How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

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190
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How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby 190 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:15 pm

I have 5 felony and 1 misdemeanor charge that were expunged following a plea of guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of the same type but a lesser seriousness. For schools that don't ask me to disclose expunged charges and only ask for non-expunged charges how would I go about disclosing only the charge I plead guilty to without talking about the ones I was charged with (keeping in mind I have to "explain")

Alternatively should I just disclose everything anyway and explain that the original charges were expunged?

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Jack Smirks
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby Jack Smirks » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:26 pm

190 wrote:I have 5 felony and 1 misdemeanor charge that were expunged following a plea of guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of the same type but a lesser seriousness. For schools that don't ask me to disclose expunged charges and only ask for non-expunged charges how would I go about disclosing only the charge I plead guilty to without talking about the ones I was charged with (keeping in mind I have to "explain")

Alternatively should I just disclose everything anyway and explain that the original charges were expunged?

Wait, do you mean "expunged" or "dismissed"?

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Marionberry
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby Marionberry » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:31 pm

If the school specifies to only disclose convictions, or to not disclose expunged offenses (which many do, before someone comes along and starts screaming "disclose disclose disclose no matter what!"), it would depend on the specifics. I mean, is it possible to just describe the situation and state that you ended up pleading guilty to whatever? In this case, where the expunction is relevant to the charge that you do have to disclose, it might be wise to disclose them anyway. It's difficult to say without knowing more.

But, most importantly, answer every question on every application completely and honestly, or it could very likely come back to bite you on the ass.

190
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby 190 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:07 pm

Basically I was caught with Marijuana, got charged with felonies. Got a great plea deal whereby all the original charges were dismissed and expunged in exchange for my plea of guilty to one misdemeanor. I'm just unsure that it would really be possible to disclose the details of the guilty plea without having to say what I was arrested for initially. Thats not to say that it wouldn't be nice to be able to avoid disclosing 5 felony charges if possible.

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ArchRoark
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby ArchRoark » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:58 pm

How did you get charged with 5 felonies for marijuana?

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yepyep
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby yepyep » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:53 am

Tiva wrote:How did you get charged with 5 felonies for marijuana?


I'm guessing there was some time of distribution/weapon involved. Just a guess.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:19 am

Basically I was caught with Marijuana, got charged with felonies. Got a great plea deal whereby all the original charges were dismissed and expunged in exchange for my plea of guilty to one misdemeanor. I'm just unsure that it would really be possible to disclose the details of the guilty plea without having to say what I was arrested for initially. Thats not to say that it wouldn't be nice to be able to avoid disclosing 5 felony charges if possible.


This is a complex fact situation that requires hiring an attorney that does C&F in the state you want to practice in. Your instincts are correct that the explanation for the arrest and charge risks looking dishonest, but how to write that so C&F likes it is not something anyone on here is competent (law students & prospective law students) or ethically allowed (attorneys) to do.

190
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby 190 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:18 am

I'm just planning to disclose it all to be on the safe side, the charges were dismissed and expunged. No weapons or violence involved btw, police here take a charge everything possible and see what sticks approach.

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Mr. T
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby Mr. T » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:30 am

If it reads like this on the app then you MUST dosclose....

"" Have you been arrested, charged, indicted, convicted, paid restitution, or served probation in leau of any of the following: being charged, being prosecuted, or entering a plea (whether a plea of guilty or no contest)? You need not include parking tickets...."

Better to lay it all out there - rather than wait 3 years, have C&F call you in, ream-it-in-your-A$$, and tell you you can't sit for the bar and/or practice for 2 years......all the while your loan repayment begins.

190
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby 190 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:37 am

The one Mr. T stated is a no brainer. Questions like "Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?" "If so please explain the circumstances and details" are the tricky ones. I'm just going to err on the side of caution anyway and disclose it all.

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Mr. T
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby Mr. T » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:42 am

Were you convicted in court? If so, you must disclose regardless of the plea deal, bro. Just trying to help you out. I have stuff I'm dislosing. Not pretty - but I am. In short, sometimes our past does bite us in the ass. The most important thing you can do is be completely honest and let the cards fall where they may....

From your post I gathered that:

1) You were arrested (if it asks for arrests you must disclose)
2) You worked some kind of plea deal (if it asks for arrests and covictions regardless of outcome - you must disclose)
3) If your charges were dismissed / expunged and it asks for all information INCLUDING THESE (you must disclose).

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reasonable_man
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:53 am

190 wrote:The one Mr. T stated is a no brainer. Questions like "Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor?" "If so please explain the circumstances and details" are the tricky ones. I'm just going to err on the side of caution anyway and disclose it all.


No they aren't. The wording of these questions is irrelevant. Kids seem to think this is their first chance to play lawyer.. Its not. Its your first opportunity to show the bar examiners of your state that you are an honest person that takes the law seriously. Disclose everything and move on to the next question, as this poster ultimately intends to do.

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Mr. T
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby Mr. T » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:57 am

Reasonable-man is dead on OP. Disclose and move forward - you'll regret it later if you don't. Also, it should be noted that the law school question may allow you to avoid disclosing initially - but EVERY bar app will ask for EVERYTHING. There is no way around it.....disclose everything!

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reasonable_man
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:00 am

Mr. T wrote:Reasonable-man is dead on OP. Disclose and move forward - you'll regret it later if you don't. Also, it should be noted that the law school question may allow you to avoid disclosing initially - but EVERY bar app will ask for EVERYTHING. There is no way around it.....disclose everything!


As a practicing lawyer in NY, I can tell you that this is 100 percent the correct advice.

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Mr. T
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby Mr. T » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:02 am

Reasonable-man, maybe it would be helpful for the OP if you shed some light on how failing to disclose is often worse than admitting to the crime itself when it comes to C&F - if you have a moment. :)

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reasonable_man
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby reasonable_man » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:13 am

Mr. T wrote:Reasonable-man, maybe it would be helpful for the OP if you shed some light on how failing to disclose is often worse than admitting to the crime itself when it comes to C&F - if you have a moment. :)



Sure. This is 100 percent correct. Law schools don't particularly care about your past indiscretions. What matters is that when you apply to the bar and have your C&F review, your reviewer can pick up your law school ap, then pick up your bar ap, then pick up your criminal background check and see that all three match. What will hold you up is if the bar examiner sees that on your LS ap, you failed to disclose something (pre LS), that shows up on your background check. That state employee bar examiner is not likely to dig out the wording of your LS ap and pat you on the back for your brilliant legal acumen, in only disclosing what was absolutely required. What they are likely to do is throw your app into a pile to be scrutinized heavily. IF you are are applying to the NY bar, especially, you will be grilled at your in person interview RE: that topic and you may possibly have your admission to the bar delayed (which ITE can be a disaster, as your firm will want you to be able to practice, not to serve as a high priced paralegal).

In sum, the point of the criminal conviction question is to allow the bar examiner to gauge how honest you are, not to see how good you are at statutory interpretation. There are law school classes that will test this ability. The LS ap is not the time to try it out.

In short, when in doubt, disclose, disclose, disclose.

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Mr. T
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Re: How to disclose only charges that weren't expunged

Postby Mr. T » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:19 am

190, I think you got your answer and, more importantly, now understand what you must do - DISCLOSE!




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