Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

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Mr. T
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Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Mr. T » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:29 am

Hey all,

Should I run a criminal background report for each of the three states I have lived in and electronically attach them to my applications? I do have a few things to bring to their attention - but thought this would show that I am revealing everything. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!

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Cupidity
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Cupidity » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:38 am

That sounds stupid.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:40 am

The problem with this approach is that it may make your criminal history the focus of your law school applications.

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Mr. T
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Mr. T » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:46 am

More specifically,

I am going to reveal the two instances on my application - my thinking was showing a criminal records search from each of these states (showing the two instances and that there is nothing else) would show a strong desire for full disclosure.

Thoughts?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:52 am

I understood your intention after reading your first post. If you want to make your criminal history the focal point of your law school applications, then do it with the knowledge that law school admissions officers are unlikely to award extra credit for proving that you really, really do have a criminal history.

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Mr. T
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Mr. T » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:55 am

I understand, so how would you handle this? What's the correct method?

Should I simply run the reports for my benefit - ensuring I mentioned everything and then write a simple addendum on my app's?

anstud06
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby anstud06 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:11 am

How do you get criminal background reports? Is it free? What's the cheapest way?

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:13 am

Mr. T wrote:I understand, so how would you handle this? What's the correct method?

Should I simply run the reports for my benefit - ensuring I mentioned everything and then write a simple addendum on my app's?


That sounds like a much better idea. I say run them and keep them for yourself, but use them as a reference when writing your addendum. Make sure there is nothing there you either forgot or are simply not aware of and fully disclose everything. But attaching criminal background checks to very app is going to, as other posters have said, make your criminal history the main focus of your app, which is never a good thing.

The very idea of 3 checks in 3 states will give the wrong impression.

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Mr. T
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Mr. T » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:14 am

Contact your state below - most have an online site - some you have to send a check or money order and wait 15 business days for them to process.

STATE TELEPHONE NUMBER

ALABAMA 334-242-4900
ALASKA 907-269-5767
ARIZONA 602-223-2222
ARKANSAS 501-618-8100
CALIFORNIA 916-227-3832
COLORADO 303-239-4230
CONNECTICUT 860-685-8480
DELAWARE 302-739-2528
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 202-727-4127
FLORIDA 850-410-7000
GEORGIA 404-244-2639
HAWAII 808-587-3100
IDAHO 208-884-7130
ILLINOIS 815-740-5160
INDIANA 317-232-8263
IOWA 515-725-6066
KANSAS 785-296-8200
KENTUCKY 502-227-8700
LOUISIANA 225-925-6095
MAINE 207-624-7240
MARYLAND 410-764-4501
MASSACHUSETTS 617-660-4600
MICHIGAN 517-322-5531
MINNESOTA 651-642-0670
MISSISSIPPI 601-933-2600
MISSOURI 573-526-6153
MONTANA 406-444-3625
NEBRASKA 402-479-4924
NEVADA 775-687-1600
NEW HAMPSHIRE 603-271-2538
NEW JERSEY 609-882-2000 EXT 2878
NEW MEXICO 505-827-9181
NEW YORK 518-457-6050
NORTH CAROLINA 919-662-4500
NORTH DAKOTA 701-328-5500
OHIO 740-845-2000
OKLAHOMA 405-848-6724
OREGON 503-378-3070
PENNSYLVANIA 717-783-5588
RHODE ISLAND 401-421-5268
SOUTH CAROLINA 803-896-7005
SOUTH DAKOTA 605-773-3331
TENNESSEE 615-726-7952
TEXAS 512-424-2079
UTAH 801-965-4569
VERMONT 802-244-8786 EXT 5237
VIRGINIA 804-674-2000
WASHINGTON 360-705-5100
WEST VIRGINIA 304-746-2177
WISCONSIN 608-266-7314
WYOMING 307-777-7523 OR 7181
PUERTO RICO 787-766-5000 EXT 2437
US VIRGIN ISLANDS 340-778-0400

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Mr. T
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Mr. T » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:15 am

Thanks, cowgirl. Appreciate it.

anstud06
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby anstud06 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:32 pm

Cool - how much does it cost in the states you're getting them for?

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ArchRoark
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby ArchRoark » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:02 pm

Texas it was $25 and you can pick it up in person the next day. There are online background checks but these do not reveal the same level of detail as the ones that require you to go in and give finger prints. I assume the online checks only reveal convictions where as the in person reveals everything (arrests, charges, etc).

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:09 pm

There's no need to do this. You are swearing on your application that you are disclosing fully. If you lie, it's not their problem.

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omninode
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby omninode » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:27 pm

ScaredWorkedBored wrote:There's no need to do this. You are swearing on your application that you are disclosing fully. If you lie, it's not their problem.

But it is the applicant's problem. Your criminal history will be reviewed when you apply for admission to a state bar organization. If they see that you lied or left anything out of your law school app, that is considered a serious ethics violation, and they can totally screw you.

So, if you ever want to be able to practice law, give the school all the information they ask for and make sure it is accurate.

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Marionberry
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Marionberry » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:52 pm

So, if OP isn't sure exactly how many times or for what he got arrested, or of even the general timeframe, there might be a reason to get the background checks. It won't be necessary to provide the schools a copy of a background check, they will take your word for it that you're not making up any past arrests. As long as you disclose fully everything that is asked for, you will be fine. If you need the background check to figure out exactly what you did/were arrested for, then do it.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:03 pm

omninode wrote:
ScaredWorkedBored wrote:There's no need to do this. You are swearing on your application that you are disclosing fully. If you lie, it's not their problem.

But it is the applicant's problem. Your criminal history will be reviewed when you apply for admission to a state bar organization. If they see that you lied or left anything out of your law school app, that is considered a serious ethics violation, and they can totally screw you.

So, if you ever want to be able to practice law, give the school all the information they ask for and make sure it is accurate.


That's not what the OP was about. The OP was talking about actually attaching the reports to his application to prove he was telling the truth. That's unnecessary for the reason I mentioned.

If you somehow don't know how many criminal offenses you've committed or what the record says, yeah, get the reports.

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dood
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby dood » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:21 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dood
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby dood » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:23 pm

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Last edited by dood on Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

anstud06
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby anstud06 » Thu Oct 14, 2010 7:48 pm

What information does the star bar take/go after/request when you apply for admission?

omninode wrote:
ScaredWorkedBored wrote:There's no need to do this. You are swearing on your application that you are disclosing fully. If you lie, it's not their problem.

But it is the applicant's problem. Your criminal history will be reviewed when you apply for admission to a state bar organization. If they see that you lied or left anything out of your law school app, that is considered a serious ethics violation, and they can totally screw you.

So, if you ever want to be able to practice law, give the school all the information they ask for and make sure it is accurate.

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Mr. T
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Mr. T » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:52 am

Yea Dood & Marion Berry,

This was my initial thinking.... I wanted to make sure I submitted everything and did not forget. I'm getting older, ya know :)

So, if I am following you both correctly - a simple law student, with access to Lexis / Westlaw will be able to pull my full criminal background for my entire life (arrests, convictions, etc.)? If this is the case, than my attorney friend can pull this same information? So, what they see on lexis / Westlaw is EXACTLY what the bar examiners will see?

I'm simply trying to get a complete list of EVERYTHING I DID - so I can 1) Fully disclose everything and 2) Not worry for 3 years that I left something out and may have problems meeting the character & fitness standards of the state I apply to.

Can anyone answer this with one-hundred percent certainty?

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Mr. T
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Mr. T » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:18 am

I'm hoping someone has a definitive answer on this. I'm waiting to submit app's to ensure I have the most accurate data. If anyone has an answer here....please post :) Thanks!

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Marionberry
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Marionberry » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:47 am

Mr. T, i would suggest doing the following. Run a background check through a private company (online), through the appropriate state agency in any state you lived in when you might have been charged with something, and submit fingerprints to the FBI, and possibly state agencies, for a more thorough background check. It's my understanding that state agencies are required to submit all fingerprints and arrest records to the FBI, so anything that happened should be in your FBI file. Keep documentation of all these searches, so if in the off chance that something happened that doesn't show up you can prove that you did your due diligence in looking for everything, and that you reported everything you found. I find it really unlikely that anything significant wouldn't come up on these checks, unless you had the records expunged/sealed in which case hopefully you remember what happened.

Also, I don't know about using Lexis/Westlaw for a personal background check, but that sounds questionable. It certainly wouldn't produce as accurate or reliable a report as doing an FBI fingerprint-card background check. You can look into it if you want, but it sounds fishy. Ask your Lawyer friend, though, he would know more than I do.

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:54 am

Don't rely on the government-maintained files. They only have some information, and they're also unreliable. DO NOT assume nothing will show up on a background check if your government maintained files are clear.

Run a nationwide background check through one of the major companies for $30-50. This will come up with everything. Then disclose accordingly; if they ask for arrests, list arrests as well, if they ask for charges, list all charges as well, etc. etc.

Err on the side of disclosure. C&F will either 1) make your life hell or 2) not admit you if there are any discrepancies.

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existenz
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby existenz » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:57 am

Don't attach your official rap sheet to your app, unless you are trying to brag about what a thug you were.

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Mr. T
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Re: Should I run a criminal background report for every state?

Postby Mr. T » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:59 am

When you say this will come up with everything - will it include arrests? Or, just convictions? I want the whole thing.

I did this (31.00) for one state I lived and it went back nearly 20 years and found the one incident. However, I could have sworn that I had another incident (as an adult - and around the same time) but nothing showed up. I simply can't remember the details.

I assume if it went back 20 years - what's there is what's there - so go with that?

Also, I had a charge in Connecticut that was dissmissed. The state statute states that:

"Sec. 54-142a. (Formerly Sec. 54-90). *(See end of section for amended version and effective date.) Erasure of criminal records. (a) Whenever in any criminal case, on or after October 1, 1969, the accused, by a final judgment, is found not guilty of the charge or the charge is dismissed, all police and court records and records of any state's attorney pertaining to such charge shall be erased upon the expiration of the time to file a writ of error or take an appeal, if an appeal is not taken, or upon final determination of the appeal sustaining a finding of not guilty or a dismissal, if an appeal is taken. Nothing in this subsection shall require the erasure of any record pertaining to a charge for which the defendant was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect or guilty but not criminally responsible by reason of mental disease or defect."


So, will this charge show up? Apparently, according to the records dipository I contacted, they did not send anything to the FBI and if asked, will report I have no record. Also notice that the statue states that all POLICE, COURT , and DIST. Attorney records should be erased. Do I disclouse this?




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