Character & Fitness Disclosures

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Sprite
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Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby Sprite » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:08 pm

Literally my first week of undergrad (4 years ago), I received a citation that was something along the lines of possession of alcohol underage.

I went to court, took an alcohol education class, & had it expunged from my record. I naively thought that this would never come back to bite me.

Obviously, I am preparing to apply for law school & am going to have to disclose this.

I have called the Clerk of Court in the county where the offense occurred just to find out the exact offense & the date on which I was cited. However, they are claiming to have no record of this since it was expunged.

Does this mean that I don't have to disclose? Or am I just going to have to give a vague description of the incident?

Also, is an addendum necessary for this kind of offense? It is the one and only time I've ever been in trouble whatsoever...

Any help would be super appreciated. :)
Last edited by Sprite on Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alpine
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby Alpine » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:11 pm

I would also like to know, since I have had something similar occur in my past, as well.

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Hopefully2012
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby Hopefully2012 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:34 pm

A vague description is sufficient and it won't affect your admissions cycle. I would definitely disclose though, especially for the schools that say you must disclose expunged records.

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theadvancededit
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby theadvancededit » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:34 pm

Definitely disclose. And, being vague won't help you with anything. Just described what happened, as is, and include that it was in fact expunged.

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Sprite
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby Sprite » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:42 pm

By "vague" I meant just a general description, since it seems there's apparently no way to find out the actual charge.

If the Clerk of Court has no record of it, is there any other route for me to take to find out what it even was?

target
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby target » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:34 am

Sprite wrote:By "vague" I meant just a general description, since it seems there's apparently no way to find out the actual charge.

If the Clerk of Court has no record of it, is there any other route for me to take to find out what it even was?


I think there are ways law enforcer can get those records, but you can't. General description to the best of your knowledge with no deceptions should be okay since that's what you affirm to schools at the bottom of your application (before signing it)

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby Tim0thy222 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:47 am

Also OP, if it makes you feel better it probably won't affect your admissions decisions at all.

Last cycle I had to call a bunch of admissions offices after being accepted to add on an addendum for an expunged theft 2 charge when I was younger, and whenever I asked about if it would affect my admissions decision they were just like "LOL we don't care! This is just for your character and fitness exam later. Let's be honest, we're just using you for your numbers anyway."

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tyro
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby tyro » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:48 am

Just disclose it and be honest. An underage drinking ticket won't matter.

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Sprite
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby Sprite » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:31 am

You guys have made me feel a million times better. Thanks!

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Sprite
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby Sprite » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:53 pm

.
Last edited by Sprite on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jc010
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby jc010 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:11 am

Sprite wrote:On October 4, 2011 while traveling on Interstate-95 in XXX County, Virginia, I was stopped and issued a citation for traveling 80 MPH in a 70 MPH zone. I retained an attorney, and the charge was reduced to Defective Speedometer, a non-moving violation. The Judge imposed a $75.00 fine and court cost in the amount of $61.00, for a total of $136.00.

In August 2007, during the first week of my undergraduate studies, while carrying a case of alcoholic beverages, I was approached by an undercover police officer and issued a misdemeanor citation for underage possession of a malt beverage. I pled guilty to this charge and enrolled in a first offenders program. Upon completion of an alcohol education class, this charge was subsequently expunged from my record. However, due to this having been removed from my record, the XXX County Clerk of Court has been unable to offer the exact details of my case. This incident served as a very real wake-up call to an otherwise naïve freshman, and I have had no further non-traffic related charges.

_____________

Do I even need to include the "I learned my lesson blah blah blah"?

Also, I have tried & tried to get the details of my alcohol case, but they literally apparently have no record of the incident. Is the info I gave sufficient?


I would delete the wake-up call part. It's enough that you haven't had any other charges. I don't know if I personally would say "retained a lawyer" in the first one, but that's just my opinion.

And don't worry about your chances. I had basically the same violations and already have acceptances. It doesn't seem to matter at all. I didn't have records either so I just wrote what year/season it was in.

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby Tim0thy222 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:16 pm

jc010 wrote:
Sprite wrote:On October 4, 2011 while traveling on Interstate-95 in XXX County, Virginia, I was stopped and issued a citation for traveling 80 MPH in a 70 MPH zone. I retained an attorney, and the charge was reduced to Defective Speedometer, a non-moving violation. The Judge imposed a $75.00 fine and court cost in the amount of $61.00, for a total of $136.00.

In August 2007, during the first week of my undergraduate studies, while carrying a case of alcoholic beverages, I was approached by an undercover police officer and issued a misdemeanor citation for underage possession of a malt beverage. I pled guilty to this charge and enrolled in a first offenders program. Upon completion of an alcohol education class, this charge was subsequently expunged from my record. However, due to this having been removed from my record, the XXX County Clerk of Court has been unable to offer the exact details of my case. This incident served as a very real wake-up call to an otherwise naïve freshman, and I have had no further non-traffic related charges.

_____________

Do I even need to include the "I learned my lesson blah blah blah"?

Also, I have tried & tried to get the details of my alcohol case, but they literally apparently have no record of the incident. Is the info I gave sufficient?


I would delete the wake-up call part. It's enough that you haven't had any other charges. I don't know if I personally would say "retained a lawyer" in the first one, but that's just my opinion.

And don't worry about your chances. I had basically the same violations and already have acceptances. It doesn't seem to matter at all. I didn't have records either so I just wrote what year/season it was in.


+1. that's all good advice.

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tyro
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby tyro » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:48 am

Delete that you retained an attorney for a speeding ticket. Are you serious?

HOPEFORCHANGE
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby HOPEFORCHANGE » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:56 pm

The general rule, unless the question states explicitly that you don't have to include expunged offenses, is full disclosure. Why are you trying to conceal underage drinking anyway? Or whatever it is. Along the lines, as you said. They don't care. They really don't. Maybe if had four DUIs in the past six months, they might care. But they don't want you to lie. They want honesty. Honesty = character. Fitness = you aren't a drunk or something along the lines of it now. Trust me - I have been there and I fully disclosed. I am a law student at my first choice school.

I wouldn't lie, but it's up to you. There is no record, as you said. But what if the bar examiners do find it? You can fix fitness issues, but not your character....

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GerardC3
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby GerardC3 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:33 pm

yea I had a similar issue, just described the incident in a paragraph. Thankfully, it hasn't affected my cycle

tjos
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Re: Character & Fitness Disclosures

Postby tjos » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:20 pm

I have a similar question I was hoping someone could answer. This is the part of application regarding disclosures...

Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony (excluding minor traffic violations)? As used herein a conviction includes a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or a verdict of finding of guilt, regardless of whether sentence is imposed by the court. You must disclose this requested information even if the charges were juvenile convictions, the conviction was stayed or vacated, the record was sealed or expunged, or you were told you need not disclose this information. You must also disclose any incident that is awaiting final adjudication.

I got a ticket for public intoxication walking home one night on spring break, but was told that in the county not only was it not a felony (obviously), but it wasn't even a misdemeanor. The woman told me it was a "city ordinance violation" and that it was essentially less than a speeding ticket. I'm assuming this is the case because it's so common in the area, but I was wondering - is that something I have to disclose because of the way it's classified?




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