Legal Question in Criminal Law in Virginia

Board of Nursing application

In 1976 I was charged w/ intent to distribute MJ and manufacture of MJ-There were between 3 and 4 ounces of MJ in the dorm room and 1 spindly 6 '' plant. In a plea bargain, I was convicted under the 1st offenders statute of possession of MJ- meaning that after 1 yr good behavior the case would be dismissed.

In 1993, I had a rude awakening when a background check for a substitute teaching job said I was a liar when I answered no to the ''have you ever been convicted question''. I called the circuit court and subsequently received a signed order stating that the proceedings against me were dismissed.

I have now completed RN training and need to take the licensing exam. The question-''Have you ever been convicted, pled guilty... is there. If I answer yes I must have a certified copy of the judges order sent to the Board of Nursing. The circuit court only keeps records 10 years, the state police central records office says the inquiry will be answered by saying the charges were dismissed .

Do I answer Yes? What about subsequent job applications?

Asked on 8/10/07, 10:04 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: Board of Nursing application

If you actually received Virginia's version of what other jurisdictions commonly refer to as Probation Before Judgment(PBJ) and which the Commonwealth refers to as Suspended Imposition of Sentence(SIS), then you were never convicted of this particular offense and you're entitled to swear to that effect before any adninistrative tribunal, in any court of law, or on any application which requires such affirmation.

Conviction involves not merely a finding of guilt by the court but also requires that a sentence be imposed on the defendant. If such did not occur, then you were never convicted of that particular offense

and you can so swear as noted above.

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Answered on 8/10/07, 10:37 am

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