Legal Question in Criminal Law in Pennsylvania

Does a summary offense stay on your record?

I'm 21 and was caught giving alcohol to a minor. The police officer gave me a huge break and only gave me a disorderly conduct, a summary offense. It was one that creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition. My fine was only $50 when I pled guilty. My question is does this stay on your record and if so for how long? I want to work in the government and was wondering if this will hinder my chances.

Thank You.

Asked on 2/21/06, 1:06 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Barbara C. Johnson Law Office of Barbara C. Johnson

Re: Does a summary offense stay on your record?

It stays on your record forever. As a misdemeanor, however, it may be used against you for only five years.

Maybe you can get the record sealed...on the basis that your career will be harmed should it remain unsealed.

I haven't a clue as to what it will mean to a government recruiter.

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Answered on 2/21/06, 2:22 am

Re: Does a summary offense stay on your record?

A summary offense will stay on your record. Because it is not "crimen falsi", or a crime of falsehood, it can never be used against you in a subsequent court case unless you try to introduce character evidence (at least, this is the law in Pennsylvania). As to Pennsylvania and Federal government jobs, you will not be automatically exluded from hiring as a matter of law. Whether an agency might not hire you due to the summary conviction, I can't predict that.

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Answered on 2/21/06, 8:59 am
Marc V. Taiani AAAL - Allegheny Attorneys At Law

Re: Does a summary offense stay on your record?

Previous counsel must not have read your paragraph...but your summary offense will remain on your record, however, it is not a major reportable event. In other words, it should hurt your chances for receiving a government job, but it doesn't help either....if you had an attorney present you might have had all of the charges dropped, but in any event it isn't as bad as it could have of luck.


Marc V. Taiani, Esquire

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Answered on 2/21/06, 9:01 am

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