Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

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helpmeout
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Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby helpmeout » Tue May 18, 2010 2:46 am

So I was recently charged with a 3rd degree misdemeanor for a dumb prank I did at a bar with a friend. We stole a flag from a bar and alledgedly broke a window. Not sure how gently pulling a flag down breaks a window, but whatever.

Anyway, I have a near full scholarship to a law school in the fall. I know I need to disclose, but when do I need to disclose? I want to do it as soon as possible, but I have a meeting with the bar owner on Thursday where we will discuss restitution and dropping the charges.

Even if the charges aren't dropped, I plead guilty. Obviously it won't be on my record forever due to my good behavior.

Give me some advice and genearally thoughts.

The basic questions:

Should I wait to tell the head of admissions until I have been told I can pay for the window and the charges will be dropped or should I proceed now and tell that person immediately and inform them of the meeting where I hope the charges get dropped?

and

What chances are there of losing my scholarship? It is a 4th degree misdemeanor.

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MrKappus
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby MrKappus » Tue May 18, 2010 2:59 am

Without knowing your school's C&F question, it's hard to know. Does it ask if you've been convicted? Charged? Arrested?

Read the question(s) on the app. If they cover anything that has happened to you at this point, disclose it. If they don't, don't. When the matter is finally resolved, read the question on the app again. If it covers anything that's happened to you, disclose it.

Sorry to hear about your troubles, but this is not complicated.

cartercl
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby cartercl » Tue May 18, 2010 3:03 am

Maybe I'm missing something here, but how can the charges be dropped if there's already been a disposition?

Either way, you still need to disclose it. Almost all schools have a requirement to update C&F after admission. IMO, the longer you wait, the more it seems that you are trying to "get over" on the school. Wait too long and it won't be pretty. Do it ASAP.
Last edited by cartercl on Tue May 18, 2010 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

helpmeout
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby helpmeout » Tue May 18, 2010 3:05 am

The app states to disclose if I have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted. I was arrested, but not at the time I filled out the app.

It says on the final page, that by signing the app I am agreeing to notify the university of any changes in what I had previously filled out. So there has been a change in the sense that I was arrested this past weekend.

My question is not whether to disclose but if I can wait 6 days before disclosing. I am worried that if I wait until the owner of the bar agrees not to press charges that I will look shady.

helpmeout
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby helpmeout » Tue May 18, 2010 3:09 am

cartercl wrote:Maybe I'm missing something here, but how can the charges be dropped if there's already been a disposition?

Either way, you still need to disclose it. Almost all schools have a requirement to update C&F after admission. IMO, the longer you wait, the more it seems that you are trying to "get over" on the school. Wait too long and it won't be pretty. Do it ASAP.

The bar owner would make a call asking for the DA not to press charges, which he or she hopefully will do since it is my first time ever in trouble.

cartercl
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby cartercl » Tue May 18, 2010 3:10 am

helpmeout wrote:The app states to disclose if I have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted. I was arrested, but not at the time I filled out the app.

It says on the final page, that by signing the app I am agreeing to notify the university of any changes in what I had previously filled out. So there has been a change in the sense that I was arrested this past weekend.

My question is not whether to disclose but if I can wait 6 days before disclosing. I am worried that if I wait until the owner of the bar agrees not to press charges that I will look shady.


This is what's confusing. You say you plead guilty which implies that you were already charged and convicted. A guilty plea is a conviction. So I'm not understanding how the bar owner can drop the charges after you've been convicted. Regardless, if the app originally asked if you've ever been charged, and also said to notify the university of any changes, then disclose; you've clearly been charged with something. It doesn't matter if the charges are dropped or not.

helpmeout
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby helpmeout » Tue May 18, 2010 3:13 am

cartercl wrote:
helpmeout wrote:The app states to disclose if I have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted. I was arrested, but not at the time I filled out the app.

It says on the final page, that by signing the app I am agreeing to notify the university of any changes in what I had previously filled out. So there has been a change in the sense that I was arrested this past weekend.

My question is not whether to disclose but if I can wait 6 days before disclosing. I am worried that if I wait until the owner of the bar agrees not to press charges that I will look shady.


This is what's confusing. You say you plead guilty which implies that you were already charged and convicted. A guilty plea is a conviction. So I'm not understanding how the bar owner can drop the charges after you've been convicted. Regardless, if the app originally asked if you've ever been charged, and also said to notify the university of any changes, then disclose; you've clearly been charged with something. It doesn't matter if the charges are dropped or not.

I have not been convicted. Charged yes.

My plan is to talk to the bar owner on Thursday and ask him to let the DA know that he desires restitution as a means of solving this matter.

Any ideas on how safe my scholarship is if this is my first offense and it is a class 4 misdemeanor?

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MrKappus
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby MrKappus » Tue May 18, 2010 3:14 am

If it were me, and anything had happened that the C&F question covers, I would disclose immediately. Then again, the only reason we disclose these things is so they can be compared to our bar exam answers in 3 years. The "window" for disclosure closes on the first day of school, so I guess you could technically wait. Seems shady though.

Since the school asks a question you're going to have to say "yes" to at some point before August, why not get it outta the way? Then if the disposition is favorable, you'll be able to write a follow-up that's not-so-bad. Re: the scholly...I have no clue. Good luck w/ that. I mean, it's not like you killed a man in Reno just to watch him die. It'll probably be ok.

cartercl
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby cartercl » Tue May 18, 2010 3:15 am

helpmeout wrote:
cartercl wrote:
helpmeout wrote:The app states to disclose if I have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted. I was arrested, but not at the time I filled out the app.

It says on the final page, that by signing the app I am agreeing to notify the university of any changes in what I had previously filled out. So there has been a change in the sense that I was arrested this past weekend.

My question is not whether to disclose but if I can wait 6 days before disclosing. I am worried that if I wait until the owner of the bar agrees not to press charges that I will look shady.


This is what's confusing. You say you plead guilty which implies that you were already charged and convicted. A guilty plea is a conviction. So I'm not understanding how the bar owner can drop the charges after you've been convicted. Regardless, if the app originally asked if you've ever been charged, and also said to notify the university of any changes, then disclose; you've clearly been charged with something. It doesn't matter if the charges are dropped or not.

I have not been convicted. Charged yes.

My plan is to talk to the bar owner on Thursday and ask him to let the DA know that he desires restitution as a means of solving this matter.

Any ideas on how safe my scholarship is if this is my first offense and it is a class 4 misdemeanor?


Yeah, my mistake (I meant admission of guilt). Still disclose immediately.
Last edited by cartercl on Tue May 18, 2010 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

helpmeout
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby helpmeout » Tue May 18, 2010 3:17 am

cartercl wrote:
helpmeout wrote:
cartercl wrote:
helpmeout wrote:The app states to disclose if I have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted. I was arrested, but not at the time I filled out the app.

It says on the final page, that by signing the app I am agreeing to notify the university of any changes in what I had previously filled out. So there has been a change in the sense that I was arrested this past weekend.

My question is not whether to disclose but if I can wait 6 days before disclosing. I am worried that if I wait until the owner of the bar agrees not to press charges that I will look shady.


This is what's confusing. You say you plead guilty which implies that you were already charged and convicted. A guilty plea is a conviction. So I'm not understanding how the bar owner can drop the charges after you've been convicted. Regardless, if the app originally asked if you've ever been charged, and also said to notify the university of any changes, then disclose; you've clearly been charged with something. It doesn't matter if the charges are dropped or not.

I have not been convicted. Charged yes.

My plan is to talk to the bar owner on Thursday and ask him to let the DA know that he desires restitution as a means of solving this matter.

Any ideas on how safe my scholarship is if this is my first offense and it is a class 4 misdemeanor?


Yeah, my mistake. Still disclose immediately.

Is my logic of disclosing after I have a hopefully positive discussion with the bar owner faulty or sound?

Basically do I benefit by waiting till I can say the owner will ask for charges to be dropped (which will be in 2 days) or should I call before I speak to the bar owner?

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MrKappus
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby MrKappus » Tue May 18, 2010 3:21 am

This is probably obvious, but you should talk to an attorney, if you've yet to do so. Could have a significant impact on the final outcome.

cartercl
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby cartercl » Tue May 18, 2010 3:21 am

helpmeout wrote:Basically do I benefit by waiting till I can say the owner will ask for charges to be dropped (which will be in 2 days) or should I call before I speak to the bar owner?


Again, waiting is bad because your application asked you to update any changes to C&F (arrests, charges, convictions). You have been charged. The disposition is not going to change the fact that you've been charged. I wouldn't risk it because it's not that serious. FWIW, I have 3 misdemeanors on my record (all expunged), much more serious than yours, and I got a scholly. Any perceived deception will come back to bite you in the ass big time. Just disclose it.

Also, go ahead and call so you can disclose it as soon as possible and talk to the prosecutor if possible. I've been there. Do this.
Last edited by cartercl on Tue May 18, 2010 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

helpmeout
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby helpmeout » Tue May 18, 2010 3:22 am

MrKappus wrote:This is probably obvious, but you should talk to an attorney, if you've yet to do so. Could have a significant impact on the final outcome.

I have talked to a few.

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MrKappus
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby MrKappus » Tue May 18, 2010 3:24 am

Then I assume you haven't retained one, since they'd be breaking ethics rules by talking to another attorney's client. Let me rephrase: you should hire an attorney.

helpmeout
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby helpmeout » Tue May 18, 2010 3:24 am

MrKappus wrote:Then I assume you haven't retained one, since they'd be breaking ethics rules by talking to another attorney's client. Let me rephrase: you should hire an attorney.

I work at a legal clinic in Miami.

helpmeout
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby helpmeout » Tue May 18, 2010 3:30 am

Another concern I have about telling my school is the fact that it is ongoing. I'm not looking forward to updating them on the case or anything like that.

Thanks to all for the input. As you can imagine, things are a bit blurry for me now.

cartercl
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby cartercl » Tue May 18, 2010 3:39 am

helpmeout wrote:Another concern I have about telling my school is the fact that it is ongoing. I'm not looking forward to updating them on the case or anything like that.

Thanks to all for the input. As you can imagine, things are a bit blurry for me now.


Yeah... you need to expedite this process so you can know exactly what to say in your updated C&F. The best way to do that is going to be to get a lawyer as suggested earlier.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Tue May 18, 2010 9:52 am

You were arrested. There's a piece of paper in the police department database that will exist no matter what you do with the charge. Your application asks for arrests. This is a continuing application which means you have an affirmative duty to inform them of new stupid shit you do.

The bar will find out about this arrest in three years and they'll look at your law school app because the date will jump out at them. If they don't see it, or see a significant delay, you could be in enormous trouble. Being deceptive for personal advantage is not looked on kindly by the bar.

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Bert
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby Bert » Tue May 18, 2010 10:16 am

OMFG, you have asked for our advice and on numerous occasions and by different people you have been advised that your best option is to disclose immediately so that it seems that you are complying most fully with the requirement imposed upon you by the application that you signed in order to gain admission to a law school which you chose to apply to. The longer you hold out, the more it will look like you are hiding something (which, based on your posts, you are trying to do). You also wrote that the application mentions "charged" and "arrested" as disclosure events, and the same application obligates you to update the law school of any changes. Further, you mentioned that you have been "charged" and "arrested" and that you plead guilty, so stop trying to obscure the truth, and fess up for what you did. If the charges are later dropped, you can advise your law school of the fact that the charges were dropped, and then it should become a non-issue at that point.

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rdcws000
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Re: Misdemeanor charge/disclose question

Postby rdcws000 » Wed May 19, 2010 11:49 am

Don't overestimate their reaction to a crime.

Honestly the law is full of liars and cheats. Just don't be a liar about your criminal background, a misdemeanor really doesn't impact much. In your disclosure, I would warn you NOT to make excuses for your offense. Don't give them the whole "How does tearing down a flag break a window, I'm so sure!" routine, or you'll just look like an immature punk kid.

I have a felony burglary on my juvenile record which I disclosed honestly and took responsibility. Granted I was rejected from my #1 choice (UH), and I'm going to my 2nd (and only other option) STCL, but I think that had more to do with my average LSAT than it did my felony. I wasn't an auto reject, so there is no concern there.




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