OF 306 Question 9 please help!

I am applying for a federal job where I was about criminal history. Here is the exact question (From form OF306)
For questions 9,10, and 11, your answers should include convictions resulting from a plea of nolo contendere (no contest), but omit (1) traffic fines of $300 or less, (2) any violation of law committed before your 16th birthday, (3) any violation of law committed before your 18th birthday if finally decided in juvenile court or under a Youth Offender law, (4) any conviction set aside under the Federal Youth Corrections Act or similar state law, and (5) any conviction for which the record was expunged under Federal or state law .

During the last 7 years, have you been convicted, been imprisoned, been on probation, or been on parole
(Includes felonies, firearms or explosive violations, misdemeanors, and all other offenses)

A few years back I was charged with a misdemeanor for false use/display of license for using a fake ID. When I went to court I pled no contest and was told that the charge would be dismissed and amended to a civil infraction for blocking the sidewalk. I was told to pay a $200 fine and complete 20 community service hours and nothing would appear on my criminal record. Here are my pertinent questions.

  1. Even though I was never convicted of the misdemeanor, I do have the charge for the civil infraction which I had to pay off. Is this considered a conviction? Or is a conviction only for criminal offenses. I was under the impression that a “conviction” means that the judge/jury has found you guilty, and I thought that civil infractions cannot have a guilty/not guilty verdict attached to them. However, this question specifically excludes traffic violations and mentions “all other offenses” so I’m wondering if it includes non-traffic civil infractions as a definition of “conviction”

  2. What exactly does it mean to be on probation? Are you only put on probation if there’s actually a conviction? Would I be considered being put on probation even though I was never convicted since I was required to pay the fine for the civil infraction and complete a few community service hours. I was never told I was on probation, never told not to leave the state, not to use illegal drugs (as delineated in the legal definition of probation), but I’m not sure what this specifically referring to.

In light of all of the above, should I answer “no” to the question, or would I have to answer yes (or should I err on the side of caution and answer yes anyways). I want to be as forthcoming as possible, however wouldn’t it be more honest to say “no” if my situation is not a “conviction” or “probation”?

Thanks for your help!

When in doubt err on the side of caution and disclose, especially for such a minor offense which has no impact. If you don’t then it may create an appearance of a lack of candor, which is more serious.

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Are you sure that this is really a “minor” offense and it won’t affect my chances? The job is with the NIH and some of the reasons I can not be issued a badge are

There is a reasonable basis to believe the individual has submitted fraudulent information concerning his or her identity;
There is a reasonable basis to believe the individual will use an identity credential outside the workplace unlawfully or inappropriately; or
There is a reasonable basis to believe, based on the individual’s criminal or dishonest conduct, that issuance of a PIV Card poses an unacceptable risk;
( an “unacceptable risk” refers to an unacceptable risk to the life, safety, or health of employees, contractors, vendors, or visitors; to the Government’s physical assets or information systems; to personal property; to records, including classified, privileged, proprietary, financial, or medical records; or to the privacy of data subjects.)

I am concerned about the second one since I’ve already had the misuse of identification

That applies to when you present identification to the government authority to verify your identity for the purpose of obtaining a badge. One misdemeanor a few years ago is minor.

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What about for the second part

There is a reasonable basis to believe the individual has submitted fraudulent information concerning his or her identity;

Would my circumstances qualify? I’m not sure how strict NIH is with handing out badges etc.

Sorry I meant to say what about this part:

There is a reasonable basis to believe the individual will use an identity credential outside the workplace unlawfully or inappropriately

Dude, you got a solid answer from one of the best. Calm down, be open, be honest and let the system work.

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