View Full Version : Misdeamenor conviction
08-19-2002, 08:44 PM
I am wondering if anybody has any information on the medical school or AMA or Match Program policies on students who have a misdeamenor conviction on their record, specifically a Class A Theft conviction. The person I'm asking for has already been accepted and began classes, luckily he got finished the interview process and got accepted before the conviction was finalized, but since then he has been convicted and is unsure of how this will affect him in the long run. It is not possible to expunge the conviction off his record. He has not spoken to the deans or anybody yet for fear of getting kicked out, but is really scared that residency programs will reject him. Can anyone help?
Future GI Guy
08-20-2002, 04:28 AM
While I have never been convicted of anything, outside of signing the back of a speeding ticket, I can tell you that I vividly remember that section of every application I've filled out. (I just filled out that section for ERAS)
The question always goes something like:
Have you ever been convicted of a felony? If yes, explain below.
It says nothing about misdeamenor's or anything below the level of a felony, so clearly, you don't have to explain those things.
1. They probably won't know about it
2. If they know, they probably won't ask about it.
3. If he's that worried, his lawyer can appeal to get it expundged off his permanent record after a period of time (say a year or so of good behavior).
Also, I know plenty of people who've gotten DWI's and still made it through the rigorous application process for various things (including residency).
08-20-2002, 09:52 AM
Misdemeanors are generally no problem unless they involve drugs/alcohol which can cause a program to look askance at an applicant (but the ERAS and other residency apps generally do not ask about it.). I don't recall my licensing app inquiring about it either, but every program and state is different.
Generally felonies are the ones to be worried about.
08-21-2002, 06:27 PM
As other posters have mentioned, the rules vary from one licensing authority to another. I do remember, however, that there was a question about arrest record of any kind in my app, when I applied for my provisional license.
09-02-2002, 10:33 AM
O.K. My labor day holiday did not go so well. I had a minor run in with the law and while I was encouraged by Future GI Guy's response, Kimberli has me a bit worried, since mine did involve alcohol. Here's my story:
I went with some friends out to a state park in my home town. There was a sign up that said no alcohol on the beach. I thought, "No problem. I'm not going to the beach." Apparently, though, the beach is not merely the sand and water. I was sitting at a table on concrete about 30 yards away from the beach, with a drink in my hand, when a park ranger came up and told me there was no alcohol allowed on the beach. I apologized and told him that I didn't realize that I was considered to be on the beach, and asked him if I needed to move somewhere else or pour out my alcohol or something like that. He told me that the sign means the whole beach area and he arrested me. It looks like the fine itself is going to be around $500-600 (not cool), but I'm nowhere near as worried about that as I am having to mark yes that I have been arrested on some residency app down the road.
So, am I screwed, or is this not a major problem?
09-02-2002, 03:21 PM
I am certainly not an expert in this field. But since you sound like you need some reassurance, I can tell you that since you didn't do anything that caused harm to others (i.e. not an ethical issue), you will have paid your (huge, IMHO) debt to society, and you do not (right?) have any sort of track record of bad behavior (you weren't underage, right?), that you most likely will never have to worry about this affecting you negatively. On the flip side, your crime seems so minor that I think you should consult a lawyer and get acquitted for it so that you don't even need to deal with it again.
BTW, if you had to discuss this with a licensing board in the future, why would they question your competence as a doctor over it? Again, IMHO, they never would. Chalk it up to bad luck.
Future GI Guy
09-04-2002, 02:16 PM
I totally agree with Mindy's last statement.
What happened to you is a bird of a different feather.
If things really were as you say they were (and the incident didn't involve you driving), I would totally challenge this in court. The size of the fine would easily justify the attorney's fees, and if the signs aren't well marked, then you have your case.
If the signs truly say beach, and not "beach area" or whatever, if they're mis-leading at all, then you need to challenge that and not accept guilt.
If this incident involved you driving a car, I would not be saying the same thing to you.
Now, about residency applications. ERAS asks if you have been convicted of a felony. Nothing more, nothing less.
09-05-2002, 07:03 AM
I also agree completely. What I was referring to were more serious infractions of the law involving drugs and alcohol - ie, DUIs, stealing drugs, multiple rehab stays, etc. These *may* cause you some difficulty later on - ERAS only asks about felonies as do most residency programs. State licensing is another matter and they may find faulty with some of the above issues.
What you've described does not worry me except the amount of the fine you've been levied. Holy cow!
09-05-2002, 03:07 PM
Also if all else fails to avoid having to into your record go get a lawyer. They can literally make things "dissapear" or whatever as if it never happened. I know of folks that were arrested for DWI and retained the services of a lawyer paid a huge fine $3,000 and the DWI was dropped or downgraded to another type of ticket. Now, about this being ethical or not...
09-06-2002, 09:30 AM
GO TO COURT on this one...if the signs were as you say they are vague and one is left to their own interpretation...sand and water are beach....not some picnic table in the park. You have a rather aggressive Park Ranger meeting his own quotas...shut him down! The sign needs to read "beach-area". Good Luck!!
BTW, the question is not how many tiimes you have been arrested but have you been CONVICTED of any crime... therein lies the difference. For you the answer is no. And you don't need a lawyer, when the Judge asks if you are guilty, you say Guilty with explanation. However if it makes you feel better hire an attorney to argue the case for you and tell him exactly what you have said here.
SpiceGirl, he didn't have the conviction charge on his record when he applied, thus he couldn't possibly have answered "pending conviction" on the forms and once again there is a BIG difference between a misdeanor and a felony, he may just want to make sure he is clear on this issue. Having said all that, I pulled my application for licensing in the state of Pa, and gues what it reads: Have you been convicted, found guilty, or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere, or received probation without verdict(whatever that means??)as to any felony or misdeanor(how sneaky can you get??), including any drug law violation, in any state or federal court? I asume that includes acohol, as that is a drug last time I checked.... so conclusion do NOT apply for licensing in the state of Pa and whatever state he does apply, check on this requirement ahead of time so there isn't a potential problem down the road. Some states are more lenient than others. PA is nutsy about this stuff. Tough state to get license.
Future GI Guy
09-06-2002, 11:38 AM
I liked your post, but I think you're equating two different things.
Just because you're ASKED about any convictions does not mean it will prohibit you from obtaining a license.
If one were convicted of drinking and it somehow jeopardized patient care or the lives of others (i.e. DWI), then they're might be a reason to limit or prohibit one from obtaining a license to practice. Similarly, if you used your position in health-care to steal or distribute prescription medications, and were convicted, then this might be cause for concern.
I wonder just how many physicians in the state of Pennsylvania have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony and how it affected their licensing.
I'd imagine, since Alcoholism is common in this profession (I, myself, was rear-ended by a drunk physician), the number would be relatively high, and the number punished would be relatively low.
My point is, just because they ask doesn''t mean it will matter.
That said, hercules should clearly fight this in court.
09-06-2002, 01:39 PM
Don't doubt for a minute what you are assuming, however I will not volunteer to test the system, in PA anyway. I believe the orginal questions were in regards to whether these were issues addressed in a licensing situation, what they (state licensing boards) chooses to do about them is anyone's guess. Have to factor in the competiveness of the medical profession and I tend to doubt they will regard one as "highly qualified" whose has a somewhat less than desirable record in the legal area. Do concur that there probably are MDs' with DWI somewhere in the state of PA, would love to know how they are deal with by the licensing board...anyone out there qualify and can enlighten us???
09-13-2002, 06:05 PM
How do they check this stuff anyway? Are they relying on the honor system or do they type your SSN# in some Ashcroft FBI system and get the information that way?
A friend of mine recently just didn't tell them about a "Public Intoxication" misdemeanor in New Orleans and he got into the residency of his choice....
09-17-2002, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the information and advice everybody. To clarify: it had nothing to do with driving, I'm 23 years old, and I have no prior record. I went back to check the sign, and the problem was that there was a second sign that said no alcohol beyond this point that I never read. That said, I did wind up getting a lawyer and he seems to be confident that he can make the charges go away. I'm meeting him at the courthouse at 8:30 tomorrow morning to talk to the judge, so wish me luck. I'll be glad to have this over--what a pain!
09-19-2002, 07:52 PM
My lawyer worked it out so that I have no fine and no permanent record. All I have to do is 25 hours of community service, which shouldn't be any problem since I already do a good bit of volunteer work. Now I can finally focus on my upcoming test block.
09-19-2002, 08:16 PM
Good to hear you circumnavigated that peril in deft fashion. Stories like yours are cause for great concern about how our law enforcement resources are being wasted on frivolous activities. More likely than not, the ranger saw an opportunity to assert some authority amidst an otherwise humdrum day. I wonder what he/she does for fun, arrest jaywalkers no doubt?
I want to emphasize the importance of following up on your record. Just because your lawyer and judge say the infraction, if I can call it that, was expunged, bureaucracy has a bad habit of causing grave harm through it's corruptive practices. Be extremely vigilant about your 'permanent record'. Make sure they actually remove the infraction and review the record from time to time.
I once had my drivers license revoked for an infraction someone else committed. The bureaucratic wasteland inputed someone elses violation under my name (how nice) and proceeded to mail notices to a third location. I was told that had I been stopped for any reason, I might have been arrested. The ramifications could have been more than a mere nuisance. In any case, an astute lawyer checked my record while representing me on an unrelated violation and uncovered this misplaced blemish. It still took almost a year for the record to come clean.
The moral of the story is to always keep tabs on your record, especially in your case when you actually know something happened.
10-04-2002, 03:21 PM
carddr, can one practice in every state after getting a licence in one state? also, is the licencisng procedure very strict? for example, you mentioned that given the competitiveness of the medical field, they might not look so highly on a criminal record. however, the crime was a miseameanor theft with 2 year supervision as a punishment. so is it like, once you get a residency and finish it, you pretty much get a licence unless you've done something really bad in the past? or is licencing yet another hurdle, just like amcas and eras and all that?
sorry for replying like 2 months later, just got caught up in the monotony of med school....
10-04-2002, 04:39 PM
Spice Girl - a license in one state does not entitle you to practice medicine in ALL states. However, it is usually a matter of application and fee payment to obtain licenses in other states (you may have to show reason why you need a license in States B, C, etc.). Some states are more difficult than others to obtain licenses.
For individual state information, check out www.fsmb.org
10-08-2002, 07:56 PM
Let me see if I can remember some of the facts to getting a license... believe me I have not wanted to remember this frustrating process, at least in the state of Pa. First of all you have to be licensed beginning the first year of your residency and ever year there after, your license is called a Graduate Medical License and is issued for one year only, you have to re-apply every year. And as Dr. Cox indicated there are fees to pay. Yes, and some states are more difficult to deal with than some others, they often require paper documents to varify the number of hours you have credit in medical courses, (3,000 hours required in the state of Pa.), records on all the rotations completed (Pa requires 72 hours and all in MD hospitals, will not accept any rotations completed in DO, if you are applying for MD residency), CV, Transcript send directly from your school, and of course all of your testing records from officials only. All of these requests for paper documents have to be completed in an official manner, some require each hospital seal/notarized, dates have to be varified etc. especially on the rotations completed. My advice to you is keep your records up to date at all times and make sure you get the proper papers from your school and hospitals. Keep track of addresses, names, performance records, everything you do.
Yes, it is a big hurdle...but thousands manage to get licensed every year, and so will you. If the form ask about criminal record be honest and provide explanations, remember you only have to inform when there has been a CONVICTION!!!Can't say I know any MDs' with criminal records but let's assume it is possible. Just look at it as something else to get through. Hopefully you weren't forty something when this happened, most of the time folks understand the acting out of our youth and bad choices we sometimes make. Good Luck. Hope this helps.
And always try to follow up with the licensing board and find out if your documents are getting to them and if not what you can do. That was the main problem with the Pa licensing board, you would call up there and noone could/would answer your questions, very frustrating, only to find out in my case a week before my residency was to begin 2 hospitals had forgotten the seal (in fact one doctor I rotated with had left the hospital, and the doctor replacing him refused to sign the papers, since I had not done the rotation with her, we resolved it by having the orginal papers notarized, but that took valuable time as the replacement doctor let the papers lay on her desk for about 2 weeks before responding, costing me some pay checks, some programs refuses to pay you unless you are a licensed doctor, it's actually against the law to do so). Stuff like this occurs all the time, so even if you are doing everything right, life never stays the same. I apologize for this being so long, but if I can help let me know.
10-10-2002, 02:35 PM
Is the subject a boy or girl?
If it is a girl...Send me the phone number.
10-17-2002, 11:30 AM
In california, if you get convicted of a DUI, it comes off your record in ~7 years (somewhere around there).
10-23-2002, 03:21 PM
The key here is to answer the questions honestly.
Using the California Board as a licensing example....they are a law enforcement agency. They have you submit fingerprints with your application for both CA DOJ and FBI checks. They can find out things about your criminal history (even info which has been "expunged"); it even says so on the application. (A potential employee -- depending on if they are a goverment agency or not -- may or may not find out.)
It's better to be honest and admit it....and explain honestly what happened. If you lie about it, they somehow might miss it and you get in. If you are honest and its a minor thing, tell them simply "youthful indiscretion." BUT if you lie and get caught in the lie, they will not be evaluating your offense from several/many years ago, they will be evaluating your inability to be ethical by not telling the truth just a few months ago, when you filled out the application. (A single event of a DUI or busted with a joint freshman year of college, versus dishonesty three months ago.)
With the California Board, if you lie on the application, you will be denied licensure...even if the offense was something from many years ago which otherwise would have been signed off at the staff level...and your file would otherwise have continued in the licensure process. And this impacts you all over....once a licensing jurisdiction makes an adverse decision on your application, its reported to the NPDB...and all other state boards find out about it.
Just "be a man" and admit it. Its the best advice for everything.
10-27-2002, 04:35 PM
i'm not sure if i clarified this to you guys earlier, but one of the premises of the conviction is that if it in any way impedes licensure, then the judge is required to expunge it. that is to say, if the licensing board declines a licence based on the fact that a conviction was received, then the judge will revoke that conviction so that the board has no reason to deny a licence. make sense? that being said, are there any OTHER reasons to be denied a licence? assuming all other clarifications are met, of course: ie, graduation, usmle, etc.
10-29-2002, 02:45 PM
I sent you a message.....got read it! :D
10-29-2002, 09:45 PM
I agree with the honesty part. Submit your fingerprints and what not. You should give what they ask for. As for ERAS, they asked for felonies not misdemeanors. So I believe you should only answer what they asked for. If at an interview they ask for other "crimes" then tell them about the misdemeanor. I don't know how the Cal Board does it if they suspect something, but I do believe in providing them only with what they asked for.
07-25-2011, 12:41 PM
07-25-2011, 06:19 PM
Bumping up an 8+ year old thread!