cop who responded said that I didn't have to puch him back so he arrested the other guy for assaulting me, but gave me a citation.

I don't know why he did that, I should've gotten off on self-defense. But in any case, I pleaded guilty to it (instead of fighting it in court like I should have had) and now I'm worried about it being on my record, that is all.

Summary Harassment is a Criminal Offense and yes, in PA , you were arrested. Getting arrested does not mean you were cuffed and hauled away. The highest penalty for Harassment ( or any non-traffic summary offense is a $300 fine AND / OR up to 90 days in jail. Some repeat offenses can go up to $600 and 180 days.

So incarceration or lack thereof does not mean you have a clean slate. And Harassment can also be considered a domestic offense.

Yes it is true that the record of the arrest only stays within the department where it occurred but are you willing to lie ( now that you know it is a criminal arrest in PA ) on your application?

Look, it was a Summary Cite for Harassment ( for fighting). It is not a deal breaker in Law Enforcement. Tell what you did and it will be barely glanced at. Lie about it and you will always wonder when it will finally catch up to you and leave you unemployed.

jenek84
01-12-09, 05:31 PM
Summary Harassment is a Criminal Offense and yes, in PA , you were arrested. Getting arrested does not mean you were cuffed and hauled away. The highest penalty for Harassment ( or any non-traffic summary offense is a $300 fine AND / OR up to 90 days in jail. Some repeat offenses can go up to $600 and 180 days.

So incarceration or lack thereof does not mean you have a clean slate. And Harassment can also be considered a domestic offense.

Yes it is true that the record of the arrest only stays within the department where it occurred but are you willing to lie ( now that you know it is a criminal arrest in PA ) on your application?

Look, it was a Summary Cite for Harassment ( for fighting). It is not a deal breaker in Law Enforcement. Tell what you did and it will be barely glanced at. Lie about it and you will always wonder when it will finally catch up to you and leave you unemployed.

The officer that gave it to me mailed it to me afterwards and called me on the phone about it also. He said it's not an arrest and it is equivelent to if he fined me for something such as littering. I also was not fingerprinted or taken into custody, the OTHER person was.

When I payed my fine I asked the clerk if it would hinder me from possessing a firearm (police need to carry firearms). She said no, it's not a misdemeanor or felony and it carries the same weight as a parking ticket (which was equivelent to what the officer told me). I happen to know domestic violence prohibits anyone from possessing a firearm. It also had nothing to do with anyone in my household so it doesn't come close to domestic violence.

I mean no disrespect here mcsap, but I think you're confusing it with something else.

Roger Dat
01-12-09, 06:38 PM
I seriously DOUBT that mcsap got it wrong he is an LEO in Pennsylvania. How is it that YOU who DIDNT know what the charge was, came here asking what it was, are now in a position to tell MCSAP you think he is WRONG????

mcsap
01-12-09, 07:03 PM
I have been a Police Officer in PA since 1986.

In PA, we have what is known as PA Title 18. AKA The Crimes Code. EVERYTHING in that section is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE. This includes, summary, Misdemenaor and Felony offenses.

Section 2709 , Harassment and Stalking at the level of what you were charged with was a Summary Offense. The maximum penalty for a summary Criminal Offense in PA is a $300 fine and or up to 90 days in jail.

You do not get fingerprinted and photographed for a summary criminal offense here except for Retail Theft.

PA Vehicle Code ( Title 75) is full of mainly summary traffic offenses that are punishable by only a fine. ( a few have jail time as a possibility , some it is mandatory )

So you were arrested for a Summary Criminal Offense of Harassment. If someone were to call the PD that charged you and asked ...was jene84 ever arrested ? The answer is YES.

Underage Alcohol, Littering , Disorderly Conduct are all examples of Summary Criminal offenses in PA. They all involve a NON-traffic citation and an ARREST sheet. Yes I said ARREST sheet.

Some states call them infractions but we consider them arrests.

Feel free to disregard my advice but because you only pay a fine , didn't get fingerprinted or photographed etc, does not mean you weren't arrested.

I can and have put people in jail for Harassment and they never got fingerprinted or phtographed.

Even our local ordinances are considered a criminal arrest. They too go on a NON-traffic citation.

Just because a person isn't fingerprinted or photographed does not mean they weren't arrested. It just means that the record of said ARREST does not go into the nationwide/statewide criminal database.

If you want to take the advice of a clerk in the courthouse over mine...

jenek84
01-12-09, 07:05 PM
I seriously DOUBT that mcsap got it wrong he is an LEO in Pennsylvania. How is it that YOU who DIDNT know what the charge was, came here asking what it was, are now in a position to tell MCSAP you think he is WRONG????

I'm not asking what it was. I know what it is. It's a citation. Mcsap had said that it was an arrest. The officer said it wasn't. I'm only questioning what mcsap had said, because everything he said about it was contradictory to what the officer said it was. Only reason.

My question has nothing to do with what it was, I'm going by what the responding officer said about it. He is afterall the one who gave it to me. I'm also going by what the representative I talked to about it (I called the district office) said about it, that it is not a criminal offense, and not a crime.

The question I have is if it would show up on a criminal background search and if I should list it on my application.

I'm not undermining mcsap's credentials here. I'm simply saying that what mcsap told me and what the officer/district office told me about it, are 2 different things.

Roger Dat
01-12-09, 07:12 PM
You didnt say that, you said he MUST HAVE IT CONFUSED WITH SOMETHING ELSE. Maybe what you meant to say was that this new information is contradictory to what the other officer told you so its confusing for you.

Bottom line is disclose it on the packet and if they think its an issue they will investiagte it. If its not an issue they will brush over it.

jenek84
01-12-09, 07:14 PM
I have been a Police Officer in PA since 1986.

In PA, we have what is known as PA Title 18. AKA The Crimes Code. EVERYTHING in that section is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE. This includes, summary, Misdemenaor and Felony offenses.

Section 2709 , Harassment and Stalking at the level of what you were charged with was a Summary Offense. The maximum penalty for a summary Criminal Offense in PA is a $300 fine and or up to 90 days in jail.

You do not get fingerprinted and photographed for a summary criminal offense here except for Retail Theft.

PA Vehicle Code ( Title 75) is full of mainly summary traffic offenses that are punishable by only a fine. ( a few have jail time as a possibility , some it is mandatory )

So you were arrested for a Summary Criminal Offense of Harassment. If someone were to call the PD that charged you and asked ...was jene84 ever arrested ? The answer is YES.

Underage Alcohol, Littering , Disorderly Conduct are all examples of Summary Criminal offenses in PA. They all involve a NON-traffic citation and an ARREST sheet. Yes I said ARREST sheet.

Some states call them infractions but we consider them arrests.

Feel free to disregard my advice but because you only pay a fine , didn't get fingerprinted or photographed etc, does not mean you weren't arrested.

I can and have put people in jail for Harassment and they never got fingerprinted or phtographed.

Even our local ordinances are considered a criminal arrest. They too go on a NON-traffic citation.

Just because a person isn't fingerprinted or photographed does not mean they weren't arrested. It just means that the record of said ARREST does not go into the nationwide/statewide criminal database.

If you want to take the advice of a clerk in the courthouse over mine...

The clerk at the district office specifically said, "It's not a crime." Niether did the officer that was there confirm that it was a crime. He said the same, "Offense, not crime."

Your advice has been taken. I'm merely telling you what the officer and clerk said. Your telling me that it is for sure an arrest and crime, whereas they told me for sure that it is not.

So really, I dunno what to believe. I'm going to put it on my application and give all information and point them in the direction to get more information if they want, and if they then turn me down, then oh well, life goes on.

Roger Dat
01-12-09, 08:15 PM
Why did you ask if you already knew the answer :rolleyes:

jenek84
01-12-09, 08:46 PM
Why did you ask if you already knew the answer :rolleyes:

It's not that I knew the answer, I was just hoping that I could know if it would come up or not, so I know I would be prepared for it.

But it's ok now, I'm just going to put it on the application and give them the number to the police agency and we'll see what happens. I'll drop off my application tomorrow.

What I do know is that the only automatic DQ with this department is if you have a felony, so I might stand a chance, but then again, I dunno. I guess I'll just see what happens.

mcsap
01-12-09, 10:08 PM
OK...you tell me the diference between an " offense " and a crime ?

Harassment is a crime. It's in the PA Crimes Code. Not the PA Offense Code. The offense ( violation) that you were charged with is the crime of harassment.

jenek84
01-13-09, 12:29 AM
OK...you tell me the diference between an " offense " and a crime ?

Harassment is a crime. It's in the PA Crimes Code. Not the PA Offense Code. The offense ( violation) that you were charged with is the crime of harassment.

I don't know what the difference is. That's what he said, and he also specifically said that it is not an arrest. If you are sure that you are telling me complete facts here, then that would mean that he was not when he told me that.

It doesn't matter, I'm putting it on the application and all necessary information that they ask for. I'm dropping the application off tomorrow. The department's only type of crime that is an automatic disqualifyer is a felony or midemeanor domestic violence.

This is niether felony nor any misdemeanor, so I might have a chance. I'll see what happens.

dinarguy
01-13-09, 03:49 AM
OK...you tell me the diference between an " offense " and a crime ?

Harassment is a crime. It's in the PA Crimes Code. Not the PA Offense Code. The offense ( violation) that you were charged with is the crime of harassment.


There is no difference. An offense is a "violation or breaking of a rule". A crime is the same thing. Same difference, if you will :D

Mcsap has given you the best possible answers, because as you heard he is an OFFICER IN PA.

mcsap
01-13-09, 03:41 PM
We had a bank robbery the other day. They guy was located and charged with the offense of Robbery :rolleyes:

dinarguy
01-14-09, 03:27 AM
We had a bank robbery the other day. They guy was located and charged with the offense of Robbery :rolleyes:

I bet you were the lucky guy to catch the suspect?? ;)

jenek84
01-17-09, 11:50 PM
OK, guys. They called me up on the phone this morning because they had a question about my application and sure enough, it was about the citation. Yes I was completely honest about it and told everything.

They said that it didn't come up on the background check, but did come up in the police records search. It's not a felony or domestic violence, but it does show a tendency towards violence, so they said it's going to be under serious review.

They are going to interview ALL my references about it and ask about my anger management, pretty much is what they said. Either one of 2 things will happen; (1) They determine that I am a hothead and I am violent; or (2) they're willing to let it go if they think I learned my lesson from the fine.

They said that if I am disqualified, then I could re-apply in a few years. They said that the longer I wait to re apply (if I get disqualified here) then the more I can show them that it was a one time thing and I'm not prone to violence.

A copy of the record that the police had, had this in the corner;

[13]

[ON VIEW ARREST]
[CITATION / SUMMONS]

[CITATION / SUMMONS] is checked and the officer confirmed that it is NOT an arrest, and it is not a felony, and like all non-felony crimes, it will be under review before a final decision is made instead of automatic disqualification. The officer was kind enough to write down the offense defined.

So that's what this department says, I don't know if I lucked out in this or not, but they're giving me a chance here.

Thank you everyone for being helpful to me.

mcsap
01-18-09, 12:17 AM
Unless it was a Retail Theft or part of multiple other Misd/Felony Charges.... a Summary doesn't show on an NCIC based criminal check.


But you are living proof that had you lied , they WOULD have found it and you would have been automatically been DQ'd. Never to be allowed to reapply.

Regardless of what the officer wrote, the max penalty for a Summary Criminal Offense is $300 and or up to 90 days in jail. So if a person had done 90 days in jail , would that then convince you that there is some sort of " criminal arrest " to this type of charge ??

Diversity
03-17-10, 04:32 PM
EDIT: This thread has been dead for over a year. Do not dig up old threads that have long discontinued discussion. -Mods