Arrest History But no Convictions / PT School Application / Background Check

Sep 1, 2015
20
8
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
I got into an unfortunate situation months ago where I got arrested for a misdemeanor, but I will be able to remove the conviction from my record next month. However, my arrest will still be on my record. I won't be applying for grad school until October 2016 next year and I am aiming to get into Samuel Merritt school of physical therapy.

Will I need to disclose my arrest to the school during my background check even though my record is free of convictions?

If so, how much would it affect my chances of getting into the school?


AND also, my lawyer told me that there is a possibility to get the arrest EXPUNGED since this IS my very first arrest. I have NO priors. If it is expunged, I wouldn't have to disclose anything, correct?
If an arrest is expunged, absolutely no one is going to see the arrest on my record, right?
 
Last edited:
Aug 3, 2013
146
142
Status
There may be a question in your applications that asks about arrests/convictions. There most certainly will be one when you apply for your license (which is quite a ways down the road.). My knee jerk advice is to be honest. Also, be thoughtful with how you honestly describing whatever transpired. There are good ways and bad ways to tell the truth.

Probably best to speak with an attorney about this, and perhaps not the one who helped you out over this past year. You want someone with expertise in this domain. Consider contacting the state board (CA for Samuel Merritt?) and asking for some names of attorneys who have represented PTs who have had to defend themselves to the licensing board for a variety of reasons. It's a niche area, and there will probably only be a handful of regulars.

You're about to drop tens of thousands of dollars and years of your life on an education. Might as well budget several hundred bucks to get an expert's advice on how to navigate these waters.
 
Sep 2, 2015
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
WoW! you read my mind! I was about to ask the same question... I had previously written my personal story but upon reading it it was clear that my situation should be reported, which is what I did.
 
Last edited:
Oct 22, 2014
116
121
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Physical Therapist
ALWAYS put things like this on your application or check 'yes' on the app. You may not think anyone will find out....until someone who's angry (ex gf/bf/wife/husband) sticks their nose in. Your life will be much easier if you are truthful on your app than if you lie. Nothing says "bad character" quite like being intentionally deceptive. I believe that app also has a space for you to explain the situation and who you are as a person today. If you lie and get into school, when it comes time to take the boards and get your license...THEY WILL FIND OUT if you are again untruthful. You then will most likely have to go be present at the state board PT meeting to discuss whether you can sit to take the NPTE or get your license. It will come back to bite you in the ass, I urge you to NOT take pslug's advice and keep your mouth shut. Just an opinion.

PS I got this info from my state's chief executive of the PT board, he says he's seen it happen at least once per year. He said if you are truthful, you will have no problem. If not, watch out and be prepared to lose 100 grand...
 

ptisfun2

5+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2013
212
156
Status
DPT / OTD
I got into an unfortunate situation months ago where I got arrested for a misdemeanor, but I will be able to remove the conviction from my record next month. However, my arrest will still be on my record. I won't be applying for grad school until October 2016 next year and I am aiming to get into Samuel Merritt school of physical therapy.

Will I need to disclose my arrest to the school during my background check even though my record is free of convictions?

If so, how much would it affect my chances of getting into the school?
Ask an attorney. Additionally, call the state PT board of where you may want to work and ask if whatever your history will limit your ability to get licensed.

As a member of the Admissions Committee, we look at the question in PTCAS. We read whatever is written, and make a determination if it will limit their ability to get a PT license. It would be unfair for us to admit someone who would not be able to get a license due to something in their past. If we need additional information, we call the applicant. If we need clarification, we call the Board (I work at a state school, so at least 1/2 of our graduates will stay in our state). We have never rejected someone as the convictions, etc...all have been for drugs and extreme DWI in the last 5 years since I have been on the Admissions Committee...things like that.

I have a hard time imagining a school would reject without looking into it. My school is not short of applicants (over 1200 last year), but it is our due diligence for applicants to ensure equality and justice with their applications.
 
OP
R
Sep 1, 2015
20
8
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
what if I get it the arrest EXPUNGED before the application deadline?
 

DesertPT

5+ Year Member
Apr 22, 2013
2,656
1,872
Status
Physical Therapist
Report everything. Honesty is always the best policy. Sweeping things under the rug can only come back to bite you.
 
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Grizzlyman

2+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2015
80
24
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
An expungement does not make an arrest or conviction go away. It is always viewable by the government, law enforcement and anyone you give permission to view your record. Plus most private databases have collected your arrest record and will not expunge their records. Disclose and give a reason to make them feel better.

I have the same issue. I was wrongly arrested, case dismissed and the police paid me thousands after I sued them. It's ridiculous that I, as an innocent person have to smear my reputation by disclosing an illegal arrest but that is completely out of my control.