Am I Lying?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Krush
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:01 pm

Am I Lying?

Postby Krush » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:51 am

During my freshman year, I got into a fight off-campus. The police were called and I was arrested and issued two citations for simple assault and disturbance of the peace. In court, I pled guilty to simple assault and was found not guilty of disturbing the peace, so only the simple assault became a conviction (right?).

My school was notified, and they issued me a violation of an honor code policy for fighting.

I'm applying to school now, and most ask for charges + convictions + disciplinary action, so I tell them everything. Some, though, don't, which is where my questions come in.

GW and Georgetown, for instance, seem to only ask about convictions - "Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense, or is any charge now pending against you for any crime other than a traffic violation?"

Is it witholding the truth to state convictions but not disclose charges?

BC and BU, relatedly, not only don't ask for charges, but if I'm interpreting things correctly, then I don't even have to answer yes to convictions either given that they both ask a question like this - "Within the past five years, have you been convicted of, or released from incarceration for, a misdemeanor (or its equivalent in the applicable jurisdiction), other than for a first offense for drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, a minor traffic violation, affray, or disturbance of the peace?"

Since I only have a simple assault as a conviction (plead guilty is a conviction and found not guilty is not, right?), can I legitimately say no to this question altogether?

Even if I can, and this is really what I'm curious about, they nonetheless ask about any disciplinary action, which I have to say yes to as my school punished me for the citation. Because my disciplinary action was a result of the conviction I received, is it lying to not make mention of the conviction in explaining the disciplinary action?

You hear "full disclosure" repeated over and over again, but am I in any danger if I a) don't report charges to Georgetown/GW (but do state conviction), and b) don't report either charges or conviction to BC/BU? Would I run into problems if I try to get admitted to the bar in a state the asks for charges and sees that at GW/Georgetown I only disclosed convictions, and at BC/BU I said nothing?

Thanks in advance.

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Rigo
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:19 pm

Re: Am I Lying?

Postby Rigo » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:20 pm

When in doubt, disclose.
It's better to over-share than under-share and have that come back to bite you.

You were young and stupid at the time. This stuff won't affect your chance of admission to either schools or the bar.

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CicerBRo
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:42 pm

Re: Am I Lying?

Postby CicerBRo » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:41 pm

You mature an incredible amount over your college years. When I think of how stupid I was even as a college senior, and everything I've learned just a few years later, it amazes me. Report it; don't lie. I think law schools will understand.

Gluck.

smiles123
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:23 am

Re: Am I Lying?

Postby smiles123 » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:48 pm

It's better to disclose and be safe. That being said, based on the wording, I don't think you are lying in the circumstances you described.

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Am I Lying?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:06 pm

There is good reason that many law schools only ask for disclosure of "convictions" as distinguished from "charges". Best to answer the question asked as directly & succinctly as possible, in my opinion.

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KMart
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Re: Am I Lying?

Postby KMart » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:08 pm

I'd disclose if you're unsure on the wording. It's safer and a lot of applicants have minor things like this on their application; it'll be alright if you disclose.

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Dr. Nefario
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Re: Am I Lying?

Postby Dr. Nefario » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:59 pm

If you have an attorney from the cases, you can send him the specific wording and ask how you have to reply.

Krush
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:01 pm

Re: Am I Lying?

Postby Krush » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:12 am

Thanks for the replies.

To clarify, does anyone see a problem with telling the MA schools (BC/BU/Harvard) about my disciplinary record at university, without mentioning the simple assault that they resulted from? I only received an honor code violation because the school knew about the police encounter.

Just to be sure, these schools say that a conviction for simple assault doesn't have to be disclosed, but I want to be certain that in telling about the disciplinary record, the conviction isn't within the realm of questions and so I am not witholding the truth.

smiles123
Posts: 175
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:23 am

Re: Am I Lying?

Postby smiles123 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:26 am

I don't think you need to mentiont the conviction for MA schools. It specifically says it the wording you used that you do not need to include convictions for simple assaults.

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annzhang151515
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:16 pm

Re: Am I Lying?

Postby annzhang151515 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:32 pm

I don't think so! Maybe email them and ask without telling them your name.

thisone2014
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 7:03 pm

Re: Am I Lying?

Postby thisone2014 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:23 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:There is good reason that many law schools only ask for disclosure of "convictions" as distinguished from "charges". Best to answer the question asked as directly & succinctly as possible, in my opinion.

smiles123 wrote:I don't think you need to mentiont the conviction for MA schools. It specifically says it the wording you used that you do not need to include convictions for simple assaults.

RaiderRed wrote:If you have an attorney from the cases, you can send him the specific wording and ask how you have to reply.


+1

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JazzOne
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Re: Am I Lying?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:09 pm

smiles123 wrote:It's better to disclose and be safe. That being said, based on the wording, I don't think you are lying in the circumstances you described.

+1




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