non-criminal traffic tickets? Forum

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Post Reply
uygiugiyugyugk

New
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:11 pm

non-criminal traffic tickets?

Post by uygiugiyugyugk » Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:56 pm

LS app says to list any misdemeanor or felony convictions (not arrests). Says nothing about traffic tickets.

I have a few traffic tickets. All were 100% civil (the state has a list of several misdemeanor traffic violations, such as reckless driving, DUI, etc... none of mine were misdemeanors. Unsafe lane change, red light camera, etc).

I didn't include any of these on the app because none of these were misdemeanors (criminal). Did I make a mistake?

johndooley

Bronze
Posts: 280
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2022 3:34 pm

Re: non-criminal traffic tickets?

Post by johndooley » Fri Jul 29, 2022 3:57 pm

uygiugiyugyugk wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:56 pm
LS app says to list any misdemeanor or felony convictions (not arrests). Says nothing about traffic tickets.

I have a few traffic tickets. All were 100% civil (the state has a list of several misdemeanor traffic violations, such as reckless driving, DUI, etc... none of mine were misdemeanors. Unsafe lane change, red light camera, etc).

I didn't include any of these on the app because none of these were misdemeanors (criminal). Did I make a mistake?
No but consult an attorney if you are completely freaking out to put your mind at ease rather than seek advice from internet strangers. My two cents is that listing it will annoy adcoms and the bar more than anything and make you look foolish. If you cannot determine whether a traffic ticket is a felony or a misdemeanor on your own then you may not be long for the profession.

Wubbles

Bronze
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:55 pm

Re: non-criminal traffic tickets?

Post by Wubbles » Fri Jul 29, 2022 8:03 pm

johndooley wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 3:57 pm
uygiugiyugyugk wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:56 pm
LS app says to list any misdemeanor or felony convictions (not arrests). Says nothing about traffic tickets.

I have a few traffic tickets. All were 100% civil (the state has a list of several misdemeanor traffic violations, such as reckless driving, DUI, etc... none of mine were misdemeanors. Unsafe lane change, red light camera, etc).

I didn't include any of these on the app because none of these were misdemeanors (criminal). Did I make a mistake?
No but consult an attorney if you are completely freaking out to put your mind at ease rather than seek advice from internet strangers. My two cents is that listing it will annoy adcoms and the bar more than anything and make you look foolish. If you cannot determine whether a traffic ticket is a felony or a misdemeanor on your own then you may not be long for the profession.
Some law schools and some state bars explicitly require disclosure of traffic tickets. Some states also consider very minor traffic violations to be misdemeanors that other states would not (i.e. 15 mph over speeding ticket).

uygiugiyugyugk

New
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:11 pm

Re: non-criminal traffic tickets?

Post by uygiugiyugyugk » Fri Jul 29, 2022 8:20 pm

Wubbles wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 8:03 pm
johndooley wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 3:57 pm
uygiugiyugyugk wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:56 pm
LS app says to list any misdemeanor or felony convictions (not arrests). Says nothing about traffic tickets.

I have a few traffic tickets. All were 100% civil (the state has a list of several misdemeanor traffic violations, such as reckless driving, DUI, etc... none of mine were misdemeanors. Unsafe lane change, red light camera, etc).

I didn't include any of these on the app because none of these were misdemeanors (criminal). Did I make a mistake?
No but consult an attorney if you are completely freaking out to put your mind at ease rather than seek advice from internet strangers. My two cents is that listing it will annoy adcoms and the bar more than anything and make you look foolish. If you cannot determine whether a traffic ticket is a felony or a misdemeanor on your own then you may not be long for the profession.
Some law schools and some state bars explicitly require disclosure of traffic tickets. Some states also consider very minor traffic violations to be misdemeanors that other states would not (i.e. 15 mph over speeding ticket).
My law school says only, "Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony." That's it. It does not mention traffic.

I have had tickets in three states.

For one state, where I lived for 20 years, it says:

"A violation ... of ... this title is a civil traffic violation unless the statute defining the violation provides for a different classification." That means everything there was civil (some stuff is criminal, e.g. DUI, reckless driving, speeding 20+ over, etc. Never had any of that). So I'm good there (for law school application purposes).

The next state I was cited for driving without a license (I have a license, just left it at home) and speeding. Both municipal ordinance violations. Driving without a license was dropped, and speeding was amended to "excessive vehicle noise," which per my plea is a "no point, non-moving infraction." Thus, not a misdemeanor, thus not reportable on LS app. Again, LS apps only asks for "convictions" and I was "convicted" of a muffler violation. An "infraction" per Missouri statute is not punishable by imprisonment (thus not a misdemeanor).

My most recent one was a red light ticket from DC. It came from the DMV, not a court, and says "Notice of Infraction." It is charged under DC Metro Regulations as an Infraction (listed under "Civil Fines For Motor Vehicle Moving Infractions") thus not a misdemeanor. the DCMR defines an infraction as "Infraction - any conduct subject to administrative adjudication under the provisions of the District of Columbia Traffic Adjudication Act of 1978, and with respect to which the Corporation Counsel does not commence a proceeding in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia."


I will report to the Bar everything required (e.g., all traffic violations, etc etc), but I'm not reporting to my LS because I honestly have never been convicted of any misdemeanor (or felony for that matter). I would feel better if they said "exclude minor traffic violations" but they don't, so I just have to do my best and I think I have (truly, to the best of my knowledge and belief, I have never been charged with, much less convicted of, a misdemeanor.)

Wubbles

Bronze
Posts: 424
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:55 pm

Re: non-criminal traffic tickets?

Post by Wubbles » Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:02 pm

uygiugiyugyugk wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 8:20 pm
Wubbles wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 8:03 pm
johndooley wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 3:57 pm
uygiugiyugyugk wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 12:56 pm
LS app says to list any misdemeanor or felony convictions (not arrests). Says nothing about traffic tickets.

I have a few traffic tickets. All were 100% civil (the state has a list of several misdemeanor traffic violations, such as reckless driving, DUI, etc... none of mine were misdemeanors. Unsafe lane change, red light camera, etc).

I didn't include any of these on the app because none of these were misdemeanors (criminal). Did I make a mistake?
No but consult an attorney if you are completely freaking out to put your mind at ease rather than seek advice from internet strangers. My two cents is that listing it will annoy adcoms and the bar more than anything and make you look foolish. If you cannot determine whether a traffic ticket is a felony or a misdemeanor on your own then you may not be long for the profession.
Some law schools and some state bars explicitly require disclosure of traffic tickets. Some states also consider very minor traffic violations to be misdemeanors that other states would not (i.e. 15 mph over speeding ticket).
My law school says only, "Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony." That's it. It does not mention traffic.

I have had tickets in three states.

For one state, where I lived for 20 years, it says:

"A violation ... of ... this title is a civil traffic violation unless the statute defining the violation provides for a different classification." That means everything there was civil (some stuff is criminal, e.g. DUI, reckless driving, speeding 20+ over, etc. Never had any of that). So I'm good there (for law school application purposes).

The next state I was cited for driving without a license (I have a license, just left it at home) and speeding. Both municipal ordinance violations. Driving without a license was dropped, and speeding was amended to "excessive vehicle noise," which per my plea is a "no point, non-moving infraction." Thus, not a misdemeanor, thus not reportable on LS app. Again, LS apps only asks for "convictions" and I was "convicted" of a muffler violation. An "infraction" per Missouri statute is not punishable by imprisonment (thus not a misdemeanor).

My most recent one was a red light ticket from DC. It came from the DMV, not a court, and says "Notice of Infraction." It is charged under DC Metro Regulations as an Infraction (listed under "Civil Fines For Motor Vehicle Moving Infractions") thus not a misdemeanor. the DCMR defines an infraction as "Infraction - any conduct subject to administrative adjudication under the provisions of the District of Columbia Traffic Adjudication Act of 1978, and with respect to which the Corporation Counsel does not commence a proceeding in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia."


I will report to the Bar everything required (e.g., all traffic violations, etc etc), but I'm not reporting to my LS because I honestly have never been convicted of any misdemeanor (or felony for that matter). I would feel better if they said "exclude minor traffic violations" but they don't, so I just have to do my best and I think I have (truly, to the best of my knowledge and belief, I have never been charged with, much less convicted of, a misdemeanor.)
Yeah, you're probably fine then. I was mostly responding to the snark in the prior post about looking foolish to the bar, especially since you could very well have something non-reportable to law schools and reportable to the bar for traffic violations. I applied to 2 law schools that required me to disclose my traffic violations, the rest did not. I applied to 2 bars, one which required disclosure of the traffic tickets and one that did not (but luckily explicitly excluded traffic violations so I didn't have to jump through hoops like you).

nixy

Gold
Posts: 4135
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: non-criminal traffic tickets?

Post by nixy » Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:10 pm

Yeah, OP, I think you’re fine. Usually if schools want to know traffic stuff, they’ll ask directly, and you have the cites to be able to. Different states have different requirements, and schools tend to ask for information that mirrors the bar where they’re located (even though plenty of students may go elsewhere). And even if for some unknown reason someone down the line thinks you should have disclosed, you have the citations etc to explain why you didn’t. I don’t think anyone could find you willfully withheld anything.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Post Reply

Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”