Criminal Defense Questions: Job Applications Post-Diversion

Question: If I completed the Diversion Program for leaving the scene of an accident, do I still have to check the Criminal Felony box when applying for a job?

Amir’s Answer: Leaving the Scene of an Accident (LSOA) with injuries is a 3rd degree felony (See Florida Statute 316.027), whereas Leaving the Scene of an Accident where only property damage occurs is a 2nd degree misdemeanor (Florida Statue 316.061). You would be hard pressed to get diversion in the jurisdictions that I practice in with a felony LSOA charge. That being said, diversion does not delete your record, it merely closes out the charges.

If you have successfully completed a diversion agreement, the State will either dismiss the charges if they were formally filed (called a Nolle Prosequi) or they will agree not to file formal charges as to that case (known as a No Information or Notice of Non Filling or No Bill, depending on the jurisdiction). The fact that the case was addressed via a diversion program does not mean that it was deleted from your record.

Additionally, the specific language contained on the job application will govern your reply. If, for example, it asks whether you have ever been arrested for a felony, and you had in fact been arrested for a felony LSOA, the answer is yes. If, on the other hand, you were issued a citation, then the answer is of course no. If the question is whether you have ever been charged with a felony, then again, the answer would likely be yes where a citation was issued to you for LSOA with injury, whereas it would be no if the offense did not involve an injury.

As you can see, the answer is dependent on facts that are unclear from your question. In order to avoid any further issues or complications, I would recommend hiring an criminal defense attorney to have the case expunged from your record.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.
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