Criminal background

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osaid
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Criminal background

Postby osaid » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:00 pm

With regards to the background check that accredited schools perform on applicants, will I face any scrutiny for arrests for driving without a valid driver's license? Those and other traffic violations are the only things in my 'criminal' background. But I am starting to freak out about it...

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teaadntoast
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Re: Criminal background

Postby teaadntoast » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:08 pm

Law schools don't run background checks on each applicant. (Imagine how time consuming that would be.) The ABA does, but they are rathe runlikely to care overmuch provided you weren't arrested.

Just be sure to read the fine print on all your applications and disclose if for some reason one of them asks for information about traffic violations in addition to other citations or arrests.

Also: breathe. There are lots of lawyers in the world. You think none of them every had a traffic stop or a DUI?
Last edited by teaadntoast on Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

03121202698008
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Re: Criminal background

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:10 pm

Driving without a license may not be a "traffic offense" in either your state or the schools. In many states, it is considered a criminal non-traffic offense. I'd err on the side of caution and disclose no matter how the application is worded. (It's also not a citation if they exclude minor traffic citations...you were actually arrested.)

Minor traffic is fine. If you have arrests for not having a license that may become an issue...

osaid
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Re: Criminal background

Postby osaid » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:25 pm

Do you guys have any recommendations as to who would be a good source for information regarding these things? I suppose there are tons of lawyers out there, but this doesn't exactly qualify as legal advice, you know what I mean?

03121202698008
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Re: Criminal background

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:26 pm

osaid wrote:Do you guys have any recommendations as to who would be a good source for information regarding these things? I suppose there are tons of lawyers out there, but this doesn't exactly qualify as legal advice, you know what I mean?


A lawyer who specializes in C&F issues in the state you plan on practicing. As far as applications, the admissions office of each school.

bocastudent
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Re: Criminal background

Postby bocastudent » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:36 pm

Driving without a driver's license is not a crime; thus, it will not be on your criminal record.

"DWS (driving while suspended)" and "No Valid DL", however, are totally different things-- they are crimes (in most states, at least).

So, if you had a valid license but just didn't have it with you when the popo stopped you, there's nothing to worry about-- law schools don't look at your driving record.

03121202698008
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Re: Criminal background

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:42 pm

Uh, all traffic citations are misdemeanor crimes. If he was arrested, he doesn't have a license. Not having it on you is a ticket. C&F does look at your driving record and your application. Some schools, such as Michigan, require all traffic violations to be disclosed. They are treated and labeled infractions but are in fact still contained within the criminal code.
Last edited by 03121202698008 on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

osaid
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Re: Criminal background

Postby osaid » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:42 pm

I'm afraid my driving privileges were taken away due to my failure to pay speeding tickets from several years ago. I've been caught 3 times since...I think I'll do a make on myself and see what comes up. I will also consult those admissions offices, as was suggested to me earlier.

03121202698008
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Re: Criminal background

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:45 pm

osaid wrote:I'm afraid my driving privileges were taken away due to my failure to pay speeding tickets from several years ago. I've been caught 3 times since...I think I'll do a make on myself and see what comes up. I will also consult those admissions offices, as was suggested to me earlier.


Regardless of what comes up for you, it will come up for C&F. If you were arrested, it is a criminal offense which you probably pled guilty to and paid a fine.

osaid
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Re: Criminal background

Postby osaid » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:56 pm

Such a crime should viewable in the same light as say, arrests that occur when someone operates a vehicle without auto insurance and so forth, right? I'm well familiar with all of the underlying implications of the commissions of these traffic-related crimes, but do you really think I have something to be concerned about...overall? I know it's difficult to say for certain, but...all of you, what does your gut say? I only ask because I've really been off lately as far as my instincts are concerned, and I need to start considering whether or not I have to start viewing this as an obstacle to gainful employment.

03121202698008
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Re: Criminal background

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:04 pm

osaid wrote:Such a crime should viewable in the same light as say, arrests that occur when someone operates a vehicle without auto insurance and so forth, right? I'm well familiar with all of the underlying implications of the commissions of these traffic-related crimes, but do you really think I have something to be concerned about...overall? I know it's difficult to say for certain, but...all of you, what does your gut say? I only ask because I've really been off lately as far as my instincts are concerned, and I need to start considering whether or not I have to start viewing this as an obstacle to gainful employment.


To me, the problem would be that you've been arrested three times. You cannot argue that you aren't aware that you can't drive. You cannot argue that you didn't know what the law was. So, you blatantly choose to ignore the law and the orders of the court and to continue to drive. C&F is going to wonder if you'd do the same thing with other laws simple because it was easier for you to do so.

Getting caught without insurance isn't that bad...but you are violating a regulation there and can likely make some kind of economic argument why that was required. (Or claim that you didn't know you didn't have insurance which is what usually happens.)

I doubt it hurts you that much but it needs to be disclosed and addressed. The further these are in the past will help as well.

bocastudent
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Re: Criminal background

Postby bocastudent » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:59 pm

blowhard wrote:Uh, all traffic citations are misdemeanor crimes. If he was arrested, he doesn't have a license. Not having it on you is a ticket. C&F does look at your driving record and your application. Some schools, such as Michigan, require all traffic violations to be disclosed. They are treated and labeled infractions but are in fact still contained within the criminal code.


Uh, no.

I'm sorry, good sir, but where do you get your information from? Do we live in the same country? USA here.

Not all traffic citations are misdemeanor crimes. In fact, most traffic citations are not misdemeanor crimes. [DOUBLE] In fact, the citation he posted about, driving without his DL, is simply a traffic violation.

HOWEVER, original poster, It seems like you didn't specify all the facts in the first post so I suggest you seek legal advice as opposed to our mere opinions.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: Criminal background

Postby Jack Smirks » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:08 pm

Who the fuck are these lawyers that people claim "specialize" in C&F issues? I have a feeling they are an urban myth.

03121202698008
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Re: Criminal background

Postby 03121202698008 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:54 am

.
Last edited by 03121202698008 on Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

bocastudent
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Re: Criminal background

Postby bocastudent » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:54 am

It's okay: over the 2 years I worked in traffic court, I met an endless amount of law enforcement officers who were mistaken on lots of things. After all, a 6-month training period is a very short time (considering the duties of an LEO).

Anyways, driving while suspended is indeed a misdemeanor in most (if not all) states, but not all traffic citations are misdemeanor crimes.

CONCLUSION: osaid, your criminal record might be shorter than you think; still, seek advice from a professional.

osaid
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Re: Criminal background

Postby osaid » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:00 am

Suggestion, WELL-noted, bocastudent. Thank you all. I do not want to leave any room for error. I will immediately contact the admissions offices of the schools I am considering.

Pip
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Re: Criminal background

Postby Pip » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:56 am

Look at the ABA admissions for the state you plan on practicing in when you graduate law school... see if the ABA in your state cares about a minor traffic issue. If they don't then you don't need to bring it up or worry about it. If its DUI then the ABA will likely want to know about it but I doubt they care about your situation. Law schools don't care about this type of thing.

03121202698008
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Re: Criminal background

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:06 am

Pip wrote:Look at the ABA admissions for the state you plan on practicing in when you graduate law school... see if the ABA in your state cares about a minor traffic issue. If they don't then you don't need to bring it up or worry about it. If its DUI then the ABA will likely want to know about it but I doubt they care about your situation. Law schools don't care about this type of thing.


Once again, an arrest (or 3) for driving with a suspended license is not a traffic infraction. It is a criminal arrest and MUST be disclosed.




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