Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

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tyson9
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:03 pm

Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

Postby tyson9 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:12 pm

I would really appreciate any help or advice/experience anyone can offer to this worry. During the summer after my junior year of undergrad, I got pulled over for a DUI and refusal to use the breathalyser. It's in my past, I got it reduced, paid my fines and required actions, etc. The problem though is that because I refused to breathalyse, it took a long time for the entire affair to be settled. Specifically, it took longer than the time period for applying to law schools.

Based on the advice I got from my lawyer, I did disclose the DUI situation in an addendum on my law school applications, but I ended up telling them that I had already disposed of the situation (at the time, I fully expected it to be disposed by the time law school applications were done). But the court dates kept being pushed back.

My question is, am I in really, really big trouble if there is a discrepancy in dates of when everything finally gets finalized in the courts and the fact that I said it was disposed in my application addendum? Technically the deal I made for the criminal part of it has been done for a long time, but it's just the breathalyser that has held everything up. Is this enough to completely fail me on the character and fitness test and stop me from being admitted to the bar? Please help.

thegor1987
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

Postby thegor1987 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:24 pm

I don't understand what you are saying? The final outcome of the case was different than what you said it was on your application? Why did you say it was disposed (whatever that means) when it wasn't yet disposed?

Either way though, even if itnwas disposed after you said that it was disposed it could still be a problem, but one I wouldn't worry about as much. If you said it got disposed but the result was a fine for a DUI you might have some explaining to do.

tyson9
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:03 pm

Re: Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

Postby tyson9 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:29 pm

Basically, it was going to be disposed, everything was all set up, but the court date wasn't until well past the best time to apply to law schools. In the addendum, I said that it has already been disposed to show that it was more in my past and put away to dispel any uncertainty about it.

But yes, it resulted in just a fine and come community service basically. So I guess I can make it clearer, but what I'm really concerned about is this discrepancy in when it was actually disposed. I told them about it, but I worded it in the past so that I could get my apps in early.

random5483
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Re: Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

Postby random5483 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:06 pm

I'd suggest you talk to someone at your law school. They will probably know what to do. Best not to wait. The longer you "hold back" information, the worse it will likely be.

I don't think any of us students are qualified to give you a good answer.

thegor1987
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Re: Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

Postby thegor1987 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:52 pm

ask your lawyer who told you to say it disposed. Or did he tell you to disclose it, but you ended up providing a non-existing outcome of the case?

At best your behavior is representative of someone who has not yet taken responsibility for his actions, at worst you might not receive your license to practice law.

before going to the law schools you applied too, you should ask your lawyer you had for this case, he will give you the best answer. Let us know how it all pans out for you.

edit: I keep misunderstanding what you mean by disposed, it sounds like a word used to dismiss a case and drop all charges. If you said in your app. it was 'disposed' and resulted in a fine and community service (if this is basically what your plea agreement was and you knew it was going to be the outcome at trial), anyways if this is what happened I would be getting less and less worried about not ever becoming a lawyer, but could still have a negative effect, so ask your lawyer.

tyson9
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Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:03 pm

Re: Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

Postby tyson9 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:26 pm

thegor1987 wrote:
edit: I keep misunderstanding what you mean by disposed, it sounds like a word used to dismiss a case and drop all charges. If you said in your app. it was 'disposed' and resulted in a fine and community service (if this is basically what your plea agreement was and you knew it was going to be the outcome at trial), anyways if this is what happened I would be getting less and less worried about not ever becoming a lawyer, but could still have a negative effect, so ask your lawyer.


Sorry I'm not being as clear as I should. I really do appreciate your input.

When I say disposed, I mean like what I plead. Let me try to make it a little clearer. For the criminal part of the DUI, I arranged a deal with the county, plead guilty to a lesser charge, paid fines, did service, etc. That was the deal I had worked out before I had started law school apps. However, the deal was never technically executed until after my law school apps were sent in because of a continually postponed administrative hearing to get my license back.

So, this is where the discrepancy in dates comes from. I told the law school that I had plead guilty and did th service although the paperwork wasn't technically completed until afterward.

You're right, I do need to double check with the lawyer, but he did originally give me the okay to send in apps saying it wouldn't make a big difference. But I should maybe get that in writing I guess? But my situation does sound almost exactly like what you said at the end. I knew what the outcome was going to be, but it hasn't all been executed yet.

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hokie
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Re: Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

Postby hokie » Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:38 pm

although your last post clarified things a little, your explanations are still very confusing. Are you saying that you told them you had paid the fine+completed the community service when you actually did [yet]? Or did you actually do both things but the paperwork just wasn't finalized? IMO, the two are very different and definitely get all specifics settled with your lawyer. The sooner you get this settled, the better.

tyson9
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Re: Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

Postby tyson9 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:08 pm

hokie wrote:although your last post clarified things a little, your explanations are still very confusing. Are you saying that you told them you had paid the fine+completed the community service when you actually did [yet]? Or did you actually do both things but the paperwork just wasn't finalized? IMO, the two are very different and definitely get all specifics settled with your lawyer. The sooner you get this settled, the better.


It is your first option. I said that I had completed the work in my addendum when I applied when I hadn't yet (I have now, of course, before I started as a 1L). So it did get done, just not exactly in the time frame that I stated. It would have gotten done long before that (concurrently as I was sending my apps), but it was delayed several months due to administrative continuances. I guess I also notice that of the two options you gave, they would both look the same in the paperwork. I could have done all of it before or after the app, but the paperwork would show the same date.

So, the main questions I have, which I think people have somewhat answered, is to what extent am I vulnerable to the C+F test if I fully disclose this incident and how it happened, e.g. will they even notice the discrepancy between the dates and the addendum of my app, and if so will they assume it merits denial? If likely, is there a way that I can head this off by talking to my attorney from the past case and/or my law school?

thegor1987
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: Character and Fitness Worry/Disclosure

Postby thegor1987 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:31 am

I think you'll be fine, Did you say on your app that you had already completed the community service? Otherwise I think you'll be fine, I mean once you make a plea deal 99% of the time that's going to be the outcome of the case, nothing morally appalling there to say your DUI resulted in a lesser charge when you already made the plea deal for it.




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