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Misdemeanor: to list or not to list?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Mountaineer12, May 2, 2012.

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  1. Mountaineer12

    Mountaineer12

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    Hey guys, I posted this in the AMCAS questions thread, but I'm not sure it belonged there. So basically I have a drinking citation from April 2010 in Maryland, which is a misdemeanor. I called the courthouse and they said although I can't expunge it until July 2013, the case has been closed and the probation served (it was only one day). So I'm not sure if it needs to be listed based on the what the application says:

    Have you ever been convicted of, or pleaded guilty or no contest to, a Misdemeanor crime, excluding 1) any offense for which you were adjudicated as a juvenile, 2) any convictions which have been expunged or sealed by a court, or 3) any misdemeanor convictions for which any probation has been completed and the case dismissed by the court (in states where applicable)?

    I've talked with a lawyer and someone who works at the courthouse and both seemed to think the third option means I don't have to list it, what do you think?
  2. 235788

    235788 God Complex

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    you get a background check post acceptance, so I'd suggest you list it. Underage drinking charges are rather common and realistically not a big deal.
  3. jesse120

    jesse120 Zanarkand Ruins

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    If you don't list it, get accepted, and the school finds out about it, they can rescind your acceptance. I think. Too big a risk not to list it, IMO
  4. Pattycake25

    Pattycake25

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    "Dismissal" is a formal term. If two legal professionals told you you were in the clear because of the third condition, it seems quite probable that it was dismissed, which means you don't have to mention it. You can always seek more clarification.


    If they go unmentioned on AMCAS, but the charges were not dismissed (and it will say so on the background check if they were), yes, the school absolutely can rescind.
  5. Mountaineer12

    Mountaineer12

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    So you suggest trying to speak to someone else to make sure that it has, in fact been dismissed?

    It's my understanding that even though it's been dismissed it will show up, will there be any indication that it was dismissed? Do you think I should go ahead and list it anyway just to avoid problems later?
  6. 759652

    759652

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    I am from MD and you are referring to a statute called probation before judgement. The misdemeanor will show up on your background check. I did not realize that speeding tickets in MD were misdemeanors and it was a pain explaining to schools I had been accepted to after receiving my background check- although they were fairly understanding. Disclose the misdemeanor up front as it is not a big deal especially if it happened awhile ago.
  7. EBTrailRunner

    EBTrailRunner

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  8. flodhi1

    flodhi1

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    List it, it's not worth the risk.
  9. NeuroLAX

    NeuroLAX Discere faciendo Gold Donor

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    List it. Better safe than sorry!
  10. MMADoc

    MMADoc

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    I don’t think the third exclusion that you listed applies to your case as that "court dismissal" is a specific legal term that is very different from having a case being closed such as you mentioned. Specifically, it is to my understanding that the third exclusion is included for those states whose statutes do not include the ability of expungement but have some version of court/charge dismissal.

    Your realistic options include either waiting till you can expunge the crime in 2013 and apply then (best option in my view) or taking the risk of reporting the crime in your primary AMCAS application and the vast majority of medical school secondary which include a question specifically asking about criminal activity minus any of the AMCAS listed exclusions. I would highly recommend avoiding not reporting the crime as that you will most likely get caught once a background check is performed by certiphi on your acceptance to a medical school program.
  11. Mountaineer12

    Mountaineer12

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    Okay, I think I'll list it and have a good explanation for it. Hopefully it won't be a big deal. I'm nervous!

    Thanks for the help!
  12. TwoBits

    TwoBits

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    I would not list it, as long as it fits under category #3 that you posted in your original post. Worst case scenario: you get accepted, and after the CBC is released to the school, they ask you about it and ask you why you didn't mention it in your AMCAS. You explain the situation and how you learned from it, and then go on to explain that the probation was completed, and the case was dismissed, which is why you did not mention it since it clearly states not to do so in the AMCAS instructions. ADCOMs have much more important things to pay mind to compared to a misdemeanor for underage drinking.

    I think this is too minor to draw attention to it. Yet, ADCOMs might put your app in a separate pile without even reading your explanation, simply because you checked yes, leaving you at a disadvantage for no reason. Say no now (because you legitimately have reason to), and explain later (if you even have to). Just my two cents.
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  13. STAT EKG

    STAT EKG

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    List it. Schools honestly won't care that much about one underage drinking charge.
  14. USCTrojan11

    USCTrojan11

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    List it, it actually helped me because it was a learning experience and the student interviewers loved to hear the story of how I ended up in handcuffs
  15. supportivehubby

    supportivehubby MS3!

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    This.
    Pique their interest. . .
    (thanks to the SDNer who taught me the difference between peaked and piqued. hoping I used it correctly this time!)
  16. Mountaineer12

    Mountaineer12

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    It really was a big eye opener for me so I think my explanation on the application and in person will be sincere. Thanks for all of your help!
  17. SoundofSilver

    SoundofSilver

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    I believe the third option on AMCAS applies to situations like deferred adjudication (i.e. guilty plea but no entry of conviction by court, do community service / take a class or whatever, then after a set period of time, the court dismisses the charge and you can legally claim you have never been convicted of a crime).

    I do think it's worth finding out whether or not your charge has actually been dismissed or if it's considered a conviction. You don't want to list it if you're not legally obligated to. Also, keep in mind you're going to have to do this over and over again (residency apps, licensing, etc.) so it's better to get a clear understanding now of whether you have a conviction or if your charge was actually dismissed.

    That being said, it's not going to kill your app if you have to list it. Underage drinking is pretty much the most innocuous misdemeanor out there. But again, don't list if you don't have to.
  18. flodhi1

    flodhi1

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    Many schools have specifically stated to me that it's not the misdemeanor that draws attention but rather the fact that an applicant didn't report it. One actually stated by not fully disclosing,"It shows moral turpitude which is not welcome in the field of medicine". OP, I would be very careful about such advice that states not to report a misdemeanor. There was a guy on SDN who got his acceptance rescinded for not reporting a misdemeanor speeding (reckless driving) ticket. I myself had a misdemeanor but fully reported it and had absolutely no problem getting accepted, matter of fact my interviewers didn't even ask so I would urge you report it for your own sake.
  19. SoundofSilver

    SoundofSilver

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    I don't think anyone is advocating dishonesty. Not reporting something when you are obligated to is a terrible idea. However, if the OP's charge was truly dismissed after completing probation, it says right on the application that he does not have to report it. This would not be a case of moral turpitude.

    This is why it is of utmost importance for the OP to find out definitively if his charge was dismissed and he does not have a conviction. If he chooses to not report it without this definitive knowledge, then yes, that would be an egregious mistake.
  20. Mountaineer12

    Mountaineer12

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    I'm a she :p but I'll try I get a good answer out of the courthouse this week. So far they haven't provided me with really great answers, but I'll try once and for all. I may still list it just to be 100% safe.
  21. TwoBits

    TwoBits

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    + 1

    Simply put, if you can confirm that the misdemeanor fits under category 3 in your original post, than do not list it. You do not have to. No one is advising you to lie. You should not lie on your application. But why would anyone list an illegal act that they are not obligated to list?
  22. riddler

    riddler

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    Here is another option.

    Submit your application with "no" checked, and then run the Certiphi CBC through the link AAMC sends you after submitting your application. This will be the exact check that medical schools run if you are accepted.

    If the results show a violation, then address it on secondaries and via e-mail update to the schools, explaining the situation and that you did not realize this was a misdemeanor that would surface through the background check. If nothing comes up, great!

    This is not dishonest because, in reality, you really aren't sure if this will come up on the check or if you should even list it, considering the probation. There's no way to be positive without running their check. You will clear your name and be upfront about the situation before schools run the check themselves, so you are not intending to hide anything from them--you're only waiting until you are sure you must list it.
  23. futuredoc34

    futuredoc34

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    I would list it... I had a drinking citation and I don't think it affected my application (not much at least): 5 acceptances out of 10-15 applications, can't complain about that. To one of my interviewers, it actually seemed like he viewed it as a positive thing, showing that I had a life outside of school. That said, n=1 here.
  24. werd

    werd Senior Member

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    i think the answer to whether you should list it pivots on if the case was closed or if the case was "dismissed."

    whatever you decide to do, still get it expunged when you can. future applications will ask if you've ever been charged or arrested, even if not convicted; and some even ask if you've ever had anything expunged.

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