OF-306 Form Question #9 Help

Filling out the OF-306 form it asks on question 9, “During the last 7 years, have you been convicted, been imprisoned, been on probation, or been on parole?”. I want to ensure I am answering it accurately. I was arrested and when I went to court for the charge the prosecutor offered a deal that if I completed a certain course that the charge would be dismissed. I completed the course and the charge was dismissed. Technically, I wasn’t on probation. Does being imprisoned mean being arrested? I never went to jail, however I was detained at the time of my arrest. My question is, should I disclose my arrest on the OF-306, even though I feel like it doesn’t really meet the requirements for the question. I plan to fully disclose on the SF 85P where it asks for arrests… I just think the wording is tricky on the OF-306. Any insight would be appreciated!


Convicted, been imprisoned, been on probation, or been on parole of a crime during the past seven years, Just answer the question as it is asked and not read more into it.

As described, you were arrested and the charge was dismissed. Being held is not the same as being imprisoned.

As noted, these are not trick questions. Don’t read into them.

Completion of a program to withhold adjudication by the Judge is Probation.

He didn’t say adjudication was withheld. The original charge was changed, dismissed. That is different. I agree you were not imprisoned. Even county jail over night is not prison. Yes on arrested, explain what you did here. I assume you completed the program and it was dismissed. For me, I would recommend getting it in writing, prove you completed and get a letter proving it was dismissed. Make nice with the prosecutor, express gratitude for mercy and I am betting they would be honored to put it in writing. As long as what you say, what you provide and what they scope matches…you are fine.

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@Amber . . . The question, as the OP phrased it, doesn’t ask about arrest. He also says that he completed the program and the charges were dismissed.

Amber. I have done a dozen of these type investigations. I wind up at the court getting the documents. In addition I was in Law Enforcement for 40yrs and I arrested people who got this same type of sentence. The Judicial system REQUIRES a hearing before a court when someone is arrested. He is splitting hairs here. Go ahead don’t put it down. It is gonna come out when they run the NCIC.

Who is saying that he didn’t appear in court? Who is splitting hairs? The way that these situations often work is that there no finding of guilt, which means that he can not be on probation. The proceeding is suspended, or continued, for a period. If the defendant completes the requirements, the charge is dismissed.

You can go to the court and get the paperwork but you will find that the applicant has NOT been “convicted, been imprisoned, been on probation, or been on parole”.

Having said that, at this point, I would likely recommend answering the question with a “No” and documenting this incident in comments.

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WZDTim, I understand your point. Most on this page will vouch for my “over report vice under report” positions. More correctly stated, speak to any nuance. Ed captured that best. With very few exceptions the people commenting here never encourage splitting hairs, there were a few outliers giving baldfaced incorrect answers under reporting guidelines and adjudicative standards but they seem to have disappeared as of late. NOBODY is saying to not disclose an arrest. We are collectively saying there is no “imprisonment, conviction, probation, or parole.” I always tell people to speak to any arrest, and explain the dismissal, pleading down or whatever disposition you receive. But probation is very different from dismissal. Probation is a form of punishment. Dismissal is not a punishment. The facts do not support punishment. Now, if there is a fine, a curfew, restitution…those are indeed a finding of some form of culpability and responsibility, again easy to explain. Never interpret my input as telling people to shade or split hairs. I am firmly on the side of speaking to all nuance.

One thing to keep in mind is that OF-306 is not a security clearance document. With that said, I would not advocate over-reporting or writing down this on the form. It is a HR form that HR uses to screen you quickly as opposed to SF-86. Again, I m not suggesting outright lie or omission by silence or anything of such nature. Just answer the question for what it is. In this instance, I would answer “no” and leave it like that,

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I wanted to thank you all for your responses, it gives me more insight into the question asked. I believe that I was “reading into it” and that my arrest and subsequent dismissal, do not meet the standards asked in the question. I never was on a formal probation, I was told by the prosecutor if I took a class and they would dismiss the charge. Therefore, at my first hearing they pushed my hearing back a month and then a month later when I completed the course, they dismissed the charge. I have a letter from the court that states my charge was “dismissed”, it doesn’t state probation or due to withheld adjudication. I plan to list my arrest on the SF-85P. I just think listing it on the OF-306, may not be necessary and by listing it, it could delay the processing of my paperwork or perhaps worse, interfere with them pre-screening me for suitability for the position. I’m not trying to hide it, it is what it is, I’m just trying to list it appropriately. Thanks again for all the insight and feedback.

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Probably a dumb question but does 9 days in county jail qualify as “imprisoned”?? I found this topic because it talked about the imprisonment term. If any of you have followed my other posts this is completely unrelated. I have a another offer for very low risk, public trust USDA job that requires the OF-306

Yes . . . That would count . . . But, the “why” is far more an issue than the location or the length of time.

@EdFarmerIII the why was a 2nd DWI which had a mandatory minimum of 10 days in Virginia. However, the conviction was a DWI first offense. OF-306 doesnt ask about charges only convictions but I was honest about the 2nd offense part rather than trying to make it look like a first offense. Was that smart? Did I give too much information?

You didn’t give them any information that they wouldn’t have found on their own and it’s better that YOU gave it to them. Multiple DUIs are going to be an issue more than the punishment.

Ed, it is unlikely that human resources (HR) specialist or security officer will find out on their own. OF-306 is essentially a HR pre-screen document.

Anyway, if you were arrested and detained in a county jail, then no… it is not the same as imprisoned in my opinion. “Imprisoned” means you were tried and found guilty of a crime and you were sentenced to prison. If you are not sure, always ask whoever told you to fill out the document for clarification, usually a HR specialist. I would err on the side of ask the designated POC.

Nine days isn’t being “detained” . . . I am assuming that this was the sentence for the second DUI.