Question on criminal history (Assault)

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eazyB
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Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby eazyB » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:49 pm

In 2003 my stepbrother and I got into a physical confrontation at my mothers house while we were both home on leave from the military. My mother called the police because she was initially scared. By the time the police arrived my brother and I actually calmed down and weren't belligerent towards one another. Sadly for both of us Texas family violence laws required the police to arrest both of us and charge us with Class C family violence (lowest misdemeanor in Texas) as well as minor in consumption and possession (we were 19 and 20 respectively at the time).

In short, I spent six hours in the county jail and paid a $500 dollar fine. I finished my military enlistment with a honorable discharge in 2008 after six years of service. I have never been in trouble with the law since that event took place over eight years ago. I read the Texas Bar Fitness section and it didn't specify if this offense will prevent me from sitting for the bar.

My question is this: should I even bother applying to law school; and if I do how bad will this damage my chances for admission?

I want to stay in Texas and I am applying to all Texas and Oklahoma schools this fall.

All candid and realistic responses are accepted. I don't want to waist mine and wife's time applying if my chances are slim. LSAT GPA and letter of rec/evaluations are ready to go and I am to the point of preparing my personal statement.

lawgod
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby lawgod » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:52 pm

Stinks man.
I say go for it anyway, and write a nice addendum how you learned from it, blah blah

eazyB
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby eazyB » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:05 pm

lawgod wrote:Stinks man.
I say go for it anyway, and write a nice addendum how you learned from it, blah blah



Care to subject a personal opinion as to the detriment of my criminal convection relative to admissions chances? It occurred over eight years ago and I haven't been in trouble since that night, does that not matter much?

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robotclubmember
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby robotclubmember » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:16 pm

we need stats before we can answer that

some schools like a bad boy gone good. i don't think it will have much of an impact on your chances, but knowing your numbers will help us know what range of schools you are looking at, and knowing what range you are looking ot would help us answer the question

eazyB
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby eazyB » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:17 pm

robotclubmember wrote:we need stats before we can answer that

some schools like a bad boy gone good. i don't think it will have much of an impact on your chances, but knowing your numbers will help us know what range of schools you are looking at, and knowing what range you are looking ot would help us answer the question


Numbers
LSAT 155 (I know retest)
GPA 3.7
Undergrad: Political Science
Graduate: Political Science (December 2011)

First choice is Texas Tech because my GI Bill-Hazelwood Act will pay for any public school tuition, Houston would be a far reach. Maybe Texas Wesleyan because I live in the DFW area, but only way I would go is with $. Not going to borrow six figures for a TTT.

I have zero debt for undergrad and grad btw. So I can afford some borrowing for law school, but I am not going to take out a mortgage for a TTT.

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robotclubmember
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby robotclubmember » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:25 pm

Texas Tech is a TTT too...

If you add 5 points to your LSAT (seriously not hard to boost from 155 to), Houston is a very likely possibility. If it weren't for that Texas' economy/job market plus low COL gives it better employment prospects and less oppressive shit law wages (adjusted for COL) compared to other states, I'd say you were insane to consider those other schools. You still may be insane. Houston is the only one worth imo, and at that range, and considering its Texas and your a homegrown military boy, I think they won't give a shit about the assault charge. Like you said it was forever ago but write an addendum which expresses nothing but remorse and reflection/personal growth

eazyB
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby eazyB » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:32 pm

robotclubmember wrote:Texas Tech is a TTT too...

If you add 5 points to your LSAT (seriously not hard to boost from 155 to), Houston is a very likely possibility. If it weren't for that Texas' economy/job market plus low COL gives it better employment prospects and less oppressive shit law wages (adjusted for COL) compared to other states, I'd say you were insane to consider those other schools. You still may be insane. Houston is the only one worth imo, and at that range, and considering its Texas and your a homegrown military boy, I think they won't give a shit about the assault charge. Like you said it was forever ago but write an addendum which expresses nothing but remorse and reflection/personal growth


I understand Texas Tech is a TTT, but it's free for me because of my GI Bill-Hazelwood Act. I just want to see how this cycle plays out. I was mainly concerned with my criminal record and chances at a school like Tech or Houston. So you think if Wesleyan gave me money I shouldn't go there?

needsomeadvicenow
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby needsomeadvicenow » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:40 pm

If you are applying in Texas see if you can have it expunged. Expunged offenses do not have to be disclosed to Law Schools in Texas, then it woudlnt effect your admission chances.

eazyB
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby eazyB » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:49 pm

needsomeadvicenow wrote:If you are applying in Texas see if you can have it expunged. Expunged offenses do not have to be disclosed to Law Schools in Texas, then it woudlnt effect your admission chances.



In Texas a guilty plea cannot be expunged. In my naive state as a 20 year old man I signed a guilty plea sheet the jailer put in front of me and paid the $500 dollar fine. Only deferred adjudication, pre-trial diversions, etc. can be expunged. Only way this bad boy leaves my record is with a pardon by Gov. Perry that has to be recommend by the Texas Parole and Pardon Commission. And from what I hear, Gov. Perry is a very busy man at the moment.

dkt4
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby dkt4 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:57 pm

realistically, your charge won't matter at all most likely.

i was charged with a federal APO and still got admissions to schools - although it was eventually expunged - even wrote my PS on it. you can PM me if you have any questions. but your clean record since, military service, and the distance between application and your guilty plea all suggest that no one is going to care and you won't have any significant problems with C&F, though you may want to check with your state about that.

that said, there's a lot bigger range of schools you could get into with a modest increase in LSAT -- a more dramatic increase could really change things for you, too.

edit:
definitely disclose it and write an addendum at the very least...doesn't have to be long, but it should explain the situation while acknowledging responsibility/maturation.

chicubs88
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby chicubs88 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:24 am

Your criminal "record" is a minor issue at worst, largely because of the fact that it is a lowly misdemeanor from almost a decade ago. Also, considering your military background and the honorable discharge I don't think you have anything to worry about. I don't know the specifics of the bar in Texas, but I find it highly unlikely that your crime would prevent you from being able to practice law. People have been accepted with much nastier skeletons than yours.

BarCliff
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby BarCliff » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:29 am

I would be shocked if that affected your application at all. I know people with much more serious (and more recent) criminal problems and they got in to schools exactly as their numbers predicted.

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txadv11
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby txadv11 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:52 am

FWIW I applied to almost every school in TX and all schools in OK, and got in exactly where my numbers predicted I'd go. I had disclosures. I had 2 of about 25 schools mention wanting more info or taking longer to think about my application. I also recall my answers changed depending on which school I was applying to, example: One school ONLY wanted felonies, while another wanted parking tickets and up... If you want to know more about which schools cared, PM me.

I remember worrying about this part of the application, but now, after getting in and moving past this, I feel kind of stupid for obsessing about something I can no longer control, rather than something I could have (LSAT).

bp shinners
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Re: Question on criminal history (Assault)

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:30 pm

Just adding on to mitigate your worries - as long as you're honest about it, it won't play a role (or at least more than a very minor one) in admissions. Come off as contrite and responsible in your addendum (which shouldn't be hard with military service and an honorable discharge) and you'll be fine.




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