Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Employment application ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Employment application
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: juco1014-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 05 Nov 2005 16:32 PST
Expires: 05 Dec 2005 16:32 PST
Question ID: 589568
In is pleading guilty to an ordinance the same thing as being convicted?
Ex: On an employment application do you have to answer yes to "Have
you ever been convicted?" when the only thing you've ever done is
plead guilty to a municipal ordinance?
Subject: Re: Employment application
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 06 Nov 2005 00:34 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear Juco, 

First of all, before I begin answering your question, please let me
refer you to the disclaimer at the bottom of the page: " Answers and
comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are
not intended to substitute for informed professional medical,
psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or
other professional advice."

If you feel that you might need professional legal advice, I urge you
to hire an advocate.

Someone guilty is someone found "responsible for the crime". This
could be someone whose guilt has been proven by the court, or someone
who's pled guilty. In other words, pleading guilty on a misdemeanor is
the same as being convicted.

This also applies to cases of Nolo Contendere ("a plea treated as a
guilty plea except that it is not an admission of guilt, but an
indication of readiness to accept conviction and sentence rather than
to go to trial. If the defendant were to plead guilty, at the time of
the plea he or she tells the court exactly what he or she did; it has
to fit the charge. By pleading nolo contendere, there is no such
requirement. If a civil action is pending, or may later be filed
against him or her, he or she can thus avoid incriminating testimony."
- SOURCE: Michigan Legal Institution, "HANDBOOK OF LEGAL TERMS",

You can find some information about the fact that pleading guilty is
the same as conviction in the following cases:

"By pleading guilty to the class A misdemeanors, Keyes and Slapnicka
were aware that they were being convicted of third offenses, or that
the prior convictions were being considered for enhancement. [...] "in
pleading guilty to a class A misdemeanor, Slapnicka was acknowledging
that this was his third conviction within a five-year period" Thus, in
Keyes and Slapnicka , the record clearly reflected that, at the time
of their guilty pleas, the defendants waived the alleged violation of
a constitutional right by using an uncounseled guilty plea for
enhancement purposes."
(SOURCE: North Dakota v. Donovan Jay Olson,

"For the purposes of this act, the term 'conviction' includes pleading
guilty or nolo contendere, being convicted or being found guilty of
any violation enumerated in this subsection without regard to whether
sentence was suspended or probation granted."
311, <>).

However, when it comes to answering truthfully the question on
employment forms, it might depend on the nature of the misdemeanor,
and on the wording of the question itself. Most forms, for example,
exclude minor traffic violations were alcohol was not involved.

See for example sample questions: 

"Have you ever been convicted of, pleaded guilty or no contest, or
paid a fine for any criminal offense? (This includes, but is not
limited to felonies, misdemeanors, DWI, hunting offense, domestic
violence, city or county ordinances. The only matters you should not
disclose are minor traffic violations that did not involve alcohol.)"
[...] "If yes, explain for each conviction or plea, nature of offense,
city, county, state of offense, date(s) of conviction, sentence and
type(s) of rehabilitation, if any. (Note: pleading guilty, "no
contest", or being convicted of an offense will not automatically
disqualify you from consideration.)" (SOURCE: Catawba Valley Medical
Center, "Application for Employment",

conviction does not automatically disqualify your application. What
you were convicted of and how recently will be evaluated in relation
to the position for which you are applying. Give all facts so that a
decision can be made. If your answer is "Yes", list all convictions
against you in a court of law to include criminal convictions. Traffic
violations within the last three years (other than parking), and/or
accidents for which you have been charged must be listed below. You
may omit: (1) Traffic violations for which you paid a fine of $30.00
or less: (2) any offense committed before your 18th birthday which was
finally adjudicated in a juvenile
court or under a youth offender law." (SOURCE: POlk County Clerk of
the Circuit Court, <>).

"NOTE: Conviction means you were found guilty by a judge, a jury, by
pleading 'no contest,' or by pleading guilty in court. A conviction
may have taken place even if you did not pay a fine or spend any time
in jail or prison. A conviction will not automatically disqualify you
from employment.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor (including,
but not limited to such offenses as DUI, battery, theft, writing
worthless checks, etc.)?" (SOURCE: Miller Brewing Company,

So I guess, that if the violation on which you've pled guilty is
littering, or taking the dog without a leash, your "conviction" would
be still insignificant in the job application process: It all depends
on the nature of the violation, the wording of the employment form,
and the nature of the job.

I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
clarification on this answer before you rate it. My search terms were:
 "Have you ever been convicted?" pleading guilty, pleading guilty
ordinance "being convicted", pleading guilty ordinance "being
convicted", pleading guilty ordinance "being convicted" "Have you ever
been convicted?"
juco1014-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Thank you for the effort you clearly put into this.

Subject: Re: Employment application
From: annefu-ga on 05 Nov 2005 20:04 PST
Just a thought - usually on employment applications the question is
specific to a felony charge, so it may not apply to you.
Subject: Re: Employment application
From: cynthia-ga on 05 Nov 2005 20:11 PST
I agree, this normally refers to felony convictions, not misdemeanors.
Subject: Re: Employment application
From: politicalguru-ga on 06 Nov 2005 07:13 PST

Thank you for the rating and the tip!

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy