What is the name of your state? Connecticut
About 6 years ago, while an undergraduate student, I was arrested for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. I was able to enter Connecticut's Accelerated Rehabilitation program, which required me to take a drug counseling class and complete a considerable number of community service hours. As I understand it now (and understood it then), from the time of my initial court date, if I followed through on these obligations and stayed out of trouble for a year, I would successfully complete the ARD program and my record would be expunged. The sources I've looked at so far seem to back up the notion that, by Connecticut law, "erased" or "expunged" mean that, in a criminal record check, I would come out clean:
Since my arrest and the completion of Accelerated Rehabilitation, I have moved to another state, enrolled in graduate school, and am currently in the last year of my work toward a Master's degree. I am applying for a job overseas and part of the process is that I must submit to an official FBI background check. This involves me filling out some paperwork, getting fingerprinted, and sending it all in for the results. The problem is that, on my application, I must divulge any arrests, charges, or convictions, even arrests that never led to actual convictions. According to the third document linked above, I can answer, in all honesty, that I have never been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime, according to Connecticut state law. But I am wondering if a record of the arrest itself still remains.
According to the first link above, records related to AR cases are "open for the duration of the AR probationary period and for 20 days after the entry of a dismissal by the court" and are "then erased pursuant to C.G.S. 54-142a(a) unless an appeal is filed." Would this erasure include all of the information concerning the criminal case? Or are there indications of the case that remain no matter what, such as an arrest or other damning information?
And also, if anybody has specific information regarding the usual thoroughness of an FBI background check, that would be nice. From what I understand, criminal history information has to be sent to the FBI by the states, and there are varying guidelines as to what is considered a serious enough offense to be shipped out and included in a centralized criminal database. I'm not sure if a low-level misdemeanor would get there or not, much less a misdemeanor that has been expunged due to satisfactory participation in an AR program.
Anyway, thanks in advance for any help.