1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

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articulably suspect
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:01 am

Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:30 pm

lsb wrote:
ejjones wrote:
lsb wrote:Calm down, damn. You were suggesting that because ADAs are in a privileged position where drugs could seriously affect their job, they should be drug tested. If you don't like my legislature example (and who gives a shit that they are elected), what about doctors? I guess you think they should be drug tested. They come into contact with all types of drugs everyday and also hold the lives of human beings in their hands.

Second, why would ADAs be drug tested in the first place? They're not arresting people so they don't come into contact with money, guns, and drugs. It would insulting to treat an ADA like a clerk at Best Buy. Why don't we drug test Scalia, Roberts, and Ginsburg while we're at it?


Your logic is terrible. I initially said that I thought ADA's not taking a drug test seemed to go against the grain of LE and is surprising based on my experience, this is the root of my comment. Where I worked(DA), everyone had to take a drug test when they got offered a job, attorney down to PT filing clerk, everyone. Privileged position, what the hell does that mean? Do you really think it's denigrating to ask a potential prosecutor to take a drug test, because they have a JD or what I don't get that? Because they have a JD they shouldn't have to take a drug test, you get tested before you get the ADA job so ADA's don't technically get tested where I've worked, you get tested before getting sworn in and never again?

Elected officials, that matters because they aren't hired, the voters give you a job, not an agency, business, etc, the people decide if they want you to represent them, drug use, hookers, etc or not. Do you seriously believe that the vetting process for Supreme Court Justices doesn't address things like past drug use or anything else related to their "character", integrity, intelligence, etc for that matter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_H._Ginsburg?) Shit, how many haven't made it to the confirmation hearings due to the crap discucussed about them, see Harriet Miers?

Do you know that MD's working in various capacities don't have to take a drug test, because I don't know.

Re: the bold portion, yes they do! Coming from someone who obtained this type of evidence and hand delivered it to the prosecutors, they do come into possession of those materials. Also, ADA's can carry a concealed weapon if they wish where I live(ie not the backwoods), as far as I know this isn't uncommon.

Edit: please test Scalia, oh and I'm not big on drug testing BTW. Wasn't advocating widespread drug testing you ass.


Yes you're right, they may come into contact with guns and money, but it's after it's been processed. It would be ridiculous to think that they are going to steal a kilo of cocaine after it's already been obtained as evidence. It's different when it's a cop who pulls someone over on the side of the highway and come across 30k in cash.

I dont see why you think it matters that legislatures are elected. We're the boss and they are the potential employee.

And of course potential Justices get grilled before they get confirmed, but Congress does not say at the hearing "ok Sotomayor, now before we give you the official nod, we're going to need you to go to the ladies room and piss in this little cup for us. Now go quick and bring it back so we can get it analyzed." How insulting would that be?

No, doctors do not get drug tested. At least none that I've met.

Also, where do you live in where there is all this oversight? It sounds like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.


Wow. I never suggested that the reason for requiring a potential prosecutor to take a drug test had anything to do with them tampering with evidence, but you tend to stretch a bit so ok. You said "They're not arresting people so they don't come into contact with money, guns, and drugs.", which isn't true and some of them carry a concealed weapon, that's all(again based on my experience.) They do come in contact, I said nothing about what they may or may not do with evidence, simply that they came in contact with those things you mentioned.

It's legislators, you can't drug test a legislature. Yes, we elect them, exactly. You said, in response to my surprise that an ADA wasn't drug tested that "I guess we should also drug test legislatures then because they make the laws." What does that have to do with LE and drug tests, which was what I was commenting on? Also, elected officials are scrutinized by hundred, thousands, ..., millions of people, not to mention scholars, pundits, 24 hr news networks, who search to find the slightest piece of scandal to ruin X candidate or public servants reputation, as to discover the "quality" of the candidate and then the people vote and decide, most of the time. This is very different from getting hired by an individual(s) at a particular agency, department, etc, thus background checks, which may include a drug test or drug history background check(every Fed job that I'm aware of) might be the only way they find out about certain aspects of a candidate. Again, I don't necessarily agree with any of this.

With justices, appointed and again thoroughly vetted. They've proved themselves, hopefully, as ethical individuals with a strong understanding of the law, why would they need to be drug tested? You made that connection, a bad one at that, not me. You're questioning your own flawed logic. I never thought they should be tested, you brought us here. My point was look at what happens to nominees who have "blemishes", they often withdraw before even getting to a confirmation hearing. With Ginsburg, it was his "continued use of marijuana after graduation and as a professor that made his indiscretions more serious in the minds of many Senators and members of the public." That is insulting, that something he did so long ago could bring down a nominee, who otherwise is a good candidate and a Federal Apellate Jugdge. A piss test isn't necessary, we have the media, eunuch senators and a stupid constituency!

So you don't know of any doctors that have been required to take a drug test, therefore all MD's don't?

I live in Orwellian CA. Oversight? It's a fucking drug test. I hope you're just fuckng with me.

lsb
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:46 pm

Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby lsb » Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:03 pm

ejjones wrote:
lsb wrote:
ejjones wrote:
lsb wrote:Calm down, damn. You were suggesting that because ADAs are in a privileged position where drugs could seriously affect their job, they should be drug tested. If you don't like my legislature example (and who gives a shit that they are elected), what about doctors? I guess you think they should be drug tested. They come into contact with all types of drugs everyday and also hold the lives of human beings in their hands.

Second, why would ADAs be drug tested in the first place? They're not arresting people so they don't come into contact with money, guns, and drugs. It would insulting to treat an ADA like a clerk at Best Buy. Why don't we drug test Scalia, Roberts, and Ginsburg while we're at it?


Your logic is terrible. I initially said that I thought ADA's not taking a drug test seemed to go against the grain of LE and is surprising based on my experience, this is the root of my comment. Where I worked(DA), everyone had to take a drug test when they got offered a job, attorney down to PT filing clerk, everyone. Privileged position, what the hell does that mean? Do you really think it's denigrating to ask a potential prosecutor to take a drug test, because they have a JD or what I don't get that? Because they have a JD they shouldn't have to take a drug test, you get tested before you get the ADA job so ADA's don't technically get tested where I've worked, you get tested before getting sworn in and never again?

Elected officials, that matters because they aren't hired, the voters give you a job, not an agency, business, etc, the people decide if they want you to represent them, drug use, hookers, etc or not. Do you seriously believe that the vetting process for Supreme Court Justices doesn't address things like past drug use or anything else related to their "character", integrity, intelligence, etc for that matter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_H._Ginsburg?) Shit, how many haven't made it to the confirmation hearings due to the crap discucussed about them, see Harriet Miers?

Do you know that MD's working in various capacities don't have to take a drug test, because I don't know.

Re: the bold portion, yes they do! Coming from someone who obtained this type of evidence and hand delivered it to the prosecutors, they do come into possession of those materials. Also, ADA's can carry a concealed weapon if they wish where I live(ie not the backwoods), as far as I know this isn't uncommon.

Edit: please test Scalia, oh and I'm not big on drug testing BTW. Wasn't advocating widespread drug testing you ass.


Yes you're right, they may come into contact with guns and money, but it's after it's been processed. It would be ridiculous to think that they are going to steal a kilo of cocaine after it's already been obtained as evidence. It's different when it's a cop who pulls someone over on the side of the highway and come across 30k in cash.

I dont see why you think it matters that legislatures are elected. We're the boss and they are the potential employee.

And of course potential Justices get grilled before they get confirmed, but Congress does not say at the hearing "ok Sotomayor, now before we give you the official nod, we're going to need you to go to the ladies room and piss in this little cup for us. Now go quick and bring it back so we can get it analyzed." How insulting would that be?

No, doctors do not get drug tested. At least none that I've met.

Also, where do you live in where there is all this oversight? It sounds like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.


Wow. I never suggested that the reason for requiring a potential prosecutor to take a drug test had anything to do with them tampering with evidence, but you tend to stretch a bit so ok. You said "They're not arresting people so they don't come into contact with money, guns, and drugs.", which isn't true and some of them carry a concealed weapon, that's all(again based on my experience.) They do come in contact, I said nothing about what they may or may not do with evidence, simply that they came in contact with those things you mentioned.

It's legislators, you can't drug test a legislature. Yes, we elect them, exactly. You said, in response to my surprise that an ADA wasn't drug tested that "I guess we should also drug test legislatures then because they make the laws." What does that have to do with LE and drug tests, which was what I was commenting on? Also, elected officials are scrutinized by hundred, thousands, ..., millions of people, not to mention scholars, pundits, 24 hr news networks, who search to find the slightest piece of scandal to ruin X candidate or public servants reputation, as to discover the "quality" of the candidate and then the people vote and decide, most of the time. This is very different from getting hired by an individual(s) at a particular agency, department, etc, thus background checks, which may include a drug test or drug history background check(every Fed job that I'm aware of) might be the only way they find out about certain aspects of a candidate. Again, I don't necessarily agree with any of this.

With justices, appointed and again thoroughly vetted. They've proved themselves, hopefully, as ethical individuals with a strong understanding of the law, why would they need to be drug tested? You made that connection, a bad one at that, not me. You're questioning your own flawed logic. I never thought they should be tested, you brought us here. My point was look at what happens to nominees who have "blemishes", they often withdraw before even getting to a confirmation hearing. With Ginsburg, it was his "continued use of marijuana after graduation and as a professor that made his indiscretions more serious in the minds of many Senators and members of the public." That is insulting, that something he did so long ago could bring down a nominee, who otherwise is a good candidate and a Federal Apellate Jugdge. A piss test isn't necessary, we have the media, eunuch senators and a stupid constituency!

So you don't know of any doctors that have been required to take a drug test, therefore all MD's don't?

I live in Orwellian CA. Oversight? It's a fucking drug test. I hope you're just fuckng with me.



Very weak argument. You could easily say that because lawyer have passed the bar (including the C&F), they have proven themselves "as ethical individuals with a strong understanding of the law." Anyway, why is it remotely relevant to the drug test discussion that Justices have a strong understanding of the law. What does that have to do with anything?

For some reason you're not getting this. I never misconstrued your initial post to say that you wanted perspective ADAs to get tested. I simply tried to explain to you why they are not tested. You should be thanking me for educating you.

As for your little comment about ADAs carrying concealed weapons. Yes, a lot of them do carry, but they are not issued to them by the DA's office, and they are certainly not mandatory.

Anyway, I'm sick of talking to you about something so stupid. I can't believe I'm even responding right now. You're welcome.
Last edited by lsb on Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

the lantern
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:47 am

Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby the lantern » Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:19 pm

arguing on the internet...

ruining a good thread...

sprezzatura
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:51 am

Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby sprezzatura » Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:27 pm

I've got an idea: you two get a room and STFU so that the rest of us can just get the answers we're looking for.

articulably suspect
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:01 am

Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:40 pm

Yes you did and still are, what I wrote initially: "wait, they didn't make you take a drug test? i find that interesting and completely counter to law enforcement." I never said they should or shouldn't, just that this isn't what I've seen and heard, working at a DA office and knowing people who work in DA offices in surrounding counties. As to them not getting tested, again, this is the only ADA or office I've heard of not requiring tests (3yrs at DA office as an enforcement officer).

Here the weapons are issued by the DA office and you're right it's not mandatory, every deputized attorney can have a firearm issued to them by the DA office. Where are you getting your information from? You are so damn off on everything.

Thanks for the education, jesus, I'm sitting here with another former DA employee office laughing at the crap you're educating me and everyone else on.

To everyone this stupid exchange has pissed off, sorry just trying to clarify that it's not common, as far as I know, for a DA office to not drug test, again based on my experience and knowledge pertaining specifically to this field. People are always curious about drug history/tests in govt, just sharing what I know.

Spreezzatura, why don't you ask a question if you're interested in this threads intended purpose(questions, comments, etc relating to DA work) or STFU yourself?

articulably suspect
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:01 am

Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Ok, I don't want to get into this whole drug argument, but I have a related question that is on topic.

I know for jobs in the FBA, US Attorney's Office, etc. people say that any history of drug use (other than marijuana) is an automatic disqualifier. Personally, I would fall into this category. I know that I *could* lie about it as long as they don't polygraph me, but I value my integrity more than that. I'm not embarrassed about it and I don't think it made me (or says that I am) a person of "poor moral character." Since higher level federal jobs would automatically disqualify me upon this admission, are there any DA/prosecution jobs that would also disqualify me? Personally, I'm not sure what I want to do (public service/private practice/etc), but if my history is going to preclude me from getting a job as a DA, then I might as well get it out of my head now. Are the requirements as strict for these jobs?

Just to be clear (and since this is anonymous), I have done powder cocaine probably hundreds of times. I've never had addiction problems and I don't do that stuff anymore. It was mostly stuff my friends and I did in college. If it matters, I already have a secret clearance from the military (though that was before I went to college). LIke I said, in my eyes, it shouldn't matter because I don't do that stuff anymore and I'm not a bad person (clean record, good job history, etc.), but will this prohibit me from getting a position at the city/county level?


As someone who has applied for federal LE jobs, I can tell you that they want your drug history from the past 10 yrs or so, I'm not sure if this is still the case, it was several years ago. I'm interested in JAG and have been corresponding with a current JAG, he said to be as candid as possible and that mild use of any drug within the past few years leading up to the time one applies can seriously hurt a candidates chances. He went on to say that he admitted to using marijuana a few times in HS and well, he got hired. They also ask if you've ever sold or transported a narcotic. He told me that they asked his friends and family about all substance use, including alcohol consumption. I agree with you, that something you did several or many years ago shouldn't be held against you, unfortunately it does to an extent. Once I realized that Federal govt was something I was interested in, I had to make a few alterations in my lifestyle and decisions.

Based on my experience at a DA office/knowledge working with and knowing ADAs in other counties, they were drug tested once in the beginning and that was it. The extensive drug history background check like the one Federal positions require isn't used in the prosecutor hiring process where I'm at. As far as I know, they don't ask about what drugs you've used and how many times you've used them. If you are interested in state or local level attorney positions I think your past drug use shouldn't be an issue.

Where I worked, they would ask an investigator to do a background check on the various employees, attorney or otherwise. Some were less thorough then others. People did have investigators come out and talk to their neighbors. My GF who also worked LE for the county had investigators visit her neighbors and they did ask about alcohol consumption. All in all, I think it's not a very extensive background check compared to other related agencies. Once you get through all the background checks, run through DOJ and all that, you take a drug test, which is essentially the last part of the hiring process. Once you pass the drug test you're hired on. I think it also depends on the DA too.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:57 pm

ejjones wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ok, I don't want to get into this whole drug argument, but I have a related question that is on topic.

I know for jobs in the FBA, US Attorney's Office, etc. people say that any history of drug use (other than marijuana) is an automatic disqualifier. Personally, I would fall into this category. I know that I *could* lie about it as long as they don't polygraph me, but I value my integrity more than that. I'm not embarrassed about it and I don't think it made me (or says that I am) a person of "poor moral character." Since higher level federal jobs would automatically disqualify me upon this admission, are there any DA/prosecution jobs that would also disqualify me? Personally, I'm not sure what I want to do (public service/private practice/etc), but if my history is going to preclude me from getting a job as a DA, then I might as well get it out of my head now. Are the requirements as strict for these jobs?

Just to be clear (and since this is anonymous), I have done powder cocaine probably hundreds of times. I've never had addiction problems and I don't do that stuff anymore. It was mostly stuff my friends and I did in college. If it matters, I already have a secret clearance from the military (though that was before I went to college). LIke I said, in my eyes, it shouldn't matter because I don't do that stuff anymore and I'm not a bad person (clean record, good job history, etc.), but will this prohibit me from getting a position at the city/county level?


As someone who has applied for federal LE jobs, I can tell you that they want your drug history from the past 10 yrs or so, I'm not sure if this is still the case, it was several years ago. I'm interested in JAG and have been corresponding with a current JAG, he said to be as candid as possible and that mild use of any drug within the past few years leading up to the time one applies can seriously hurt a candidates chances. He went on to say that he admitted to using marijuana a few times in HS and well, he got hired. They also ask if you've ever sold or transported a narcotic. He told me that they asked his friends and family about all substance use, including alcohol consumption. I agree with you, that something you did several or many years ago shouldn't be held against you, unfortunately it does to an extent. Once I realized that Federal govt was something I was interested in, I had to make a few alterations in my lifestyle and decisions.

Based on my experience at a DA office/knowledge working with and knowing ADAs in other counties, they were drug tested once in the beginning and that was it. The extensive drug history background check like the one Federal positions require isn't used in the prosecutor hiring process where I'm at. As far as I know, they don't ask about what drugs you've used and how many times you've used them. If you are interested in state or local level attorney positions I think your past drug use shouldn't be an issue.

Where I worked, they would ask an investigator to do a background check on the various employees, attorney or otherwise. Some were less thorough then others. People did have investigators come out and talk to their neighbors. My GF who also worked LE for the county had investigators visit her neighbors and they did ask about alcohol consumption. All in all, I think it's not a very extensive background check compared to other related agencies. Once you get through all the background checks, run through DOJ and all that, you take a drug test, which is essentially the last part of the hiring process. Once you pass the drug test you're hired on. I think it also depends on the DA too.



There might be different restrictions for the JAG route, but I know for a fact that you can have smoked marijuana a few times and still get accepted into OCS and eventually commissioned.

At the DA's office you work at, will a prior criminal record for minor crimes (i.e., DUI, Marijuana pocession, etc.) automatically disqualify you from getting hired? If not, would that person have a real uphill battle?

articulably suspect
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:01 am

Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ejjones wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ok, I don't want to get into this whole drug argument, but I have a related question that is on topic.

I know for jobs in the FBA, US Attorney's Office, etc. people say that any history of drug use (other than marijuana) is an automatic disqualifier. Personally, I would fall into this category. I know that I *could* lie about it as long as they don't polygraph me, but I value my integrity more than that. I'm not embarrassed about it and I don't think it made me (or says that I am) a person of "poor moral character." Since higher level federal jobs would automatically disqualify me upon this admission, are there any DA/prosecution jobs that would also disqualify me? Personally, I'm not sure what I want to do (public service/private practice/etc), but if my history is going to preclude me from getting a job as a DA, then I might as well get it out of my head now. Are the requirements as strict for these jobs?

Just to be clear (and since this is anonymous), I have done powder cocaine probably hundreds of times. I've never had addiction problems and I don't do that stuff anymore. It was mostly stuff my friends and I did in college. If it matters, I already have a secret clearance from the military (though that was before I went to college). LIke I said, in my eyes, it shouldn't matter because I don't do that stuff anymore and I'm not a bad person (clean record, good job history, etc.), but will this prohibit me from getting a position at the city/county level?


As someone who has applied for federal LE jobs, I can tell you that they want your drug history from the past 10 yrs or so, I'm not sure if this is still the case, it was several years ago. I'm interested in JAG and have been corresponding with a current JAG, he said to be as candid as possible and that mild use of any drug within the past few years leading up to the time one applies can seriously hurt a candidates chances. He went on to say that he admitted to using marijuana a few times in HS and well, he got hired. They also ask if you've ever sold or transported a narcotic. He told me that they asked his friends and family about all substance use, including alcohol consumption. I agree with you, that something you did several or many years ago shouldn't be held against you, unfortunately it does to an extent. Once I realized that Federal govt was something I was interested in, I had to make a few alterations in my lifestyle and decisions.

Based on my experience at a DA office/knowledge working with and knowing ADAs in other counties, they were drug tested once in the beginning and that was it. The extensive drug history background check like the one Federal positions require isn't used in the prosecutor hiring process where I'm at. As far as I know, they don't ask about what drugs you've used and how many times you've used them. If you are interested in state or local level attorney positions I think your past drug use shouldn't be an issue.

Where I worked, they would ask an investigator to do a background check on the various employees, attorney or otherwise. Some were less thorough then others. People did have investigators come out and talk to their neighbors. My GF who also worked LE for the county had investigators visit her neighbors and they did ask about alcohol consumption. All in all, I think it's not a very extensive background check compared to other related agencies. Once you get through all the background checks, run through DOJ and all that, you take a drug test, which is essentially the last part of the hiring process. Once you pass the drug test you're hired on. I think it also depends on the DA too.



There might be different restrictions for the JAG route, but I know for a fact that you can have smoked marijuana a few times and still get accepted into OCS and eventually commissioned.

At the DA's office you work at, will a prior criminal record for minor crimes (i.e., DUI, Marijuana pocession, etc.) automatically disqualify you from getting hired? If not, would that person have a real uphill battle?


Yeah, like I said the guy I talked to said he admitted to smoking a few times and he got hired on, so I don't think it's that big of a deal. He said, smoking marijuana 10 yrs ago, not a big deal, but having a pretty serious substance abuse problem 3-4 years ago will definetly raise red flags.

A prior criminal record will hurt, assuming it's not a crime that has been or will expunged, might be an issue. I think it also depends on when it happened, it terms of your level of maturity at the time and how long it has been since the offense occured. Type of offense matters too. Funny thing, my friend, who I worked with at the DA's office, was a prosecutor there, was arrested for possession of marijuana in the county when he was in college. His PD was a guy that we all worked with, he switched over of the DA's office. Anyway, I don't think it was an issue seeing as he got hired. In regards to other minor crimes I'm not sure. My mom was a Chief Deputy DA for another county and did the hiring, I'll ask her about the specifics and if you have any other questions I can ask her those too.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:46 pm

ejjones wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
ejjones wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Ok, I don't want to get into this whole drug argument, but I have a related question that is on topic.

I know for jobs in the FBA, US Attorney's Office, etc. people say that any history of drug use (other than marijuana) is an automatic disqualifier. Personally, I would fall into this category. I know that I *could* lie about it as long as they don't polygraph me, but I value my integrity more than that. I'm not embarrassed about it and I don't think it made me (or says that I am) a person of "poor moral character." Since higher level federal jobs would automatically disqualify me upon this admission, are there any DA/prosecution jobs that would also disqualify me? Personally, I'm not sure what I want to do (public service/private practice/etc), but if my history is going to preclude me from getting a job as a DA, then I might as well get it out of my head now. Are the requirements as strict for these jobs?

Just to be clear (and since this is anonymous), I have done powder cocaine probably hundreds of times. I've never had addiction problems and I don't do that stuff anymore. It was mostly stuff my friends and I did in college. If it matters, I already have a secret clearance from the military (though that was before I went to college). LIke I said, in my eyes, it shouldn't matter because I don't do that stuff anymore and I'm not a bad person (clean record, good job history, etc.), but will this prohibit me from getting a position at the city/county level?


As someone who has applied for federal LE jobs, I can tell you that they want your drug history from the past 10 yrs or so, I'm not sure if this is still the case, it was several years ago. I'm interested in JAG and have been corresponding with a current JAG, he said to be as candid as possible and that mild use of any drug within the past few years leading up to the time one applies can seriously hurt a candidates chances. He went on to say that he admitted to using marijuana a few times in HS and well, he got hired. They also ask if you've ever sold or transported a narcotic. He told me that they asked his friends and family about all substance use, including alcohol consumption. I agree with you, that something you did several or many years ago shouldn't be held against you, unfortunately it does to an extent. Once I realized that Federal govt was something I was interested in, I had to make a few alterations in my lifestyle and decisions.

Based on my experience at a DA office/knowledge working with and knowing ADAs in other counties, they were drug tested once in the beginning and that was it. The extensive drug history background check like the one Federal positions require isn't used in the prosecutor hiring process where I'm at. As far as I know, they don't ask about what drugs you've used and how many times you've used them. If you are interested in state or local level attorney positions I think your past drug use shouldn't be an issue.

Where I worked, they would ask an investigator to do a background check on the various employees, attorney or otherwise. Some were less thorough then others. People did have investigators come out and talk to their neighbors. My GF who also worked LE for the county had investigators visit her neighbors and they did ask about alcohol consumption. All in all, I think it's not a very extensive background check compared to other related agencies. Once you get through all the background checks, run through DOJ and all that, you take a drug test, which is essentially the last part of the hiring process. Once you pass the drug test you're hired on. I think it also depends on the DA too.



There might be different restrictions for the JAG route, but I know for a fact that you can have smoked marijuana a few times and still get accepted into OCS and eventually commissioned.

At the DA's office you work at, will a prior criminal record for minor crimes (i.e., DUI, Marijuana pocession, etc.) automatically disqualify you from getting hired? If not, would that person have a real uphill battle?


Yeah, like I said the guy I talked to said he admitted to smoking a few times and he got hired on, so I don't think it's that big of a deal. He said, smoking marijuana 10 yrs ago, not a big deal, but having a pretty serious substance abuse problem 3-4 years ago will definetly raise red flags.

A prior criminal record will hurt, assuming it's not a crime that has been or will expunged, might be an issue. I think it also depends on when it happened, it terms of your level of maturity at the time and how long it has been since the offense occured. Type of offense matters too. Funny thing, my friend, who I worked with at the DA's office, was a prosecutor there, was arrested for possession of marijuana in the county when he was in college. His PD was a guy that we all worked with, he switched over of the DA's office. Anyway, I don't think it was an issue seeing as he got hired. In regards to other minor crimes I'm not sure. My mom was a Chief Deputy DA for another county and did the hiring, I'll ask her about the specifics and if you have any other questions I can ask
her those too.



Ya, if you can, ask your mom about the offenses I mentioned (dui and marijuana possession) and how she would view them. Thanks.

articulably suspect
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:55 pm

Sure, how long ago did this happen because that's going to be a question she will ask. Are both offenses fom the same incident, if not, what was the duration between the offenses? How old were you? Also, how much marijuana and what was you BAL? Are those the only offenses you've got?

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:14 pm

ejjones wrote: 1) Sure, how long ago did this happen because that's going to be a question she will ask. 2) Are both offenses fom the same incident, if not, what was the duration between the offenses? 3)How old were you? 4)Also, how much marijuana and 5)what was you BAL? 6 ) Are those the only offenses you've got?




1. It happened about 4-5 years ago, so by the time I would be applying to the DA's office, I will have put about 7-8 years between myself and the arrest.

2. Isolated incident

3. 18

4. Misdemeanor possession (maybe an 1/8 of an ounce)

5. BAC? I refused to blow.

6. Yes, paraphernalia (marijuana pipe) and an MIP. Again, this was the same incident.

If it matters at all, I got a SIS for the DUI, and the possession of marijuana and the MIP were reduced to littering. I did get convicted for the paraphernalia. Also, each of these offenses are misdemeanors.

Thanks again.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:29 pm

I know this thread got a little off track, but I'm seriously considering being a prosecutor, and many of my questions have been answered in this thread already. One question that I don't recall seeing is what degree does a prosecuting attorney (there are different names for them in differents states, so I'll play it safe here) have control over what happens in terms of placement/treatment post-conviction? For instance, let's say I took a tour and spent some time in the various facilities where I would be sending these people, and got a good feel for the programs and what they have to offer to various people....Then I convict a guy that I believe could be helped by being in a particular facility. Does my recommendation as the prosecuting attorney carry any real weight or are the facility/Dept. of Corrections administers going to take over and do what they want based on bedspace and length of sentence as they please?

articulably suspect
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:
ejjones wrote: 1) Sure, how long ago did this happen because that's going to be a question she will ask. 2) Are both offenses fom the same incident, if not, what was the duration between the offenses? 3)How old were you? 4)Also, how much marijuana and 5)what was you BAL? 6 ) Are those the only offenses you've got?




1. It happened about 4-5 years ago, so by the time I would be applying to the DA's office, I will have put about 7-8 years between myself and the arrest.

2. Isolated incident

3. 18

4. Misdemeanor possession (maybe an 1/8 of an ounce)

5. BAC? I refused to blow.

6. Yes, paraphernalia (marijuana pipe) and an MIP. Again, this was the same incident.

If it matters at all, I got a SIS for the DUI, and the possession of marijuana and the MIP were reduced to littering. I did get convicted for the paraphernalia. Also, each of these offenses are misdemeanors.

Thanks again.


I'll ask and get back to you when I can, do you want me to pm you or post it on this thread? So to be clear, you received a DUI(reduced to SIS), ticket for littering(how did that get reduced to littering?) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Is that right? The SIS, doesn't that eventually get cleared off your record? I had to look that up, I don't think we have that in in my state.

Just a hunch, but if you get that DUI off your record, through the SIS, I don't think you would have to worry about much at all. Durg parphernalia shouldn't give you too much grief.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:09 pm

ejjones wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
ejjones wrote: 1) Sure, how long ago did this happen because that's going to be a question she will ask. 2) Are both offenses fom the same incident, if not, what was the duration between the offenses? 3)How old were you? 4)Also, how much marijuana and 5)what was you BAL? 6 ) Are those the only offenses you've got?




1. It happened about 4-5 years ago, so by the time I would be applying to the DA's office, I will have put about 7-8 years between myself and the arrest.

2. Isolated incident

3. 18

4. Misdemeanor possession (maybe an 1/8 of an ounce)

5. BAC? I refused to blow.

6. Yes, paraphernalia (marijuana pipe) and an MIP. Again, this was the same incident.

If it matters at all, I got a SIS for the DUI, and the possession of marijuana and the MIP were reduced to littering. I did get convicted for the paraphernalia. Also, each of these offenses are misdemeanors.

Thanks again.


I'll ask and get back to you when I can, do you want me to pm you or post it on this thread? So to be clear, you received a DUI(reduced to SIS), ticket for littering(how did that get reduced to littering?) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Is that right? The SIS, doesn't that eventually get cleared off your record? I had to look that up, I don't think we have that in in my state.

Just a hunch, but if you get that DUI off your record, through the SIS, I don't think you would have to worry about much at all. Durg parphernalia shouldn't give you too much grief.


That would be awesome. Ya, just go ahead and post it on this thread, so everyone else can see.

Here's how everything played out:
1. Arrested for DUI----Final outcome=suspended imposition of sentence
2. Arrested for possession of marijuana-----Final outcome=reduced to littering
3. Arrested for Minor in possession of alcohol-----Final outcome=reduced to littering
4. Arrested for paraphernalia-----Final outcome=convicted

I have no idea how the MIP and possession charge got reduced to littering.

The incident happened so long ago, so I don't exactly remember what my lawyer told me about how SIS works. Basically he said that as long as I completed my probation (which I have) I would get SIS for the DUI and two of the other charges would be reduced to littering.

I think the DUI was taken off my record. Would that even matter, though? I'm sure the DA's office will ask about it, and while it may not be on my record, it doesn't change the fact that I committed the crime, right?

menlow
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby menlow » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:23 pm

ejjones wrote:...I'm sitting here with another former DA employee office laughing at the crap you're educating me and everyone else on.... (Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:40 pm)


Sounds like a riveting Saturday evening.

articulably suspect
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:03 pm

menlow wrote:
ejjones wrote:...I'm sitting here with another former DA employee office laughing at the crap you're educating me and everyone else on.... (Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:40 pm)


Sounds like a riveting Saturday evening.


You go out that early on a Saturday, it was my pre-bar chat. I usually don't go anywhere until 10 or so.

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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:13 pm

what was the hiring process like? how thorough was the background investigation, what sorts of things did they inquire after, how deep into your past did they dig? what sort of things would raise questions in a background investigation? what sort of things would be disqualifying? i assume you were drug-tested?

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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:21 pm

OOPS. didn't read the thread through before posting the questions about background investigations directly above... they've been answered. sorry for redundancy!

articulably suspect
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ejjones wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
ejjones wrote: 1) Sure, how long ago did this happen because that's going to be a question she will ask. 2) Are both offenses fom the same incident, if not, what was the duration between the offenses? 3)How old were you? 4)Also, how much marijuana and 5)what was you BAL? 6 ) Are those the only offenses you've got?




1. It happened about 4-5 years ago, so by the time I would be applying to the DA's office, I will have put about 7-8 years between myself and the arrest.

2. Isolated incident

3. 18

4. Misdemeanor possession (maybe an 1/8 of an ounce)

5. BAC? I refused to blow.

6. Yes, paraphernalia (marijuana pipe) and an MIP. Again, this was the same incident.

If it matters at all, I got a SIS for the DUI, and the possession of marijuana and the MIP were reduced to littering. I did get convicted for the paraphernalia. Also, each of these offenses are misdemeanors.

Thanks again.


I'll ask and get back to you when I can, do you want me to pm you or post it on this thread? So to be clear, you received a DUI(reduced to SIS), ticket for littering(how did that get reduced to littering?) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Is that right? The SIS, doesn't that eventually get cleared off your record? I had to look that up, I don't think we have that in in my state.

Just a hunch, but if you get that DUI off your record, through the SIS, I don't think you would have to worry about much at all. Durg parphernalia shouldn't give you too much grief.


That would be awesome. Ya, just go ahead and post it on this thread, so everyone else can see.

Here's how everything played out:
1. Arrested for DUI----Final outcome=suspended imposition of sentence
2. Arrested for possession of marijuana-----Final outcome=reduced to littering
3. Arrested for Minor in possession of alcohol-----Final outcome=reduced to littering
4. Arrested for paraphernalia-----Final outcome=convicted

I have no idea how the MIP and possession charge got reduced to littering.

The incident happened so long ago, so I don't exactly remember what my lawyer told me about how SIS works. Basically he said that as long as I completed my probation (which I have) I would get SIS for the DUI and two of the other charges would be reduced to littering.

I think the DUI was taken off my record. Would that even matter, though? I'm sure the DA's office will ask about it, and while it may not be on my record, it doesn't change the fact that I committed the crime, right?


Alright so here's what my Mom, again Chief Deputy DA(ie second in charge) for 8 years and did the hiring/screening for the a DAs office in CA, had to say regarding criminal records and drug use(something on here people seem to be concerned about):

RE: Criminal History
Most DA Offices won't hire anybody with a criminal record. Unless they know the person well and already like him/her.

RE: Drug Use
The only drug test for DDAs is at hire, like all employees. There is no background investigation like the cops go through, although they will find all convictions.

In regards to the SIS this is what I found: As long as you successfully complete the terms of your probationary period, an SIS will not result in a conviction “showing” on your record. Note: an SIS is different than the “diversion” that is offered in some states for DUI / DWI or other drunk driving cases. (--LinkRemoved--)

If I was you, if you're dead set on DA, intern as much as possible a couple of offices and get to know them. FWIW, every single 1L I saw hired on when I worked for a DAs office was an intern or employee at some point. Many DA offices offer internships all year, so you get the chance to rack up some serious hours, seeing as you don't have to wait until summer to get some experience.

Again, this is one example. I'm not suggesting that what she has said is representative of all counties in CA or elsewhere, but I would guess that it's pretty close. Hope this helps.

sprezzatura
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby sprezzatura » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:36 pm

ejjones, you're wasting space. I am not. I'd like to read this thread without having to scroll through your childish, pointless bickering and whether that's to read or to answer a question is irrelevant.
That said, I do have a question: is a job as a prosecutor something you get right out of law school, or are you better off working for a firm or doing something else (I have no idea what) first?

articulably suspect
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:53 pm

sprezzatura wrote:ejjones, you're wasting space. I am not. I'd like to read this thread without having to scroll through your childish, pointless bickering and whether that's to read or to answer a question is irrelevant.
That said, I do have a question: is a job as a prosecutor something you get right out of law school, or are you better off working for a firm or doing something else (I have no idea what) first?


you're right, i'm sorry. it wasn't bickering, that person was making baseless claims about a profession, if that's the type of information you want to absorb, by all mean go right ahead. i was just trying to make sense of his/her crap. also, i was bored and that person is dense. i'm back in my place, thank you.

yes you can get hired on right out of ls. if you want to work in another sector, you can do that upon graduation too. all this depends on your ls(rank, region), grades, clinics, courses, intern/externships, summer positions at firms, clerkships, law review,etc. all this will be much of what determines your chances at any position right out of ls. not sure i completely understand what you're asking. I don't think working in the private sector necessarily helps your chances at getting a job as a prosecutor if that's what you're asking.

oh, there's endless space, so it's ok.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:22 pm

ejjones wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
ejjones wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:1) Sure, how long ago did this happen because that's going to be a question she will ask. 2) Are both offenses fom the same incident, if not, what was the duration between the offenses? 3)How old were you? 4)Also, how much marijuana and 5)what was you BAL? 6 ) Are those the only offenses you've got?


Alright so here's what my Mom, again Chief Deputy DA(ie second in charge) for 8 years and did the hiring/screening for the a DAs office in CA, had to say regarding criminal records and drug use(something on here people seem to be concerned about):

RE: Criminal History
Most DA Offices won't hire anybody with a criminal record. Unless they know the person well and already like him/her.

RE: Drug Use
The only drug test for DDAs is at hire, like all employees. There is no background investigation like the cops go through, although they will find all convictions.

In regards to the SIS this is what I found: As long as you successfully complete the terms of your probationary period, an SIS will not result in a conviction “showing” on your record. Note: an SIS is different than the “diversion” that is offered in some states for DUI / DWI or other drunk driving cases. (--LinkRemoved--)

If I was you, if you're dead set on DA, intern as much as possible a couple of offices and get to know them. FWIW, every single 1L I saw hired on when I worked for a DAs office was an intern or employee at some point. Many DA offices offer internships all year, so you get the chance to rack up some serious hours, seeing as you don't have to wait until summer to get some experience.

Again, this is one example. I'm not suggesting that what she has said is representative of all counties in CA or elsewhere, but I would guess that it's pretty close. Hope this helps.



That really sucks to hear. I guess you're saying that while it is possible that I'd get hired on at the DA's office, it's highly unlikely?

I'm actually kind of pissed, because I have no private sector ambitions whatsoever, and all I ever really wanted to do was to become an ADA.

Anyway, thanks for asking your mom about it. I guess it's better that I learn about this now rather than in my 3rd year of law school.

sprezzatura
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby sprezzatura » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:25 pm

Thanks for the answer. I didn't necessarily mean private sector, but anything else - biglaw, smaller firm, private practice, clerkship, whatever.
Also - there is endless space, yes. Scrolling through it looking for relevant info is no fun.

articulably suspect
Posts: 304
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:57 pm

Like I said, I don't know that the policy for her office and the one I worked at are going to be the same in the location you end up. I say, intern and see what happens, maybe even ask the office(s) you're interested in and ask what their criminal history policy is. If you bust your ass interning for a da's office and do well in school, you may have a shot. Although, I do remember hearing a story about this woman who was extremely qualified, was an intern, everyone loved her and she would've got the position hands down, but she had some stupid charge from 10 or so years ago and THE DA, said he wouldn't hire solely based on this on offense.

I wouldn't necessarily give up on your goal to become a prosecutor, but do your research and find out what the policies are at offices you're interested in, if possible. In the mean time, DA is in the business of LE(hence the black and white policy on criminal history), but there are plenty of other public sector jobs that you might be interested in, which may overlook your past indiscretions so look around. Perhaps working for several years as a lawyer in the public sector will help you land a job as a prosecutor a few years down the road, you know proving yourself as a public servant, IDK.

Believe me, I feel your pain, when you're in your 18,19 20... you aren't necessarily think about how your actions will adversely effect your chances at landing a position on the federal, state, local levels. I don't know what the AG's policy is, but I have a friend that is a lawyer their, so I could ask him what the background check stuff is for AG candidates.

articulably suspect
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Re: 1st year big-city prosecutor taking questions

Postby articulably suspect » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:11 pm

sprezzatura wrote:Thanks for the answer. I didn't necessarily mean private sector, but anything else - biglaw, smaller firm, private practice, clerkship, whatever.
Also - there is endless space, yes. Scrolling through it looking for relevant info is no fun.


OK, well the private sector is Biglaw, firms of various size, and private practice. I'm still not clear, what do you mean are you better off doing something else first? Do you mean, do you better your chances by working in some other job first and apply to a DA's office after you've gained some experience in a separate field as opposed to applying right out of ls? JAG/US Attny is probably the best job experience a candidate can have if they wish to work as a prosecutor down the road. I don't think many US Attnys would want to apply for a prosecutor position, but I'm sure it happens and they would be a very good candidate.

Ha, that's why I was going on with that poster, because he/she was posting useless, irrelevant and inaccurate information, backing it up with 0 evidence. Anyway, that's what I was trying to clear up, in the hopes that people wouldn't come on read what he/she wrote and take it as sound information or advice. Seriously, did you read some of that persons posts on this thread?




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