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  1. #1
    Jmcgowa3 is offline Junior Member Jmcgowa3 is on a distinguished road
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    Does a misdomeanor drug charge disqualify you from becoming a police officer?

    About 2 years ago I was arrested for possession of marijuana in New Jersey (age 18 then). I was on probation and I am off now. The judge said I was on differed disposition. Also he said by being on differed disposition that it would be expunged after I was done with probation. I wanted to know if this will effect me from becoming a police officer. I am in college working towards a bachelors degree in criminology. I don't use anymore and never really did in the first place. I just experimented with it and got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also I don't actually know if it was expunged or not, how can i figured if it is off my record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmcgowa3 View Post
    About 2 years ago I was arrested for possession of marijuana in New Jersey (age 18 then). I was on probation and I am off now. The judge said I was on differed disposition. Also he said by being on differed disposition that it would be expunged after I was done with probation. I wanted to know if this will effect me from becoming a police officer. I am in college working towards a bachelors degree in criminology. I don't use anymore and never really did in the first place. I just experimented with it and got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also I don't actually know if it was expunged or not, how can i figured if it is off my record.
    Just explain that to the hiring board and you'll be golden, no worries.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmcgowa3 View Post
    About 2 years ago I was arrested for possession of marijuana in New Jersey (age 18) ...... I don't use anymore and never really did in the first place. I just experimented with it and got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time........
    That whole comment is known as minimizing, and the contradiction in the "use" sentence would be viewed as deceptive.

    Law Enforcement looks for people with good judgement, who obey the law, and associate with quality friends. If you quit drugs without/before getting arrested, you would have a better chance. You were an adult. If you were arrested for a felony, reduced to a misdemeanor for a plea bargain, your chances become slimmer and dimmer.

    The ordinary drug user or addict will commit several felonies a day just to get high and re-supply. They buy some dope and pass along part to a friend - that is "felony delivery of a controlled substance". Giving a friend a ride to get more or sell some dope makes the driver a part (accomplice) of "facilitating felony drug crime" for providing the wheels and just waiting in the car. Allowing other people ot use drugs in your home is "maintaining a drug house"). If you possessed drugs on "school property" that is another felony crime. A felony that was never discovered is still a felony.

    Law enforcement looks at what the person was arrested for. The court outcome is court business beyond our scope. Contact the police agency you are interested with and ask for the "adminstrative standards" for acceptance for employment. Certain background history issues are listed in the "adminstrative standards" as absolute disqualifiers. In today's tight job market, you have a huge disadvantage with a drug arrest, compared to other applicants who do not.

    I would suggest you apply for an internship at a police department as part of your criminal justice degree program. If you pass the background to be allowed in as an intern, that is a good sign. If you are rejected, you have an answer.

    The best of intentions do not get as much traction as deeds and factual events. Accumulate some 'clean' years, and look at this again. I hope you have rejected your "friends" that were drug friends.

    I wish you the best for the future. Some doors may be closed for any number of reasons. Slightly bad vision is one reason why I never became an Astronaut. Remain flexible, be honest with others and yourself, and move on. At age 20 you have a whole world to explore, and you do have something to contribute, just that you may not yet know what that contribution will be. Take care.
    Last edited by sgtbear111; 02-17-10 at 11:19 PM. Reason: "use"
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  4. #4
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    You're asking about three different things here...

    In the title, you asked 'will it disqualify you', the answer is probably not.

    Then you asked 'will it affect me from becoming a police officer' and that answer is yes - the affect it will have is to make it harder for you compared to other candidates.

    Then you ask about expungement, and I don't know about NJ, but in Virginia, what you describe would typically be a dismissal, not an expungement. For something to be expunged is not a simple process as what you are describing.
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