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I have been arrested twice before, how will this affect residency applications?

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by uncgrad2002, 11.07.11.

  1. uncgrad2002

    uncgrad2002

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    Basically I am an MS2, I have been arrested twice for misdemeanors, however both charges were dropped, and I have never been convicted. Both times it was BS, however they were both alcohol/drug related, which obviously is not good.

    I'm worrying myself to death thinking about the future and how this could affect applying for residencies. I was just wondering if anyone had been through anything like this or knew of any more information.

    Thanks.
  2. Isoprop

    Isoprop Fascinating, tell me more

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    If the charges were dropped, ie never convicted, then I don't think anyone will care.
  3. Miss Alyssa

    Miss Alyssa Member

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    I agree. If I remember correctly, the language on the ERAS application says "have you ever been convicted of..."

    Do you have a drug/alcohol problem? That might be something you should take care of even if you haven't been convicted of anything.
  4. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom

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    Seriously. They typically don't arrest people for no reason. They really don't arrest people twice for no reason. It doesn't matter how good your lawyer is or what connections you have to not get convicted, you still might have a problem.
  5. SoundofSilver

    SoundofSilver

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    Did you complete some sort of deferred adjudication program to get the charges dismissed? A lot of those require you to plead guilty which might mean you have to report it somewhere (i.e. licensing applications). That's still technically not a conviction, so you wouldn't have to report it on ERAS from what I understand.

    Your records of arrest might show up on an FBI background check. I believe fingerprints are forwarded to the FBI anytime they are taken.

    Your best bet would be to talk to a lawyer to figure out what you need to disclose when going through the licensing process.
    Last edited: 11.07.11
  6. Smurfette

    Smurfette smurfalicious Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Not necessarily. It depends on the state and the "others" (i.e. credentialling paperwork, malpractice applications, etc.) forms and the way they ask the question.

    Some will ask if you have ever been charged. Others may ask if you've ever been arrested. When I applied for hospital privileges (as an attending), I believe I had several forms, including my malpractice application, that asked if I had ever been arrested or charged with anything, even if charges were dropped. One form even wanted traffic tickets listed if they were within the last x years.

    It will vary by where you work. Odds are it will not make you unemployable since you weren't convicted, but it can delay things due to "requiring more information to be submitted" to explain the circumstances. The delays are what are painful, as it may only delay things a week, or delay things for months, depending on the bureaucracy involved.
  7. Isoprop

    Isoprop Fascinating, tell me more

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    Thanks for the clarification. Good luck to OP.
  8. OneTyme

    OneTyme Kickin' it ol' school

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    This is truer than you might ever believe... SRSLY.
  9. sirenomelia

    sirenomelia

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    State medical boards and hospital credentialling people are well aware that lawyers will plea, negotiate and weasel lesser sentences and outcomes. Most state license applications and credntialling packets I have filled out ask if you have ever been "charged" with a misdemeanor for that reason. You will have some explaining to do.
  10. Dartmouth2005

    Dartmouth2005

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    As an attorney, I have seen all types of bull charges levied against people that are later dismissed for lack of evidence. More often than not, people are guilty and get plead down their cases. But, sometimes they can be straight up innocent and falsely accused. Unfortunately, a person's good name is dragged through the mud while this all gets sorted out as people wrongly and stupidly infer guilt based on just the arrest.
  11. theseeker4

    theseeker4 MS 3

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    And being arrested multiple times, and innocent every time? How often does that happen without a specific reason the police are out to get you?
  12. Dartmouth2005

    Dartmouth2005

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    I meant one time not multiple. But, it is possible for someone to be innocent of two arrests for similar alleged conduct. I have seen that. My point is don't jump to conclusions.
  13. OneTyme

    OneTyme Kickin' it ol' school

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    As an attorney, you should know the difference between probable cause (i.e. the standard for arrest) and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt (i.e. the standard for conviction). If a charged is dismissed because it does not meet the conviction standards, that does not equate to the fact that the arrest was a "bull charge".
  14. OneTyme

    OneTyme Kickin' it ol' school

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    "Innocent" is different than "not guilty".
  15. rad0nc

    rad0nc

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    Someone from the state board came to talk to my class about this issue. He basically said that there are tons of people who have minor things on their record, and the board just wants to know about it. The basic message was, "as long as you don't lie you will be fine."
  16. SoundofSilver

    SoundofSilver

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    This.

    I'm sure there are countless individuals that got busted for underage drinking or stupid things like that during college. I find it hard to believe anyone would be denied a license to practice medicine because they got caught having a beer before age 21. Even if it is a criminal offense in most states. That's just silly. I also doubt most PDs would care about something like that when selecting potential residents.

    Two arrests however might raise some eyebrows. OP, just always be honest and disclose when you need to disclose. Hope for the best and keep moving forward.
  17. uncgrad2002

    uncgrad2002

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    Thanks for your response.

    To the other posters, I don't have a drug/alcohol problem, one time was just straight up bad luck, and the other time I was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. I'm not saying I'm 100% innocent, however I was a "normal" undergraduate student.

    I plan on disclosing what I need to disclose, and I want to be honest. I guess I am just really worried about applying for residencies, and what if I have to admit to using marijuana in the past to a PD or the licensing board? I have so much anxiety thinking about all of this work I am putting in now, then when it comes time to interview not matching anywhere because of my history. It sucks :thumbdown:
  18. Siverhideo1985

    Siverhideo1985

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    Honestly, I'd get actual, sound legal advice from an EXPERT on this matter. There is too much at stake to leave this up to opinions on internet forums.
  19. jj6vcb

    jj6vcb

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    Does anyone else see the problem here? Does "innocent until proven guilty" mean anything? Yes, lawyers can be scumbags but holding an arrest without conviction against someone is undermining a central value of our country. Now maybe if someone did a pre-trial diversion where they had to admit guilt but were never charged I can see an issue... but an arrest with acquittal or charges dropped, no way.
  20. Bernoull

    Bernoull

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    Granted every state has different requirements/processes for medical licensure; however isn't the point of the recently implemented AAMC CBC, partly, to ensure that matriculants CAN BE LICENSED upon graduation if they "pass the CBC check?"

    I understand that different states may ask if one has ever been "charged/arrested" and require additional info/explanation; however, there's a big difference between "processing delays" and being denied licensure for a misdemeanor (say, weed possession...), especially when one wasn't convicted!!!

    Does anyone think that doctors actually get denied licensure in such cases?? I find that hard to believe... We have presumption of innocence and due process for a reason,...

    OP, perhaps you can talk to ur Dean also, I imagine that he/she would be knowledgeable on this or point u in the right direction...

    my $0.02...

    Best of luck!:luck:
  21. emd123

    emd123

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    Now whether or not any specific application is going to require that you disclose this, depends I suppose on the legal wording of the application you'd be signing, and I'm not a lawyer.

    That being said, substance abuse amongst physicians is no less common than amongst the general population. When it comes to light, it's usually dealt with in one of two ways:

    1) Physician admits to problem, agrees to treatment, gets treatment prescribed, recovers and continues/goes back to work as physician relatively unaffected, or

    2) Physician denies there is a problem, refuses treatment, as a result his license is suspended and he's unemployed.

    The point: if you are required to disclose what happened, the best response it to own up to it, that you learned from it and explain what action you took and changes you made to ensure that it won't happen again. To respond with a lawyer-ish answer explaining it away would be certain to seal your fate.
  22. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    Anyone know how this is asked on ERAS?
  23. SlickNickMD

    SlickNickMD

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    Getting arrested twice does not look good, it may give the impression that you never learned you lesson after the first mistake. Ps I'm not judging you in any way, there are far worse crimes committed in this country that the law lets slide but it is what it is.


    How you overcome this depends on a lot of factors


    What specialty do you desire?
    What can you do to overcome/ make up for this blemish?
    How good is you alibi?
  24. myhandsarecold

    myhandsarecold

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    state boards will find out which will give you trouble when applying for a trainee license -> not starting in time -> problem with your residency. you will probably need to enroll in an impairment program... time to talk to your in-house lawyer if your school has one.
  25. Bernoull

    Bernoull

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    Great advice! Really spot on....:rolleyes::rolleyes:
  26. SoundofSilver

    SoundofSilver

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    I believe it simply asks "Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor?"

    The OP would be able to truthfully answer no. I'm not sure why it does not have the same wording as the AMCAS misdemeanor question which explicitly states not to disclose expunged or dismissed misdemeanors.

    Note: although the OP would not have to report this on ERAS, he'll most likely have to report it when applying for his license. My guess would be that licensing boards may not care much about benign misdemeanors like minor in possession of alcohol or open container violations but drug arrests may be more heavily scrutinized.
    Last edited: 03.18.12
  27. Slaol

    Slaol

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    If you have never been convicted of any crimes, you have nothing to worry about. If I were a cop, I could arrest everyone I meet for murder, rape, and felony larceny - but it wouldn't mean anything.
  28. elnolan

    elnolan

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    Is there a dentist in the house that can answer honestly. That they were on deferred adjudication for delivery of a controlled substance or some other drug and did the time for probation keep ed clean and was excepted into dental school and your now a practicing doctor?
  29. RestoreSight

    RestoreSight

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    Here's the bottom line. Read the wording carefully for each application. Eras asks for convictions. Obviously say no. Each state has a different licensure procedure. CA and MA at least both make it airtight and want prior arrests disclosed. Your not the only kid whose ever gotten arrested then applied for a medical license. It happens all the time. DUIs, domestic violence, and people doing dumb things in college are common. The key is not to hide anything because that reflects an issue of 'moral character'. Send in all the paperwork, and if they require a hearing for more info hire a lawyer to represent you. The rest of the posts are all going into metaphysics of innocent vs not guilty and our justice system, but the bottom line is whether you did or did not screw up is not relevant to an application for licensure. It's now up to you to be honest and disclose WHAT THEY REQUEST. If your honest they will give you a license. Don't stress.

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