Aug 23, 2016
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I have an arrest for assault and disturbing the peace. The assault charge was dismissed and I entered a deferred adjudication plea for the disturbing the peace charge. The records were later sealed. These charges occurred at the same time. I have read that assault charges on applications are DOA. Would this hold true even though the charge was dismissed? They were both class c charges and no actual physical violence occurred.
 

DocMcMommy

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I like to add this disclaimer before I comment on anything, I'm just a hopeful applicant for next cycle so I don't have any real knowledge...

But the way I see this is, you're going to apply anyway, right? I think the best thing you can do is be up front and list this on your application, even though it was sealed. If anything, I think owning your mistake would show some form of redemption and favorable qualities? I also think length of time and your age when it happened will also be considered.

I'm not sure. I have a misdemeanor charge for trying to shoplift $5 of makeup a week after I turned 18. The charges were dismissed and it's embarrassing AF and really high on the list of "Most Stupid Things I've done" but it was ~seven years ago and I've tried really hard to distance myself from that and show that that is not the type of person that I am today. I'm going to apply, I'm going to be forthcoming and that's really all I can do.

Also, an attorney's advice will probably be beneficial and more in line with what you should really do. Again, this is all just my opinion and I don't know much and have my own red flag.
 
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Feb 26, 2016
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If the charges are dismissed and sealed, they cannot be found through AMCAS's 3rd party criminal background check service.

However, during your clinical years, especially if your school has you rotate at a VA hospital, you will have a federal background check of sorts, which will reveal sealed/dismissed charges.

My advice is to answer the AMCAS and secondary questions about criminal charges and convictions truthfully, and offer nothing more until you're already matriculated. After you start school, you can tell them about it on the topic of your concern for rotating at VA hospitals and the background checks it requires.

Also, charges being dismissed is a decision by the judge, and the implications are that you were not found guilty. A crazy ex can call the cops and claim you assaulted her and press charges, but the judge can see that the charges are bogus and dismiss them. Same legal results for your assault charge.

For your plea bargain, you essentially pleaded guilty so you're SOL on that. Try to get all of the charges expunged. Speak with your lawyer about the technical legal outcomes (formal conviction?), although I'm fairly positive most lawyers will not have the time to sit down and go through each question with you.

Good luck.
 
OP
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Aug 23, 2016
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, I regret taking the plea bargain in the first place, but I was scared and naiive at the time.

So it seems if the secondary asks only about convictions I would only have to admit to the disturbing the peace charge. If it asks about charges then I'd have to disclose both charges.

I know the assault charge looks bad. How does a disturbing the peace charge rank to adcoms in the scheme of criminal records?

I'd appreciate a weigh in from @Goro @gyngyn or @LizzyM as well. Would my application be doa at your institutions?
 

Med Ed

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I have an arrest for assault and disturbing the peace. The assault charge was dismissed and I entered a deferred adjudication plea for the disturbing the peace charge. The records were later sealed. These charges occurred at the same time. I have read that assault charges on applications are DOA. Would this hold true even though the charge was dismissed? They were both class c charges and no actual physical violence occurred.
It would behoove you to learn the rules, meaning how the state where you were arrested/charged treats sealed cases. I would consult an attorney in that state who deal with medical licensure issues, as he/she should be very accustomed to the legal landscape. Depending on the state laws there may be no decision to make.

In the meantime, if you receive secondary applications that ask about arrests/charges, place an anonymous phone call to the admissions office an ask for clarification about the disclosure of sealed cases.
 

Med Ed

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However, during your clinical years, especially if your school has you rotate at a VA hospital, you will have a federal background check of sorts, which will reveal sealed/dismissed charges.
The VA form for physician employment (10-2850), which is findable online, asks about all felony convictions regardless of timeframe, all convictions in the prior seven years, and any current charges. There is nothing about prior arrests/charges.
 

gonnif

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I have an arrest for assault and disturbing the peace. The assault charge was dismissed and I entered a deferred adjudication plea for the disturbing the peace charge. The records were later sealed. These charges occurred at the same time. I have read that assault charges on applications are DOA. Would this hold true even though the charge was dismissed? They were both class c charges and no actual physical violence occurred.
Was the assault charge dropped (ie DA removed it) or dismissed (court found not supported)?
Was disturbing the peace a misdemeanor or violation ? A class C misdemeanor? For disturbing the peace?
was the deferred adjudication on disturbing only sealing records or expunging? Or would it be dismissed by the court?
How old were you? were you charged as adult or juvenile?
And as @Med Ed asked, what state did this occur in?
 
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ndafife

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So it seems if the secondary asks only about convictions I would only have to admit to the disturbing the peace charge. If it asks about charges then I'd have to disclose both charges.
No one is going to ask about charges (unless it is pending charges). They want to know convictions. So yes, you will only have to admit/explain the disturbing the peace charge.
 
Feb 26, 2016
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The VA form for physician employment (10-2850), which is findable online, asks about all felony convictions regardless of timeframe, all convictions in the prior seven years, and any current charges. There is nothing about prior arrests/charges.
They won't ask you for your priors. They'll just fingerprint you and look at the FBI database and find what they need. If you have been arrested and processed, your fingerprints go to the FBI database, regardless of the legal outcome. Since a state court most probably ruled for the dismissal/sealing of charges, the FBI has no obligation to comply and will most likely retain the fingerprints.
 
OP
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Aug 23, 2016
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Was the assault charge dropped (ie DA removed it) or dismissed (court found not supported)?
Was disturbing the peace a misdemeanor or violation ? A class C misdemeanor? For disturbing the peace?
was the deferred adjudication on disturbing only sealing records or expunging? Or would it be dismissed by the court?
How old were you? were you charged as adult or juvenile?
And as @Med Ed asked, what state did this occur in?

The assault was dismissed according to my court records.
I took another look at my files, and the disturbing the peace was actually a misdemeanor petty offence . It was a guilty plea and upon completion the guilty plea was rescinded and dismissed.
I was an adult. It occurred in a state that only seals adult records not expunges. It occurred on a vacation, so I would rather not give the specific states (where it occurred and where I reside are different states) as it is probably fairly unique.
 

Goro

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Some schools will for arrests.

No one is going to ask about charges (unless it is pending charges). They want to know convictions. So yes, you will only have to admit/explain the disturbing the peace charge.
 

gonnif

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The assault was dismissed according to my court records.
I took another look at my files, and the disturbing the peace was actually a misdemeanor petty offence . It was a guilty plea and upon completion the guilty plea was rescinded and dismissed.
I was an adult. It occurred in a state that only seals adult records not expunges. It occurred on a vacation, so I would rather not give the specific states (where it occurred and where I reside are different states) as it is probably fairly unique.
as above consult with lawyer but as with many deferred programs your case remained open while you "served" probabtion or stayed out of trouble and then the court allowed you to rescind guilty plea and dismissed case. you have no conviction. have attorney confirm that
 

piii

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medical license applications will ask for all court documents and police reports for your arrests, so they will still find out what really happened.
 
OP
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Aug 23, 2016
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I am in contact with a lawyer, however, If a school asks about arrests I would like to be honest. Would an assault and disturbing the peace arrest be a deal breaker for admissions even though they were ultimately dismissed?

Piii, I don't think the court documents and police reports will cause an issue for licensing if I do have to provide them. I imagine that it varies by state what exactly you have to provide.
 

gyngyn

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Some schools ask about arrests.
If you cannot answer honestly (or prefer not to), don't apply there.
They may be asking because their primary hospital has access to "sealed" records that may preclude a badge.
 
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gonnif

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I am in contact with a lawyer, however, If a school asks about arrests I would like to be honest. Would an assault and disturbing the peace arrest be a deal breaker for admissions even though they were ultimately dismissed?

Piii, I don't think the court documents and police reports will cause an issue for licensing if I do have to provide them. I imagine that it varies by state what exactly you have to provide.
If you get into medical school, you pass all your boards, etc, it wont be an issue
 

Huggy

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  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime? (Yes, disturbing the peace)
  • Have you ever been charged with a crime? (Yes, disturbing the peace and assault)
  • Have you ever been arrested? (Yes, disturbing the peace and assault)
 
Feb 8, 2013
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If the charges are dismissed and sealed, they cannot be found through AMCAS's 3rd party criminal background check service.

However, during your clinical years, especially if your school has you rotate at a VA hospital, you will have a federal background check of sorts, which will reveal sealed/dismissed charges.

My advice is to answer the AMCAS and secondary questions about criminal charges and convictions truthfully, and offer nothing more until you're already matriculated. After you start school, you can tell them about it on the topic of your concern for rotating at VA hospitals and the background checks it requires.

Also, charges being dismissed is a decision by the judge, and the implications are that you were not found guilty. A crazy ex can call the cops and claim you assaulted her and press charges, but the judge can see that the charges are bogus and dismiss them. Same legal results for your assault charge.

For your plea bargain, you essentially pleaded guilty so you're SOL on that. Try to get all of the charges expunged. Speak with your lawyer about the technical legal outcomes (formal conviction?), although I'm fairly positive most lawyers will not have the time to sit down and go through each question with you.

Good luck.
Once a record is sealed, a court order is required to unseal it. A federal background check will NOT reveal sealed records.


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