Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

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hadisious
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Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby hadisious » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:23 pm

..............
Last edited by hadisious on Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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oaken
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby oaken » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:30 pm

hadisious wrote:I was charged with "Simple Possession of Marijuana" my freshman year of college. I took it to a trial by jury, upon which the officer did not show up and my charges were "dismissed". I have since had the charge expunged from my record, and my record is completely clean.

I understand I will need to disclose this for some schools. My question is how detailed do I need to be, and how can I be sure they realize I was basically "not guilty" and the charges were not dismissed due to any kind of "pre-trial intervention" or anything.

Thanks. I did search! But none of the other posts involved charges which were completely dismissed in court.


You weren't found "not guilty," it was probably dismissed without prejudice. Be as detailed as they ask you to be, if you say that the officer didn't show up and it was dismissed without prejudice they'll understand the situation. (But you weren't basically "not guilty," if you were basically "not guilty" then you would have been found "not guilty").

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20130312
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby 20130312 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:37 pm

From the perspective of the adcomm, I'm seeing this a little differently than you describe. Let's be honest...

You were caught with pot. You went to trial. You got lucky because the officer didn't show up. The case was dismissed without prejudice.

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Opie
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby Opie » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:38 pm

lol

Non guilty = probably didn't do anything wrong
dismissed = probably did do something, but didn't get in any real trouble

ETA: scooped

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:47 pm

Answer the questions honestly... different C&F ask different questions. Some ask for those you were convicted on, some ask for any charges you had at one time, etc...

Just answer it / basically tell us what you told us and you'll be fine, I doubt they'll care that you had pot when you were 18 or 19

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20130312
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby 20130312 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:49 pm

ThreeRivers wrote:Answer the questions honestly... different C&F ask different questions. Some ask for those you were convicted on, some ask for any charges you had at one time, etc...

Just answer it and you'll be fine, I doubt they'll care that you had pot when you were 18 or 19


Most law school employees are former hippies, anyway.

I have no proof of that, but it just sounds so right.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:51 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
ThreeRivers wrote:Answer the questions honestly... different C&F ask different questions. Some ask for those you were convicted on, some ask for any charges you had at one time, etc...

Just answer it and you'll be fine, I doubt they'll care that you had pot when you were 18 or 19


Most law school employees are former hippies, anyway.

I have no proof of that, but it just sounds so right.

Lol, yea I just know of 3 people that had DUI's and one that had a crazy history of alcohol related arrests (he's a severe alcoholic / should fit in well I guess lol) that applied to LS... those didn't even seem to have any impact on their cycles (which is a much more serious offense than the OP)

edit : I felt bad for the other one, I was there when it happened... he was the "never have a sip of alcohol" ever kid. He was 20, had about a half a beer just to "taste" it and then drove some kid home... got pulled over for rolling pass a stop sign / other kid reeked of alcohol so they breathalyzed him and he got a DUI for a .02 since he was underaged lol
Last edited by ThreeRivers on Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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20130312
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby 20130312 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:53 pm

ThreeRivers wrote:Lol, yea I just know of 3 people that had DUI's and one that had a crazy history of alcohol related arrests (he's a severe alcoholic / should fit in well I guess lol) that applied to LS... those didn't even seem to have any impact on their cycles (which is a much more serious offense than the OP)


I lol'ed

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vanwinkle
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:42 pm

oaken wrote:You weren't found "not guilty," it was probably dismissed without prejudice. Be as detailed as they ask you to be, if you say that the officer didn't show up and it was dismissed without prejudice they'll understand the situation. (But you weren't basically "not guilty," if you were basically "not guilty" then you would have been found "not guilty").

WTF? Once a jury is empaneled you can't dismiss charges without prejudice, absent extraordinary circumstances. Jeopardy would attach, and the Fifth Amendment would bar refiling.

I agree in being clear, but all that needs to be said is that the charges were dismissed and the matter was later expunged. Also, it only needs to be disclosed when questions ask for all arrests. If it only asks about all convictions, then it's not asking about a situation like this.

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danielhay11
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby danielhay11 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:57 pm

Be as honest, direct, and concise as possible. No need for a narrative or a defense Don't say you were found not guilty unless a jury foreman and/or judge has said those words first. The charge was dismissed and expunged; prejudice is irrelevant since I doubt any DA is gonna try and reopen an old possession charge.

IMO, the greatest danger in a C&F disclosure has nothing to do with the disclosure itself but the tone in which it is written. You do not want the reader to put down your disclosure and say, "Wow, this guy is a weasel with an excuse for everything whose future in the legal profession is likely as an ambulance chaser with daytime television commercials. And oh yeah, the pot was definitely his." Adcoms will likely overlook a single posession charge, an UA drinking citation - hell, even premeditated murder is NBD these days. As long as you're not disqualified from the bar, you will not be disqualified from the school.

Edit: The fictional adcom reaction in last paragraph isn't a reaction to the OP's disclosure, since s/he hasn't posted a disclosure. Just a general reaction to some of the more egregious disclosures I've seen on here.

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hadisious
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby hadisious » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:01 pm

Thanks for all the advice. Short and concise seems to be the way to go. How does this look? Should I include "expunged under SC Law Section 17-1-40"?

• Simple Possession of Marijuana - Spartanburg, SC 3 May 2008
Charges were dismissed, and subsequently expunged.

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20130312
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby 20130312 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:06 pm

hadisious wrote:Thanks for all the advice. Short and concise seems to be the way to go. How does this look? Should I include "expunged under SC Law Section 17-1-40"?

• Simple Possession of Marijuana - Spartanburg, SC 3 May 2008
Charges were dismissed, and subsequently expunged.


Well done, no further detail required

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danielhay11
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Re: Disclosing charges when Not Guilty

Postby danielhay11 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:23 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
hadisious wrote:Thanks for all the advice. Short and concise seems to be the way to go. How does this look? Should I include "expunged under SC Law Section 17-1-40"?

• Simple Possession of Marijuana - Spartanburg, SC 3 May 2008
Charges were dismissed, and subsequently expunged.


Well done, no further detail required


+1




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