Criminal History Addendum

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goodmank
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Criminal History Addendum

Postby goodmank » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:10 pm

Let me know what you think

In 1989 I stopped at a convenience store, filled my car with gasoline, and left without paying. I was arrested and charged with a Class C misdemeanor theft by the X County Sheriff Department in X, Texas on 02/27/1989. I plead guilty and paid a fine. Although I was only 18 at the time and it was over twenty years ago, I still regret this event and am very ashamed and sorry that this happened.

On February 14, 1992 I was arrested by the X police department because I had a traffic warrant for no insurance, failure to wear safety belt, and violate promise to appear. I pled guilty and paid a fine. I have had no other unpaid traffic fines since this time.

In 1994 I lived with two of my brothers. Both brothers were under the legal age limit to possess alcohol. A few of their friends came over to the house with some alcohol. I was not home at the time the friends arrived. Later in the evening when I returned home I did see what was going on but instead of leaving or asking the underage drinkers to leave I went to bed. Our neighbors called the police and when they arrived the police woke me up and asked me if I was the person that provided the alcohol. Even though I denied that I had furnished the alcohol, I was the only person over the age of 21 in the house, and received a citation by the X County Sheriff Department in X, Texas and was charged with making alcohol available to a minor. In the interest of quickly resolving the situation, on 05/05/1994 I pled guilty and paid a fine.

On 11/18/1995 I was with a friend at a nightclub. After leaving the nightclub my friend saw a car in the parking lot that belonged to a person that he did not like and my friend broke a window out of the car. A bystander saw the incident and called the police. My friend and I were pulled over a few miles away and I was arrested and charged with criminal mischief by the X County Sheriff Department in X, Texas. I hired an attorney but I did not have enough money to completely fight the charge. Although I pled not guilty, I agreed to pay for half of the damages in return for the charges being dismissed. This incident made me really evaluate my life in terms of the type of people that I associate with.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby CGI Fridays » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:15 pm

Ohhhh, shit. :?

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kwais
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby kwais » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:17 pm

CGI Fridays wrote:Ohhhh, shit. :?

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goodmank
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby goodmank » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:05 pm

I think that this is a good web site for future law students. Unfortunately, like all social sites, there is some B.S. that people are subjected to prior to receiving any benefit. Yes I do have a criminal history. Yes it is something that I am ashamed of. But,

1. I stole gasoline
2. I did not pay some traffic tickets
3. I was wrongly accused of providing alcohol to minors
4. I was wrongly accused of criminal mischief

I did not:

1. Commit armed robbery
2. Drink and drive
3. Get a bunch of under aged kids drunk
4. Damage someone's property

All of this happened 15 - 20 years ago. I have not been in trouble since. I am not asking what you think about my criminal history. I am asking for input and advice on the addendum.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby CGI Fridays » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:56 pm

Wasn't intending it to be BS. Just do your best with an addendum. Not sure what kinda info you're lookin' for.

Look, the first two may call your explanation of the second two into question. Have you held down a stable job for a long time? If so, push that angle in your PS maybe, focusing on how you were a different person back then. You need to convince them that that was a totally different person, 'cause frankly that person's a liability.

etown989
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby etown989 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:01 am

In that case... all the addendum parts sound good. are you adding an extra paragraph at the end to sum it all up and give a more heartfelt type apology?

Also with the last incident I am sure you may know this, but some schools only ask for convictions and not just when you were charged with a crime.

Can any of these charges be expunged? You should look into that.

edit: on the plus side the last incident you were 24 and now 39. I would play up the youthful indiscretion card here.

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goodmank
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby goodmank » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:09 am

I agree. That person is a liability. However, that was 15 - 20 years ago depending on the charge. Yes, my current job I have held for 15 years but that is in my resume. I think that enough time has passed that the simple facts as laid out is enough. What do you think?

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CGI Fridays
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby CGI Fridays » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:14 am

15 years is fucking solid. Personally, I'd still like to read about your change, but I'm not an adcomm.
I'd really try to get the ear of someone who's worked in an admissions setting.

thrillerjesus
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby thrillerjesus » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:20 am

One thing to consider is that even if a law school decides this stuff is ancient history, the bar may take a different view when you try to get licensed. You may want to look into the moral fitness requirements of the state you plan to practice in.

Another thing. In an addendum, and/or when explaining this to the bar, don't even hint that the gas and ticket things are no big deal because it's not like you were committing violent felonies. Demonstrating that you respect and understand that laws need to be followed is important in this context. I've heard of people who couldn't get licensed because of speeding tickets, which they tried to explain by using the "it's just a speeding ticket, what's the big deal" approach. That is not a good approach to take.

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goodmank
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby goodmank » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:31 am

Thanks for the feedback. What about a final paragraph like this:

As noted by my criminal history, my most recent criminal troubles were 15 years ago. Since that time I have gone on to be a husband and father to five children. In addition, I have become a responsible citizen in my community and have been employed by the same city for about 15 years. I understand the significance of my youthful actions and hope that the admission committee will realize that I am a different person now.

etown989
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby etown989 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:50 am

goodmank wrote:Thanks for the feedback. What about a final paragraph like this:

As noted by my criminal history, my most recent criminal troubles were 15 years ago. Since that time I have gone on to be a husband and father to five children. In addition, I have become a responsible citizen in my community and have been employed by the same city for about 15 years. I understand the significance of my youthful actions and hope that the admission committee will realize that I am a different person now.


sounds good enough

JOThompson
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Re: Criminal History Addendum

Postby JOThompson » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:19 pm

These issues are ancient. As long as you take responsibility and demonstrate a willingness to improve (as evidenced by lack of trouble in recent years), I think you've done everything possible in the addendum. Good luck.




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