Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

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941law
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Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby 941law » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:06 pm

Has anyone done this or heard of it? I have a few C&F worries with my app. I don't know how helpful a firm would be though.

One issue I'm worried about is "run in's" with police. Are non-arrest typically in need of disclosure? I haven't started the app yet.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby I.P. Daly » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:26 pm

"Runs in's with police" is extremely vague. Depends on the state. C&F apps are pretty specific about what kind of information they are looking for.

09042014
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:29 pm

If all it is in "run inns" just disclose it if it's even halfway close to what the question is asking. You arne't going to get dinged for getting talked to be the police.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:06 am

To answer the original question, yes, it is done. There are even attorneys who specialize in professional licensing law. I did a fair bit of it myself and it's a specialty.

I am trying to remember if I've ever seen a licensing application that asked for any contact with law enforcement not resulting in arrest. The FBI asks questions like that for a security clearance but that's a different matter.

I think you will find that the C&F questionnaire asks about convictions for anything other than minor traffic violations (DUI is NOT a minor violation and neither is possession of small amounts of controlled substances!) and whether there are any pending charges. I really don't see how the fact that the police have entertained suspicions about your behavior is relevant to any government license application but State Agencies are capable of asking for anything, whether proper or not. You don't want to buy yourself a lawsuit.

Get a copy of your State's Bar application and look carefully at the questions. You must answer fully and truthfully but you don't need to volunteer anything they don't specifically ask for. If there are questions addressing your particular experiences, consulting a lawyer would be a rational step.

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941law
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby 941law » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:21 am

A friend told me that he had problems with C&F, which motivated this thread. They asked him about a street sign he stole. He completely forgot about this instance because there were no charges, arrest, etc. The cop just took his info and took back the sign. I'm not sure if this was brought up randomly in questioning or brought up because he failed to mention it on his app. I'm assuming it was random, of course after he got called in.

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Joe Quincy
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby Joe Quincy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:26 am

BeautifulSW wrote:
I think you will find that the C&F questionnaire asks about convictions for anything other than minor traffic violations (DUI is NOT a minor violation and neither is possession of small amounts of controlled substances!) and whether there are any pending charges.



My state asked about any arrests, not charges or convictions. And when you're arrested is pretty subjective so a "run in" with the police may be in disclosure territory.

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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:43 am

Yeah, an arrest is either pending, which you have to tell them, or it has resulted in dismissal or conviction. Convictions, even those ending in deferred adjudication or deferred sentencing both of which end in dismissal, clearly have to be disclosed. An arrest resulting in a flat-out dismissal? I don't know but I'd probably disclose it. But a run-in with no arrest or citation? What is there to disclose?

Keep in mind that even an outright felony conviction isn't an absolute bar to a law license in some states. But proving rehabilitation following a felony is a tough job.

EDIT: You are correct. It's worse than I thought. Here's the question from my own State's application: "Have you ever been charged with, arrested, or questioned regarding the violation of any law, including juvenile offenses?"

Note that it asks about being "questioned". That's a much broader inquiry than I realized.
Last edited by BeautifulSW on Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Joe Quincy
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby Joe Quincy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:59 am

BeautifulSW wrote:Yeah, an arrest is either pending, which you have to tell them, or it has resulted in dismissal or conviction. Convictions, even those ending in deferred adjudication or deferred sentencing both of which end in dismissal, clearly have to be disclosed. An arrest resulting in a flat-out dismissal? I don't know but I'd probably disclose it. But a run-in with no arrest or citation? What is there to disclose?

Keep in mind that even an outright felony conviction isn't an absolute bar to a law license in some states. But proving rehabilitation following a felony is a tough job.


Depends on the circumstances of the run in. Shoplifting in which you're detained, police investigate, but turn you over to your parents because a minor? Detained for public intox, drunk tank, released without charges in AM?

I'd disclose because these things will often show on the kind of background check they have access to. In both cases, there was sufficient evidence to charge but a discretionary decision on part of police resulted in no charges...similar to a dismissal at request of prosecutor.

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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:03 pm

Yeah but what exactly would appear in the records? If I own a jewelry store and it gets burgled and the cops need to eliminate the possibility of an inside job, they question me. I have to disclose that? Sounds like it, I agree, but that seems absurd.

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Joe Quincy
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby Joe Quincy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:05 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Yeah but what exactly would appear in the records? If I own a jewelry store and it gets burgled and the cops need to eliminate the possibility of an inside job, they question me. I hav e to disclose that? Sounds like it, I agree, but that seems absurd.


There is a difference between investigation (mere questioning) and detention with enough evidence to charge but decision not to. In both of my cases, the records would probably be labeled charge founded—discretionary non-charge (or that departments wording). They keep track so you don't get the same break over and over again. Even without detention, it could be marked charge founded in which case I'd disclose. Prosecutors aren't the only ones to exercise discretion in whether charges are brought. In fact proportionally, the police have way more discretion at the front-end. But they need a mechanism to make sure you aren't continually slipping through the cracks.

But note, this will not show up on a background check YOU perform. They are internal markings but the bar has access.
Last edited by Joe Quincy on Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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941law
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby 941law » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:06 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:
EDIT: You are correct. It's worse than I thought. Here's the question from my own State's application: "Have you ever been charged with, arrested, or questioned regarding the violation of any law, including juvenile offenses?"

Note that it asks about being "questioned". That's a much broader inquiry than I realized.


well, that sucks. I'm going to need a back-ground analysis by the damn FBI to remember all the times I dealt with the cops as a juvenile.

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Joe Quincy
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby Joe Quincy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:07 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Yeah but what exactly would appear in the records? If I own a jewelry store and it gets burgled and the cops need to eliminate the possibility of an inside job, they question me. I have to disclose that? Sounds like it, I agree, but that seems absurd.


I'd say there is a difference between preliminary questioning (e.g. alibi or what happened) and full-on questioning after you've been labeled a probable suspect. In the first instance, there will be no entry on your record because merely ruling you out. In the second, there will be a notation made in case you are a probable suspect in future similar crimes.

I'd guess their line of inquiry is more analogous to interrogation versus mere interaction with the police. I think in this context "questioned" denotes you were being investigated as a suspect but they never found enough to arrest. Not questioned as in the verb being asked questions. But you'd better believe I'd clarify this with a phone call before app.

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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:09 pm

Everything you say makes good sense but how can the applicant necessarily know what the police were thinking at the time? If there were a bright line like "Miranda rights administered", that would help but as you know there's a lot of interrogation that's allegedly non-custodial but the individual is a suspect nevertheless.

In all these years I'd never realized what a swamp this C&F business is!

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Joe Quincy
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby Joe Quincy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:08 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Everything you say makes good sense but how can the applicant necessarily know what the police were thinking at the time? If there were a bright line like "Miranda rights administered", that would help but as you know there's a lot of interrogation that's allegedly non-custodial but the individual is a suspect nevertheless.

In all these years I'd never realized what a swamp this C&F business is!


I'd think its pretty obvious if you're a serious suspect for something. At least anything other than a mere witness. I'd start with:

- What crimes have I committed that I was asked about after?

- When was I questioned that I was concerned I would be arrested/need a lawyer. E.g. did you feel relieved after questioning that you weren't arrested/charged?

- Was I ever "asked" to come to the police station for more formal questioning

I mean if the cop barely spoke to you as a witness but it came back from C&F, I'd think you could explain that. But if you were brought in or it objectively looks like they were considering you you'd have a lot to explain for not disclosing.

Alternatively, when did I provide information to the police versus when was I questioned ABOUT the crime itself/alibi/etc.

It's pretty obvious what they're after: crimes you committed but for which you escaped charges, conduct that was close to a crime but for some reason was not, things that if brought up after you were admitted would look bad, etc.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby BeautifulSW » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:33 pm

I suppose that, as always, if there's any doubt you disclose.

EDIT: And again, to answer the OP's original question, yes, people can and do hire lawyers in connection with license applications.

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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:47 pm

941law wrote:
BeautifulSW wrote:
EDIT: You are correct. It's worse than I thought. Here's the question from my own State's application: "Have you ever been charged with, arrested, or questioned regarding the violation of any law, including juvenile offenses?"

Note that it asks about being "questioned". That's a much broader inquiry than I realized.


well, that sucks. I'm going to need a back-ground analysis by the damn FBI to remember all the times I dealt with the cops as a juvenile.



Hire a private investigator to this and at the very least, consult an attorney regarding the results and the application. Not joking, ESPECIALLY if you're from FL. PM me if you have any further questions.

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941law
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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby 941law » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:04 pm

RodneyBoonfield wrote:

Hire a private investigator to this and at the very least, consult an attorney regarding the results and the application. Not joking, ESPECIALLY if you're from FL. PM me if you have any further questions.


PM sent. I'm starting my bar app this week.

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Re: Hiring an attorney for your bar app?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:08 pm

.




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