Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

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GettingbackUp
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Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby GettingbackUp » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:00 pm

First post here. I'm apply to law schools this winter. Up until this spring, I'd never even had a speeding ticket. Something happened, the full details of which I don't want to discuss on the internet for all to see, but suffice it to say they are things I didn't really deserve and there is a large possibility my charge might get dropped, period, upon further review. But, if not... It's a misdemeanor charge. It is NOT violent, NOT drug or alcohol related. It is NOT a crime of moral turpitude. According to my attorney, there's a really good chance that even if it doesn't get dropped, I'm in a perfect position for deferred prosecution (which in my state IS NOT the entry of a no contest or guilty plea--it is simple the setting aside of a conviction for a waiting period), and then this all going away for good.

The problem? I'm looking at all the applications here for all the schools I want to apply to. I'm looking at the character and fitness sections. I will be honest, always. But I'm so scared. The "pending charge box"..Do I CHECK THAT if I already got deferred prosecution by the time application time rolls around? Is a charge still "pending" if the agreement of deferred prosecution is reached? My big fear...Do a lot of schools (or ALL schools) automatically deny you if you check that box? I feel like I'm about to cry. Somebody help me out here.

NYstate
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:07 pm

You have to disclose everything. If there is any doubt whether you should disclose, you need to disclose.

Hard to tell what impact it will have on your applications without knowing more facts, which as the charges are pending, you are wise not to discuss here.

People do get in with misdemeanors. You might have to work for a few years and then apply to distance yourself from it.

One thing- when you do disclose and write an addendum explaining what happened, you have to take responsibility for what you did. It may not seem fair, but excuses will only hurt you, even if it wasn't your fault.

GettingbackUp
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby GettingbackUp » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:22 pm

I realize this is no one's fault but my own. There's so much to the story I'd like to say, and all I can do is bite my tongue. Who knows who could be on this forum.

I'm so frustrated. These are questions for which no one I know has answers--even my attorney. I seriously doubt when he applied to law school this is a box he was checking. To say I'm disappointed in myself is more than a understatement. A life time of being the "good girl" was ruined in one night.

Does anyone have any guidance or experience on this?

What should I do? Can I call all 20 law schools I plan to apply to and ask if that box is an automatic dq? Or are they just going to lie to me anyways?

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wtrc
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby wtrc » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:48 pm

GettingbackUp wrote:I realize this is no one's fault but my own. There's so much to the story I'd like to say, and all I can do is bite my tongue. Who knows who could be on this forum.

I'm so frustrated. These are questions for which no one I know has answers--even my attorney. I seriously doubt when he applied to law school this is a box he was checking. To say I'm disappointed in myself is more than a understatement. A life time of being the "good girl" was ruined in one night.

Does anyone have any guidance or experience on this?

What should I do? Can I call all 20 law schools I plan to apply to and ask if that box is an automatic dq? Or are they just going to lie to me anyways?


You're worrying way too much. The box is pretty much never an automatic disqualification. You said yourself it doesn't have to do with moral turpitude, doesn't involve drugs or alcohol, etc. the forum can't help you too incredibly much without knowing what it is, but you're probably okay.

I know people now at top law schools with drug or alcohol convictions on their records. I have something myself. I know someone at a top law school with assault pbj on record too. I literally have never heard of it mattering.

Good luck!

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby Dr. Dre » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:22 pm

LSAT/GPA/URM status

all that matters, especially since applications will continue 2 decrease and medians will drop faster than slutty girls butts dropping on da dance floor

NYstate
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby NYstate » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:36 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:LSAT/GPA/URM status

all that matters, especially since applications will continue 2 decrease and medians will drop faster than slutty girls butts dropping on da dance floor

Not true. Schools care about C and F. At least good ones do.

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wtrc
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby wtrc » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:43 pm

NYstate wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:LSAT/GPA/URM status

all that matters, especially since applications will continue 2 decrease and medians will drop faster than slutty girls butts dropping on da dance floor

Not true. Schools care about C and F. At least good ones do.


Prove it? What's that based off of?

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby Dr. Dre » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:46 am

wtrcoins3 wrote:
NYstate wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:LSAT/GPA/URM status

all that matters, especially since applications will continue 2 decrease and medians will drop faster than slutty girls butts dropping on da dance floor

Not true. Schools care about C and F. At least good ones do.


Prove it? What's that based off of?

NYstate
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby NYstate » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:01 am

How can I prove that people weren't admitted for personal C and F reasons? I guess you are right, I can't. But top schools want to know that they are admitting students who will be able to practice law, for one thing.

My point is that you can't say that C and F doesn't matter.

I don't know if what OP did is enough to get her dinged- from her description probably not. But we don't know for sure and I feel it is false to say that schools don't care and C and F issues.

Yes, people overcome them and OP may not have any issue at all, but it isn't automatic depending on what happened.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:30 am

Call the schools and ask if you need to disclose. All you can do at this point is answer honestly and hope for the best. I don't think it will be a blanket disqualification.

But, keep in mind that it's not just getting into law school that matters; it's being able to get admitted to the bar. My advice would be, apply now, then in the spring when you see how your admissions are shaking out, call the bar examiners in the state(s) where you want to practice and ask if this will be a problem. I believe they may have anonymous hotlines for just this kind of concern.

I'm sure this feels like a huge deal right now, but it will work out. It sounds like you're handling it exactly how you need to. Whatever you do, don't lie or obfuscate it on your applications, and do what you can to keep a conviction off your record.

JJ123
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby JJ123 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:59 pm

You need to either wait until you have a firm decision on what you will be convicted of, or you need to settle this. Have you tried to plead it to disorderly conduct or something?

bp shinners
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:08 pm

GettingbackUp wrote:What should I do? Can I call all 20 law schools I plan to apply to and ask if that box is an automatic dq? Or are they just going to lie to me anyways?


It's not an automatic DQ. I can't say for sure since you're disclosing very little information, but if they rejected everyone who had a misdemeanor, we would not have nearly enough lawyers in this country. I know it can be terrifying when it's the first time you've been caught doing something wrong, but unless your characterization is wildly inaccurate, it really isn't a big deal. Calm down, take a few deep breaths, and if you're not sure based on the question on the application, call the school.

criminaltheory
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby criminaltheory » Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:04 pm

I applied with pending charges that were resolved (guilty plea on reduced charge) after I'd sent in most of my applications but before the apps were "under review," at which point I sent an addendum updating the original C&F I'd written for the app.

I got in everywhere I applied except to the T14 (WL @ 3 of the 5 I applied to). Dinged at Harvard (no surprise) and Cornell (where I think I was around median for GPA/LSAT). I'm guessing the infractions may have tipped the scales for Cornell, and maybe they didn't get me off the T14 WLs, but the T20 were happy to throw money at me.

The best way to handle C&F is to rock the LSAT.

Happy to take Qs for writing addenda in my inbox.

ETA -- Actually, I think W&M and a couple T2s accepted me before everything was resolved. Still sent updates to everyone.
Last edited by criminaltheory on Fri Aug 23, 2013 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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wtrc
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby wtrc » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:41 pm

This is interesting.

Can someone give me some examples of a C+F issue that has nothing to do with moral turpitude, drugs, or alcohol? Drawing blanks here.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:53 pm

wtrcoins3 wrote:This is interesting.

Can someone give me some examples of a C+F issue that has nothing to do with moral turpitude, drugs, or alcohol? Drawing blanks here.


Shoplifting comes to mind. Fighting, perhaps? Vandalism?

NYstate
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby NYstate » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:00 pm

wtrcoins3 wrote:This is interesting.

Can someone give me some examples of a C+F issue that has nothing to do with moral turpitude, drugs, or alcohol? Drawing blanks here.


Trespass and property damage while sober?

Loitering and being part of a group that hassled cops?

Hard to think of one.

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wtrc
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby wtrc » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:01 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
wtrcoins3 wrote:This is interesting.

Can someone give me some examples of a C+F issue that has nothing to do with moral turpitude, drugs, or alcohol? Drawing blanks here.


Shoplifting comes to mind. Fighting, perhaps? Vandalism?


Shoplifting/fighting would fall under moral turpitude, no?

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Pending Criminal Charge Issue?

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:07 pm

wtrcoins3 wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:
wtrcoins3 wrote:This is interesting.

Can someone give me some examples of a C+F issue that has nothing to do with moral turpitude, drugs, or alcohol? Drawing blanks here.


Shoplifting comes to mind. Fighting, perhaps? Vandalism?


Shoplifting/fighting would fall under moral turpitude, no?


There's no solid definition of "moral turpitude", but it usually involves crimes that have an inherent "baseness/vileness" to them, like rape, embezzlement, prostitution, solicitation, etc.




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