C4 Felony Withheld Judgement - SF85

Hello all;

I am posting this on behalf of my wife who recently got a job on an Air Force base working at the CDC / Youth Center and as part of her paperwork has to submit to an SF85 / background investigation and all that comes along with it. Unfortunately, she’s had a hiccup in the past and we are pulling our hair out wondering if its going to kill her hopes of this job. A little backstory:

During high school my wife needed surgery on her hand; as such, they gave her Vicodin for the pain. During the course of her treatment, she had brought the pills to school with her to help with the pain; unfortunately, she was ‘caught’ with them (although she had a legal unexpired prescription, it is against the law to carry narcotics in a school) and was subsequently arrested and initially charged with a Class 1 Felony… I don’t recall the exact charge, but it was something along the lines of carrying a certain amount of a controlled substance of a certain class.

Wifey spoke with a lawyer and when she went to court she agreed to a plea deal to have the charge reduced down to a Class 4 Felony (Carrying narcotics in a school zone). The court entered a Withheld Judgement and gave her a year of probation, along with drug tests, community service, etc. as this was her first ever run-in with the law. She completed the year with no problems, and as far as we know, the charge was dismissed and later sealed (as it happened when she was 17).

Fast forward to today (approx. 7 years later) and I’m fairly certain the SF85 will show this charge, esp. as she will be working with children. Her lawyer has advised her that having the charge dismissed and seal gives her the right to deny ever being charged; however, due to the position with the government we feel obligated to admit to the charge (there is a form asking for any drug / alcohol charges and the disposition). We are hopeful she can enter the disposition as dismissed and sealed, but we are unsure if this will disqualify her for this job. Anyone with some information?

My wife has an otherwise perfect record (never received so much as detention before, or after, this event) and many references within the local community as well as previous employers to speak to her character. Upon reading DoD guidelines I have found that a felony conviction will disqualify her from working with children, but I am unsure since this case was dismissed and sealed (and subsequently she was never convicted). Is there any recourse for this, and what are her chances of being able to work here once this background investigation goes through?

Thanks in advance-

The SF-85 does not ask for criminal charges, and only asks about illegal drug use in the past year, so there is no issue there. This form is used for low risk positions, however, childcare positions have other requirements and without knowing what the other specific forms state, depending on the wording of the questions, she may or may not be required to disclose an expunged record or dismissed charge.