AUSA C&F Issues

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AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 10:39 am

Hey guys! Just wondering if I should throw out any aspirations at EDNY/SDNY AUSA and DOJ out the window. Attending CCN and was really hoping to work in FedGov in the future.

When I was 17 I had an arrest due to not showing up to court for an open container summons. I never received this summons, and it turned out later that someone stole my ID and put that summons on my name. I obviously didn't know I had to show up to court as I had no knowledge of this (hence a warrant of my arrest was issued and I was arrested when police had me at a checkpoint and ran my ID). I never got this legally straightened out or proven. The case was dismissed through ACD 6 months, but the arrest is probably still on record?

Additionally, I have a handful of minor tickets like open container, underage drinking, and even public urination from my 16-18 year old range. Most of them were all dismissed through the same ACD 6 months and I didn't even pay a fine. Maybe one open container/underage drinking wasn't dismissed and I paid a fine.

So, how bad is all this?

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guynourmin
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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby guynourmin » Thu May 11, 2017 11:20 am

H has a lot of info available about this online (google it, should be really helpful to answering questions you didn't even know you had). The answer really is it depends.

If there is confusion on my part, it comes down to in one place they (H) say you have to "pass" an FBI background check and in another place they say each USAO treats past drug use on a case-by-case basis and there isn't a formal policy across the board (and let's assume your violations would come under drug use). So maybe "passing" an fbi background check means always having filed your taxes, not having suspicious ties to foreign governments, etc, and then they just uncover all this other info, don't pass judgment on it, and pass it along to the individual office you've applied to/been accepted at and they review it internally.

Then this is just wild, dumb speculation on my part, but on its face your story does not have a very strong internal narrative: you have multiple drinking-related violations and in the middle of that exact time period someone stole your ID and happened to get hit with an identical charge that is completely in line with your actions at the time, then you never bothered to fight it at all. It sounds like a lie, you know?


(0L, but I think I'm being helpful!)

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 11:25 am

guybourdin wrote:H has a lot of info available about this online (google it, should be really helpful to answering questions you didn't even know you had). The answer really is it depends.

If there is confusion on my part, it comes down to in one place they (H) say you have to "pass" an FBI background check and in another place they say each USAO treats past drug use on a case-by-case basis and there isn't a formal policy across the board (and let's assume your violations would come under drug use). So maybe "passing" an fbi background check means always having filed your taxes, not having suspicious ties to foreign governments, etc, and then they just uncover all this other info, don't pass judgment on it, and pass it along to the individual office you've applied to/been accepted at and they review it internally.

Then this is just wild, dumb speculation on my part, but on its face your story does not have a very strong internal narrative: you have multiple drinking-related violations and in the middle of that exact time period someone stole your ID and happened to get hit with an identical charge that is completely in line with your actions at the time, then you never bothered to fight it at all. It sounds like a lie, you know?


It wouldn't make sense for me to not show up to court though when I have with all the others. Regardless, I wasn't arrested for any felonies/DUI's/drug-related activities, and I was just wondering how this would all work out.

I also didn't see the reason for hiring a lawyer and proving that it wasn't me and somebody stole my id. The result would be exactly the same : the arrest would stay on file as all arrests do, and the charges were dismissed and expunged anyway.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 11:32 am

Anonymous User wrote: Regardless, I wasn't arrested for any felonies/DUI's/drug-related activities, and I was just wondering how this would all work out.


and I'm responding to you - there's basically no way to know how it will work out until you get there, unfortunately. Specifically, the info H put out makes it seem highly case-by-case dependent, and in that kind of situation, whoever is on the other side of the table listening to your story should believe it. H's website says someone was dinged for having tried marijuana once (and this is supposed to take place after they've decided to hire you). Obviously this does nothing to allay your concerns, but I hope it helps!

http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/ ... -final.pdf

http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/opia/job-se ... s/?redir=1

and there are a number of other pages/docs they have up if you search around a bit.

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guynourmin
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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby guynourmin » Thu May 11, 2017 11:54 am

accidental anon, sorry, that was me again

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jess
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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby jess » Thu May 11, 2017 1:14 pm

You'll be fine. Just disclose everything.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby jess » Thu May 11, 2017 1:16 pm

Can 0ls please not give advice here? I just read the posts before mine, and it isn't helpful.

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jess
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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby jess » Thu May 11, 2017 1:26 pm

Here is the process:

You fill out the background check form. An investigator from the FBI is assigned to your case (sometimes multiple). They check everything. This includes interviewing the references you put for each address, interviewing you, pulling your credit, pulling your criminal history, etc. You will disclose all arrests on the form. They might ask for info on them during your interview. It's best to get paperwork from the court now showing everything was dismissed.

I admitted to an arrest for underage drinking + marijuana use and was barely questioned about it. My friend admitted to using marijuana "hundreds of times," so the FBI interviewed his old college roommate. You were a minor for several of your incidents, and you dont have any convictions. You should be fine.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 1:39 pm

jess wrote:Here is the process:

You fill out the background check form. An investigator from the FBI is assigned to your case (sometimes multiple). They check everything. This includes interviewing the references you put for each address, interviewing you, pulling your credit, pulling your criminal history, etc. You will disclose all arrests on the form. They might ask for info on them during your interview. It's best to get paperwork from the court now showing everything was dismissed.

I admitted to an arrest for underage drinking + marijuana use and was barely questioned about it. My friend admitted to using marijuana "hundreds of times," so the FBI interviewed his old college roommate. You were a minor for several of your incidents, and you dont have any convictions. You should be fine.


Thank you!
About the drug use questions, will they ask you about drug usage in the past? For the 16-20 year range? I haven't and don't smoke weed but there were times during concerts/clubs I took party drugs. I read somewhere online that absolutely no matter what you tell them the truth, but I feel like why would you disclose to them that you took MDMA/Ecstacy when you were 18 at a concert? Especially if you are completely clean for the 5+ years.

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jess
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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby jess » Thu May 11, 2017 1:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jess wrote:Here is the process:

You fill out the background check form. An investigator from the FBI is assigned to your case (sometimes multiple). They check everything. This includes interviewing the references you put for each address, interviewing you, pulling your credit, pulling your criminal history, etc. You will disclose all arrests on the form. They might ask for info on them during your interview. It's best to get paperwork from the court now showing everything was dismissed.

I admitted to an arrest for underage drinking + marijuana use and was barely questioned about it. My friend admitted to using marijuana "hundreds of times," so the FBI interviewed his old college roommate. You were a minor for several of your incidents, and you dont have any convictions. You should be fine.


Thank you!
About the drug use questions, will they ask you about drug usage in the past? For the 16-20 year range? I haven't and don't smoke weed but there were times during concerts/clubs I took party drugs. I read somewhere online that absolutely no matter what you tell them the truth, but I feel like why would you disclose to them that you took MDMA/Ecstacy when you were 18 at a concert? Especially if you are completely clean for the 5+ years.

I'm not going to address your last two sentences, but yes, you are asked about past drug use. IIRC, for the past 7 years. Recent use is bad. Otherwise, they are fairly okay with experimentation in college absent evidence of addiction. This leniency probably only extends to certain drugs (so not meth, etc).

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 2:01 pm

I would not lie, even though you probably won't get caught.

I lied about drug use on an SF86, with an analogous situation to your "MDMA one time at a concert" hypo, and obviously the FBI did not track down some evidence and catch me, but now I'm pretty screwed if I ever want to apply for a position that requires a polygraph.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 2:17 pm

jess wrote:Here is the process:

You fill out the background check form. An investigator from the FBI is assigned to your case (sometimes multiple). They check everything. This includes interviewing the references you put for each address, interviewing you, pulling your credit, pulling your criminal history, etc. You will disclose all arrests on the form. They might ask for info on them during your interview. It's best to get paperwork from the court now showing everything was dismissed.

I admitted to an arrest for underage drinking + marijuana use and was barely questioned about it. My friend admitted to using marijuana "hundreds of times," so the FBI interviewed his old college roommate. You were a minor for several of your incidents, and you dont have any convictions. You should be fine.


I will give you my experience on why I agree with whomever wrote "it depends."

I was an intern in a flyover USA office. I had one underage drinking citation from freshman year of college and that was it. (I also worked 2+ years before law school, so it happened 8 years ago) I disclosed. It took multiple weeks for them to process my application and made me write a detailed explanation and how I have changed whereas other interns had their applications approved right away and started on time. Ultimately I was approved, but the fact that it slowed up my application process by several weeks and I missed out on a lot of time. And I am not talking about a standard delay by a week or two; I am talking like 4-5 weeks later than the normal start. I had no other citations, arrests, or other C&F issues whatsoever.

I am sure you will get approved no problem, but I would get it in ASAP and be prepared to explain.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby albanach » Thu May 11, 2017 2:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you!
About the drug use questions, will they ask you about drug usage in the past? For the 16-20 year range? I haven't and don't smoke weed but there were times during concerts/clubs I took party drugs. I read somewhere online that absolutely no matter what you tell them the truth, but I feel like why would you disclose to them that you took MDMA/Ecstacy when you were 18 at a concert? Especially if you are completely clean for the 5+ years.


18 U.S.C. § 1001

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jess
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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby jess » Thu May 11, 2017 2:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jess wrote:Here is the process:

You fill out the background check form. An investigator from the FBI is assigned to your case (sometimes multiple). They check everything. This includes interviewing the references you put for each address, interviewing you, pulling your credit, pulling your criminal history, etc. You will disclose all arrests on the form. They might ask for info on them during your interview. It's best to get paperwork from the court now showing everything was dismissed.

I admitted to an arrest for underage drinking + marijuana use and was barely questioned about it. My friend admitted to using marijuana "hundreds of times," so the FBI interviewed his old college roommate. You were a minor for several of your incidents, and you dont have any convictions. You should be fine.


I will give you my experience on why I agree with whomever wrote "it depends."

I was an intern in a flyover USA office. I had one underage drinking citation from freshman year of college and that was it. (I also worked 2+ years before law school, so it happened 8 years ago) I disclosed. It took multiple weeks for them to process my application and made me write a detailed explanation and how I have changed whereas other interns had their applications approved right away and started on time. Ultimately I was approved, but the fact that it slowed up my application process by several weeks and I missed out on a lot of time. And I am not talking about a standard delay by a week or two; I am talking like 4-5 weeks later than the normal start. I had no other citations, arrests, or other C&F issues whatsoever.

I am sure you will get approved no problem, but I would get it in ASAP and be prepared to explain.

When I interned, I also had to write an apology essay and have my future supervisor say he vouched for me and did not care about my underage drinking citation. When it came time for me to do the full FBI background check 2 yrs later, I did not have to write an essay. No one seemed to care anymore.

Also the background check process takes soo long when you are non-government at time of application. You won't be told an exact start date before you even begin the investigation process. My background investigation lasted end of Feb to mid Nov.

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TooMuchTuna
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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby TooMuchTuna » Thu May 11, 2017 2:52 pm

Never. Lie.

As someone else mentioned, in the event you ever apply for a position where a poly is required, lying is an automatic fail (at least that's what I was told by several members of a three-letter gov organization during the recruiting process).

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 3:00 pm

OP here,

Thank you guys! What I got from this is - it might not be a huge problem that bars me from working fed, but not to lie about anything and answer all the questions truthfully no matter how low the chances of a lie being uncovered is.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 11, 2017 3:08 pm

TooMuchTuna wrote:Never. Lie.

Unless, apparently, you are asked to write a letter of apology for smoking pot—in which case you should pretend to be sorry for doing something that you probably don't believe is wrong.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby TooMuchTuna » Thu May 11, 2017 3:39 pm

Ha, I get what you're saying, but I'd be careful how I worded my letter. The dreaded, all encompassing, "have you been completely truthful during the application process" question was something that made me lose far too many hours of sleep.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 4:10 pm

I've unfortunately posted this elsewhere but it seems like some knowledgeable, new voices in this thread. Current clerk, former biglaw, with a DUI in law school, about 8 years ago. Any thoughts on this will be an outright bar? Have an expunged dorm citation for having beer in the dorm 13 years ago or whatever (which i will disclose). I don't think there's anything else too troubling in my past (maybe 3-5 times trying marijuana 10+ years ago). Not sure if relevant but will likely have a divorce in my past at this point--largely, if not wholly, due to my career ambitions and moving, etc. to get there). If this is a bar, it kinda wipes away the last few years of my life which has been nothing but striving for this (at the cost of relationships, etc.).

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 11, 2017 4:15 pm

I was told the only outright bars are post-bar drug use, failure to pay taxes, and defaulting on student loans. I can't imagine your past would be a bar.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Thu May 11, 2017 4:20 pm

rpupkin wrote:
TooMuchTuna wrote:Never. Lie.

Unless, apparently, you are asked to write a letter of apology for smoking pot—in which case you should pretend to be sorry for doing something that you probably don't believe is wrong.


Just think of it as being sorry you smoked pot because now you have to explain it to a potential employer. See. Not lying.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 12, 2017 2:13 pm

I applied to a position and they asked me during my in-person interview about c&f issues. I disclosed, and they said I probably shouldn't apply. First, as I was told, the hiring decisions are at the discretion of the appointed US attorney, so it kind of depends on his/her attitudes toward your past discretion. Second, even if you do apply and disclose on the form, your disclosures are now recorded and accessible by other gov't agencies should you apply elsewhere.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Lettow » Mon May 15, 2017 10:52 am

TooMuchTuna wrote:Never. Lie.

As someone else mentioned, in the event you ever apply for a position where a poly is required, lying is an automatic fail (at least that's what I was told by several members of a three-letter gov organization during the recruiting process).


This seems hugely overblown. Exactly which career paths require a polygraph? Google reveals this: "The CIA and FBI require polygraph tests of some permanent employees." https://law.yale.edu/student-life/caree ... und-checks. So, some CIA & FBI employees are polygraphed. If that's pretty much it, polygraphs aren't required for the vast, vast majority of fedgov legal positions.

If an applicant wouldn't or likely wouldn't receive an offer because he/she disclosed, what good reason is there to disclose?

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon May 15, 2017 10:58 am

Lettow wrote:
TooMuchTuna wrote:Never. Lie.

As someone else mentioned, in the event you ever apply for a position where a poly is required, lying is an automatic fail (at least that's what I was told by several members of a three-letter gov organization during the recruiting process).


This seems hugely overblown. Exactly which career paths require a polygraph? Google reveals this: "The CIA and FBI require polygraph tests of some permanent employees." https://law.yale.edu/student-life/caree ... und-checks. So, some CIA & FBI employees are polygraphed. If that's pretty much it, polygraphs aren't required for the vast, vast majority of fedgov legal positions.

If an applicant wouldn't or likely wouldn't receive an offer because he/she disclosed, what good reason is there to disclose?

To obey the law and tell the truth? Starting off your employment with the Feds (or anyone) by lying to get a job is not something I'd be willing to do. You do you, everyone has to decide for themselves what they want to do, but obeying the law is a good reason.

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Re: AUSA C&F Issues

Postby Lettow » Mon May 15, 2017 11:13 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Lettow wrote:
TooMuchTuna wrote:Never. Lie.

As someone else mentioned, in the event you ever apply for a position where a poly is required, lying is an automatic fail (at least that's what I was told by several members of a three-letter gov organization during the recruiting process).


This seems hugely overblown. Exactly which career paths require a polygraph? Google reveals this: "The CIA and FBI require polygraph tests of some permanent employees." https://law.yale.edu/student-life/caree ... und-checks. So, some CIA & FBI employees are polygraphed. If that's pretty much it, polygraphs aren't required for the vast, vast majority of fedgov legal positions.

If an applicant wouldn't or likely wouldn't receive an offer because he/she disclosed, what good reason is there to disclose?

To obey the law and tell the truth? Starting off your employment with the Feds (or anyone) by lying to get a job is not something I'd be willing to do. You do you, everyone has to decide for themselves what they want to do, but obeying the law is a good reason.


I realize a subjective desire to not lie could be a "good reason." However, the applicant in this hypo already broke the law by having a history of drug use. Although the applicant could be a born again believer in Law & Order & Justice, it's just not as likely. The average applicant in this situation who chooses to disclose probably does so because he/she is afraid of getting caught. Or the person doesn't realize the disclosure might actually kill any chance he/she had. I was wondering whether the fear is justified; it doesn't seem so.
Last edited by Lettow on Mon May 15, 2017 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.




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