Foreign Drug Charge, Public Trust for IT

I am interviewing for a few positions in IT and am facing the real possibility that I will have to obtain a Public Trust for most of these positions. The problem is that my history is not so great. In the summer of 2012 I was charged with possession of cannabis in South Korea while working there. I left the country six months later and broke my probation so that I could return home.

I noticed that for a Public Trust you only have to list any incidences that occurred within the last seven years. It is really close to being exactly seven years. So, my questions are:

  1. Should I wait until the exact date of when I was charged seven years ago so that I can safely and legally omit this information?
  2. Should I list it no matter what?
  3. If I received an amazing offer before the seven years time frame has concluded, should I go ahead and put this on my record (is that really a terrible thing to have on your permanent record)?
  4. Again, if I received an offer I cannot refuse, what are the chances that I would still obtain a Public Trust with this kind of background?

Any and all information would be extremely helpful. Thank you.

You need to resolve your probation issue with S Korea. You are still subject to that charge because you never completed your sentence. This leaves you at risk when traveling and having the sentence over your head makes you a risk here in the US.

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I have had contact with them, and they said that it isn’t an issue any longer after five years, which has already passed. Should I wait until the seven years has passed and start applying after that, or should it be mentioned no matter what? And what are the chances that I can still pass if I list this background information?

What you should do is tell the truth. If it falls within 7 years, list it. If it doesn’t meet criteria then don’t list it. But don’t think just because it falls outside of the 7 years that you’re safe. They do run Interpol checks. I agree that you should try to tie up lose ends… maybe try to get it documented that you have no further obligation to serve your sentence.

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Here’s the problem with that interpretation . . . The OP hasn’t completed his sentence. Even if the charges were 20 years ago, the issue continues right through to today and will always fall within the 7 year period.

I think the probation ended after two years, in September of 2014. And for some reason in South Korea the charges are erased after five years, which would’ve happened in September 2017. But, @EdFarmerIII, you think, because I left and didn’t complete the probation sentencing, that I’ve never fully erased it and that it’s still an issue? I can see your side of it, but I think that after 9/2014 I should’ve been cleared, no?

Not being a South Korean lawyer (or a SK anything actually) I can’t see where they would purge the records on someone who didn’t complete their required sentence. But, 9/2014 is well less than seven year ago anyway.

The major problem that I see is that since you are asking about this and trying to find a way to defend not reporting it, you are at risk by not reporting it. You clearly are trying to hide something from the investigation that I believe (and you appear to believe) will be seen as derogatory information. Stop asking me to agree that you have “been cleared”. You walked out on your sentence just as if you had escaped from prison. I am certain that, had you told your probation officer that you wanted to return home, there would have been some way that they could have allowed you to do so. You didn’t follow the rules, you didn’t take responsibility and now, you potentially want to lie (even by omission) to protect yourself from the responsibility.

These are exactly the things that they are using to filter people out of the process.

OK that’s a great point, and I see where you’re coming from. I am trying to figure out the logistics of where the seven year mark begins and ends and how to handle reporting it (if within that time frame) or responsibly excluding it (it outside that time frame). Thanks for your feedback and point of view.

I recommend a lawyer dealing with cross border situations. I had a client recently who faced a gun charge in Canada 10 years ago. He had to go to an ATM to bond out of jail. He never went back to resolve or address the issue. I recommended he hire an attorney for the issue, he did, and the attorney resolved it and had paperwork dismissing the charges within 30 days. Best to address and get a legal solution.

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