Jun 1, 2009
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Okay. Arrested and charged with providing false name to an officer four years ago (a misdemeanor), and the charges were dropped. Expunging it right now, and the expungement process will be finalized by mid December.

Now, a medical school's secondary application is asking to disclose any arrests EVEN if the charges were dropped.

The AMCAS website states the following:

"The AAMC has initiated an AMCAS-facilitated national background check service, through which Certiphi Screening, Inc. (a Vertical Screen® Company) will procure a national background report on early decision program applicants at the point of acceptance and all other applicants at the point of acceptance after January 1st."

I am NOT an early decision applicant.

Does this mean background checks will not be performed until January 1st at the earliest?

And, if so, should I disclose or not disclose this?
 

yoz

Jul 22, 2009
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I would call the court that you had it expunged it and read them the prompt, explain your situation, and ask them if you need to disclose it. If you really want to be safe you could call a lawyer. I had a similar situation mip, i wasnt sure if i needed to disclose on a secondary and i read them the prompt and they told me whether i needed to disclose it or not. You should just make sure about the legality issues, its going to haunt you back if you end up not disclosing it when you were legally bound to, the medical schools may think you lied about it on purpose and can reject you for that.

I dont really know about the background check, i would recommend calling Certiphi for clarifications.
 

dbrokut

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Jul 24, 2009
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If the AAMC quote is correct, I would assume you'd be fine. You wouldn't need to disclose in that case.
 

JJMrK

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Okay. Arrested and charged with providing false name to an officer four years ago (a misdemeanor), and the charges were dropped. Expunging it right now, and the expungement process will be finalized by mid December.

Now, a medical school's secondary application is asking to disclose any arrests EVEN if the charges were dropped.

The AMCAS website states the following:

"The AAMC has initiated an AMCAS-facilitated national background check service, through which Certiphi Screening, Inc. (a Vertical Screen® Company) will procure a national background report on early decision program applicants at the point of acceptance and all other applicants at the point of acceptance after January 1st."

I am NOT an early decision applicant.

Does this mean background checks will not be performed until January 1st at the earliest?

And, if so, should I disclose or not disclose this?
From this alone, it sounds like you need to disclose. Call a lawyer.
 

TopSecret

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It sounds like you need to disclose. I would hire a lawyer though to see if your arrest records have truly been expunged. Otherwise, if you do go to medical school and get fingerprintered for a background check (they do this for residency and for many state licensing boards), they might find some problems. What the medical school wants to avoid is a hit to their reputation by accepting someone with a criminal record.
 
OP
M
Jun 1, 2009
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I'm probably going to disclose it... I'm just really worried that doing so will absolutely cripple my application... Any other thoughts?
 

TopSecret

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I'm probably going to disclose it... I'm just really worried that doing so will absolutely cripple my application... Any other thoughts?
If you were under 18, you'll probably be forgiven. If you were 18 or over at the time of the misdemeanor charge, then you will have to atone for your sins somehow by becoming an absolute saint or something. It wouldn't hurt to to describe how you were grounded for 3 years or something along those lines. But if you had just talked to a lawyer and walked, well, then that seems kind of shady.
 

n618ft

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You can do a background check on yourself... the exact same one that the med schools do. I seriously doubt it's going to show up.
 

JaggerPlate

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Yes, you absolutely need to disclose it. Just because you didn't have to on AMCAS - because they only ask for convictions, doesn't mean you won't ever have to bring it up, and this secondary clearly states any charges, since you were charged, you have to disclose. I don't understand how secondaries can ask about charges - innocent until proven guilty??? - or why they bother with questions like 'report anything that isn't a parking ticket,' but they do ... and this absolutely will come up in a background check like so:

Charges: false identification to peace officer
Plea: whatever
Ruling: class, community service, charge changed etc
verdict: charges dropped

Obviously that isn't exactly what it would say (my legal vocab is bad) but I've seen background checks and that is what the look like. They will see that all the charges were dropped, but they will see them. If you aren't honest, it will bite you in the butt. You're fine to answer NO on AMCAS, but not for this question. Also, I've known people to get things 'expunged' and something still almost always pops up to just leave enough info to figure it out. It probably won't kill your app by any means if you're honest.
 

steelerfans888

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Aug 16, 2009
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Yes, you absolutely need to disclose it. Just because you didn't have to on AMCAS - because they only ask for convictions, doesn't mean you won't ever have to bring it up, and this secondary clearly states any charges, since you were charged, you have to disclose. I don't understand how secondaries can ask about charges - innocent until proven guilty??? - or why they bother with questions like 'report anything that isn't a parking ticket,' but they do ... and this absolutely will come up in a background check like so:

Charges: false identification to peace officer
Plea: whatever
Ruling: class, community service, charge changed etc
verdict: charges dropped

Obviously that isn't exactly what it would say (my legal vocab is bad) but I've seen background checks and that is what the look like. They will see that all the charges were dropped, but they will see them. If you aren't honest, it will bite you in the butt. You're fine to answer NO on AMCAS, but not for this question. Also, I've known people to get things 'expunged' and something still almost always pops up to just leave enough info to figure it out. It probably won't kill your app by any means if you're honest.
What if it was expunged, does it still appear like that?
 

LiveUninhibited

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How? Can you send me a link or something?
You should have received an e-mail that went something like this:

AMCAS said:
As you were notified in the AMCAS application, you have applied to at least one medical school that is participating in an AMCAS-facilitated national background check service, through which Certiphi Screening, Inc. (a Vertical Screen(R) Company) will procure a background report on early decision program applicants at the point of acceptance and all other applicants at the point of acceptance after January 1st.

Upon your conditional acceptance by a participating medical school for EDP accepted applicants and all other applicants after January 1st, or upon request by a participating medical school that adds you to its alternate list, Certiphi Screening, Inc. will send an email with additional information to your preferred email address. To ensure that you meet this requirement, please:

* Ensure that your preferred email address is up to date at all times
* Add [email protected] as a trusted email sender

Should you choose to do so, for a fee, you may procure your own report from Certiphi Screening, Inc. in advance of the AMCAS-facilitated report by going to https://www.applicationstation.com/home/cal.asp?rc=CERTAP2010. Please note that this is not required, and that this optional report will not take the place of the report to be procured at the time of conditional acceptance or upon request by a participating medical school that adds you to its alternate list.

For additional information, including details regarding the consumer report to be procured, go to Certiphi's web site at [URL="http://www.applicationstation.com."]http://www.applicationstation.com.[/URL]
I would suggest you get your own background check to see if it shows up there. It'll ask you to authorize some absurd amount, but mine ended up being a little over 50 bucks.
 

JaggerPlate

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What if it was expunged, does it still appear like that?
I don't know how it appears, but honestly they will find out. The only thing you can do is read the questions very, very carefully and answer honestly. IE:

say you get a misdemeanor for false ID like the OP, take some class, it gets dropped, and then you get it expunged.

Question 1: Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor? Answer: NO. The med school runs a background check, find - for example - a record of you paying a ticket for some reduced infraction as part of a plea bargin in dropping the misdemeanor, asks you one question about that - bam find out. However, they didn't ask you about that, they asked you about convictions ... you weren't convicted and didn't lie, so you're fine.

Question 2: Have you ever been charged with anything? Answer: NO. They run, find the infraction, hunt it down, BAM ... you're in a world of trouble. The point is, don't lie. You can chalk it up to legal tatics, or expungement, or whatever, but the bottom line is that if it feels dishonest or that you're hiding something, you probably are ... and this does not sit right with med schools if they ever find out. Remember too that they could potentially drop you at any time for this. I don't know how often that happens, but it's possible.

So to answer your original question, yes ... I do think it could pop up, and if I was asked about any charges, I'd answer yes and explain.
 

LiveUninhibited

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I don't know how it appears, but honestly they will find out. The only thing you can do is read the questions very, very carefully and answer honestly. IE:

say you get a misdemeanor for false ID like the OP, take some class, it gets dropped, and then you get it expunged.

Question 1: Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor? Answer: NO. The med school runs a background check, find - for example - a record of you paying a ticket for some reduced infraction as part of a plea bargin in dropping the misdemeanor, asks you one question about that - bam find out. However, they didn't ask you about that, they asked you about convictions ... you weren't convicted and didn't lie, so you're fine.

Question 2: Have you ever been charged with anything? Answer: NO. They run, find the infraction, hunt it down, BAM ... you're in a world of trouble. The point is, don't lie. You can chalk it up to legal tatics, or expungement, or whatever, but the bottom line is that if it feels dishonest or that you're hiding something, you probably are ... and this does not sit right with med schools if they ever find out. Remember too that they could potentially drop you at any time for this. I don't know how often that happens, but it's possible.

So to answer your original question, yes ... I do think it could pop up, and if I was asked about any charges, I'd answer yes and explain.
This is why you just order your own background check, particularly if the school in question is one of the many using certiphi.
 

steelerfans888

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Aug 16, 2009
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I don't know how it appears, but honestly they will find out. The only thing you can do is read the questions very, very carefully and answer honestly. IE:

say you get a misdemeanor for false ID like the OP, take some class, it gets dropped, and then you get it expunged.

Question 1: Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor? Answer: NO. The med school runs a background check, find - for example - a record of you paying a ticket for some reduced infraction as part of a plea bargin in dropping the misdemeanor, asks you one question about that - bam find out. However, they didn't ask you about that, they asked you about convictions ... you weren't convicted and didn't lie, so you're fine.

Question 2: Have you ever been charged with anything? Answer: NO. They run, find the infraction, hunt it down, BAM ... you're in a world of trouble. The point is, don't lie. You can chalk it up to legal tatics, or expungement, or whatever, but the bottom line is that if it feels dishonest or that you're hiding something, you probably are ... and this does not sit right with med schools if they ever find out. Remember too that they could potentially drop you at any time for this. I don't know how often that happens, but it's possible.

So to answer your original question, yes ... I do think it could pop up, and if I was asked about any charges, I'd answer yes and explain.

My application says have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense? I got a minor in possession of alcohol and it was either expunged or dismissed , I can't remember. The answer should be no right?
 

JaggerPlate

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My application says have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense? I got a minor in possession of alcohol and it was either expunged or dismissed , I can't remember. The answer should be no right?
Depends. If it was dismissed, then yup. If its the AMCAS question, then it specifically says don't include expunged offenses. However, it if doesn't say that and you were convicted and then got it expunged, you might have been convicted and should mark that if it's the case. I suggest reviewing some of your paper work from the court or making a phone call and then coming back here or speaking with a lawyer before you do anything.