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Can you be a Psychologist with a criminal record?

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Am I able to pursue my career

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  • No

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Jkapi

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I am now a psychology major and I was curious if this is career is worth pursuing due to my criminal record. When I was 18 years old I was beat up and stalked by a male in my school. The police told me that I was wasting their time by calling the police every time I was followed. The police arrived at my house via lights and sirens when I called and I was charged with falsifying a police report. I was curious if I can still pursue my career with such a record.
 

neurobain

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This might be something you have to disclose and explain on

1) graduate school applications
2) internship applications
3) applications for state licences
4) grant applications if you are pursuing a research career

I won't say it is impossible, but it will likely be much more difficult. I would strongly consider consulting with your academic adviser or a mentor within your psychology program. It might also be worth contacting your states licensing board to inquire about this before you spending a significant amount of time, money, and effort.

Good luck!
 
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LittleAlbert

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This might be something you have to disclose and explain on

1) graduate school applications
2) internship applications
3) applications for state licences
4) grant applications if you are pursuing a research career

I won't say it is impossible, but it will likely be much more difficult. I would strongly consider consulting with your academic adviser or a mentor within your psychology program. It might also be worth contacting your states licensing board to inquire about this before you spending a significant amount of time, money, and effort.

Good luck!
I am now a psychology major and I was curious if this is career is worth pursuing due to my criminal record. When I was 18 years old I was beat up and stalked by a male in my school. The police told me that I was wasting their time by calling the police every time I was followed. The police arrived at my house via lights and sirens when I called and I was charged with falsifying a police report. I was curious if I can still pursue my career with such a record.

I am confident that this would not prevent you from becoming a licensed psychologist. I would guess that if the charges were more of a threat to the public in your role as a psychologist (sexual misconduct, etc), that there would be more scrutiny.
 
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CWard12213

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Don't think it would necessarily stop you in your career but do consider since that is public record your patients can potentially look it up.
 

fiinch

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I don't know how your local court system works, or if you know of a county commissioner /clerk office you could see in the area, but for a benign charge like that, you may be able to pursue expungement of that record.

Just a thought you may want to mull over....
 
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AppsAintNoThang

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A friend of mine had an old public intoxication charge she thought was expunged 10 years prior to grad school. She made it through grad school, internship, practica, only to get her dream job and be denied after the background check dug that up. It's definitely possible, but like others say, it can be more of a struggle.
 

psych.meout

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I don't know how your local court system works, or if you know of a county commissioner /clerk office you could see in the area, but for a benign charge like that, you may be able to pursue expungement of that record.

Just a thought you may want to mull over....
Even if it gets expunged, the rule of thumb is always to report it if asked, because it's easier to deal with something freely admitted to than something that gets discovered later after it was lied about. This is even more important when considering jobs that involve security clearances, e.g. working for the military. Even if the actual offense/treatment/concern/etc. is minor, the fact that you lied and withheld it is the actual problem.
 

erg923

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A friend of mine had an old public intoxication charge she thought was expunged 10 years prior to grad school. She made it through grad school, internship, practica, only to get her dream job and be denied after the background check dug that up. It's definitely possible, but like others say, it can be more of a struggle.

Denied a job because you had a PI 10 years ago, are you kidding me?!
 

AppsAintNoThang

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Denied a job because you had a PI 10 years ago, are you kidding me?!

I wish. It was a job at a county agency, ironically the same agency she'd done her internship in. I'd like to say they were just looking for a reason to deny her the job, but they'd offered it to her and seemed enthusiastic about her starting until word came from HR.
 

fiinch

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Even if it gets expunged, the rule of thumb is always to report it if asked, because it's easier to deal with something freely admitted to than something that gets discovered later after it was lied about. This is even more important when considering jobs that involve security clearances, e.g. working for the military. Even if the actual offense/treatment/concern/etc. is minor, the fact that you lied and withheld it is the actual problem.
Agreed, wasn't advocating for lying. I presently hold a high security clearance and understand the process pretty well... you seldom see much come of it with such petty charges. Charges can be made up rather easily (in my state, you can press charges against anyone you'd like without much evidence); convictions are harder to dispute or justify
 
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temppsych123

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Things to keep in mind:

1) Different sites have different rules regarding the extent of their background checks, what is and isn't an exclusion, etc. So this can vary from starting a program, to doing external practica, to working at certain internship sites, to postdoc jobs, to licensed jobs.

2) Different states have different regulations when you apply to licensure. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to find out how this would impact your ability to get licensed in any particular state without reaching out to the licensing board...and since that is a ways away from where you are now, it's hard to know if where you'd like to end up at the moment is necessarily the state you'll want to end up at in the future.

3) Even if a record is expunged, depending on the type of work you want to do, it can still come up (e.g., if you want to work in prisons or doing forensic assessments etc).

4) Even WITH all the above caveats, it sounds like the specific circumstance you describe above is pretty minor - you say you were charged, were you actually found guilty or not guilty? Were you sentenced? Was it a misdemeanor or a felony? Were you a minor or an adult at the time? Lots of details that could be relevant, but from the context you provided it doesn't sound as concerning to me as someone who had, say, a felony drug distribution charge, or any kind of charge for a violent crime.

5) I would recommend talking to an academic advisor in your major at your university to get their opinion! They might be able to help you a bit more regarding details of licensure in your state.

6) EVEN IF a career as a licensed psychologist is out of the question, there are lots of other careers that involve working with and helping people that require a master's level credential, and those may have very different background check requirements. I wouldn't say that you can't work in the field of psychology as a whole just because of this one thing, even if it might limit some of your options down the road for any particular credential or a particular position. If this is your passion, I imagine you can figure out a way to make it work! Good luck, OP!
 

Psipi140

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Hi,

Over the last 3 years of applying to doctoral programs I have had only a single interview. Relative to others I know who have applied and been considered my application is fairly strong, especially considering that I probed multiple tiers (highly competitive to programs with a 20% acceptance rate), I believe that it is possible that having a negative online presence pertaining to criminal activity is a major hindrance (e.g., when I was in high school I used a counterfeit bill to purchase lunch). It is my suspicion that potential employers and programs do occasionally do a quick Google search of potential applications. Of course, this is just speculation and it may be that my application is not as competitive as I believe and/or I just have not had luck finding a good fit. Who knows...it definitely does not help though.

Best,

Andrew
 

edieb

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I am now a psychology major and I was curious if this is career is worth pursuing due to my criminal record. When I was 18 years old I was beat up and stalked by a male in my school. The police told me that I was wasting their time by calling the police every time I was followed. The police arrived at my house via lights and sirens when I called and I was charged with falsifying a police report. I was curious if I can still pursue my career with such a record.

It really depends on the offense. You should get than expunged but even then it can appear on a federal bg check. However, the charge isnt that serious so you're most likely ok. The only real way to know is to call the board
 
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