Misdemeanor Admissions Question-Need some advice

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Futuregohan14
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Misdemeanor Admissions Question-Need some advice

Postby Futuregohan14 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:15 pm

Hey everyone, longtime lurker here. I have an issue that's been bothering me and I wanted to seek some advice.

This summer I got into my mom's car to go meet some friends and got pulled over for a minor traffic infraction (failing to use a designated lane). The officer ran the plates and found that the car's registration was suspended because of an insurance lapse back in spring. The insurance was current and paid for when I was stopped but my mother had not paid insurance for a couple of weeks back in April, hence the suspension. I'm in New York, and apparently this violation (operating while registration suspended/revoked) is a misdemeanor here.

The officer sensed that it wasn't my car and I had no idea what was going on so he let me go so long as I drove straight home. I still had a citation for the misdemeanor, though. I saw an attorney who said he can get it reduced to an infraction and thus keep my record clean. He sounded pretty confident about that, but we won't know for a couple of weeks.

The thing that has me worried is how this will impact my Law School apps. I've been working on some applications and have sent two out already. I made sure to disclose everything and plan to do so for every school that asks if I've ever been cited/charged with a misdemeanor (nearly all of them do, it seems). In the experience of everyone here, however, does this kind of traffic misdemeanor have any impact on admissions chances at most top law schools? It looks like I'll avoid conviction, but would a Top 14 or Top 20 school look down on a citation for something like this so long as I'm forthcoming about it and disclose it in detail?

Forgive me if I sound a bit like a paranoid parrot (LinkRemoved) here. I've never been in any legal trouble before, so this has had me tossing and turning. The timing was horrible too (just a few weeks before I hoped to start sending apps out). I'd appreciate any advice.

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dowu
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:47 pm

Re: Misdemeanor Admissions Question-Need some advice

Postby dowu » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:35 pm

Futuregohan14 wrote:Hey everyone, longtime lurker here. I have an issue that's been bothering me and I wanted to seek some advice.

This summer I got into my mom's car to go meet some friends and got pulled over for a minor traffic infraction (failing to use a designated lane). The officer ran the plates and found that the car's registration was suspended because of an insurance lapse back in spring. The insurance was current and paid for when I was stopped but my mother had not paid insurance for a couple of weeks back in April, hence the suspension. I'm in New York, and apparently this violation (operating while registration suspended/revoked) is a misdemeanor here.

The officer sensed that it wasn't my car and I had no idea what was going on so he let me go so long as I drove straight home. I still had a citation for the misdemeanor, though. I saw an attorney who said he can get it reduced to an infraction and thus keep my record clean. He sounded pretty confident about that, but we won't know for a couple of weeks.

The thing that has me worried is how this will impact my Law School apps. I've been working on some applications and have sent two out already. I made sure to disclose everything and plan to do so for every school that asks if I've ever been cited/charged with a misdemeanor (nearly all of them do, it seems). In the experience of everyone here, however, does this kind of traffic misdemeanor have any impact on admissions chances at most top law schools? It looks like I'll avoid conviction, but would a Top 14 or Top 20 school look down on a citation for something like this so long as I'm forthcoming about it and disclose it in detail?

Forgive me if I sound a bit like a paranoid parrot (LinkRemoved) here. I've never been in any legal trouble before, so this has had me tossing and turning. The timing was horrible too (just a few weeks before I hoped to start sending apps out). I'd appreciate any advice.


First off, relax. A registration ticket, misdemeanor or not, is not going to preclude you from attaining admission to any school. Disclose it on all of your apps, if it turns out to be a misdemeanor. Trust me; it will not hurt. All they care about is your numbers.

Stop worrying about this. There was once someone who was let into a decent law school and was convicted of murder. You will be fine.

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xylocarp
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Re: Misdemeanor Admissions Question-Need some advice

Postby xylocarp » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:37 pm

This kind of thing is not a big deal and does not reflect poorly on your character, and adcoms know that. You'll be fine.

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guano
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Re: Misdemeanor Admissions Question-Need some advice

Postby guano » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:46 pm

Might want to wait until after the case is resolved so you can accurately state the lesser infraction on your app - but not worth delaying your app over

Void
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:56 am

Re: Misdemeanor Admissions Question-Need some advice

Postby Void » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:13 am

Agree. This is the lamest misdemeanor possible, and there'a no way anyone will care. Definitely collect all the documentation you can from the police & court though, because you'll need to disclose again for the bar exam (where this will also have zero effect on your admission)

Ti Malice
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Re: Misdemeanor Admissions Question-Need some advice

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:06 am

Relax. You are indeed being paranoid. Even if the charge isn't reduced, it will have no effect on anything.

In certain states all moving violations are Class C misdemeanors. A couple of my friends at Y got in with more than a half-dozen Class C misdemeanors on their records (speeding, no signal, etc.). Adcomms aren't completely unreasonable people. Everyone knows that a simple traffic ticket doesn't mean a damned thing.

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Futuregohan14
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Re: Misdemeanor Admissions Question-Need some advice

Postby Futuregohan14 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:27 am

dowu wrote:First off, relax. A registration ticket, misdemeanor or not, is not going to preclude you from attaining admission to any school. Disclose it on all of your apps, if it turns out to be a misdemeanor. Trust me; it will not hurt. All they care about is your numbers.

Stop worrying about this. There was once someone who was let into a decent law school and was convicted of murder. You will be fine.

xylocarp wrote:This kind of thing is not a big deal and does not reflect poorly on your character, and adcoms know that. You'll be fine.

Ti Malice wrote:Relax. You are indeed being paranoid. Even if the charge isn't reduced, it will have no effect on anything.

In certain states all moving violations are Class C misdemeanors. A couple of my friends at Y got in with more than a half-dozen Class C misdemeanors on their records (speeding, no signal, etc.). Adcomms aren't completely unreasonable people. Everyone knows that a simple traffic ticket doesn't mean a damned thing.


Thanks everyone for the reassurance, everyone. It is comforting to hear this.

guano wrote:Might want to wait until after the case is resolved so you can accurately state the lesser infraction on your app - but not worth delaying your app over


I was planning to get all my apps out as early as possible and this could take a few more weeks to resolve. I wanted to make sure if I delayed that this was something worth delaying for, and it looks like it isn't. I've sent two out already with full addenda stating that I've not been convicted and will update as soon as I know the outcome.

Void wrote:Agree. This is the lamest misdemeanor possible, and there'a no way anyone will care. Definitely collect all the documentation you can from the police & court though, because you'll need to disclose again for the bar exam (where this will also have zero effect on your admission)


I've got the ticket on my computer already and I'll definitely make sure to grab any other documentation the lawyer can dig up.

So the consensus seems to be that this is no big deal, and I'm glad to hear it. I need to show my mom this thread so she can calm down too. Her blood pressure's been elevated since the day I got the ticket. She was more frightened than I was.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to advise me guys, I appreciate it.




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