Expungement misdemeanor

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by myself111, 09.29.14.

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  1. myself111

    myself111

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    If I get my conviction expunged due to a misdemeanor of stalking for a school psychology internship, should I still be fine?
     
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  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Maybe, I'm not sure how expungment works in a federal system though. I think there's a possibility that it may still show up on a federal background check as opposed to a state background check. I'd ask a legal professional to be sure.
     
  4. myself111

    myself111

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    The crime didn't involve children in any way shape or form.
     
  5. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Besides the point, I wasn't implying that it was a federal crime, it's more about how databases are handled differently by state and federal agencies. Also, there is a time lag with expungment, so, if you apply before the process is complete, you still have to disclose that on an application or risk perjury.
     
  6. myself111

    myself111

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    I also have experience working with children.
     
  7. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure if that is taken into consideration in an expungment request.
     
  8. myself111

    myself111

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    What do you mean?
     
  9. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    Expungment usually is contingent upon 1.) time 2.) an absense of convinctions for other crimes. Community service or volunteeering with children won't play apart in an expungment request.
     
  10. myself111

    myself111

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    But it will look good when I apply for internships and graduate school when I work with children.
     
  11. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

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    Honestly, you may need to consult with a lawyer, as even an expungement may not necessarily free you up from a question such as, "have you ever been convicted of any crime greater than a minor traffic offense?"

    An expungement certainly isn't going to hurt, and could help, but I'm just not sure as to how much.
     
  12. myself111

    myself111

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    So should I stay away from School Psychology? Stick with regular counseling?
     
  13. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    I dont think the area of specialization has anything to do with it. I think having a conviction for "stalking" will be problematic no matter where you want to provide health services, so I would work hard on that getting that expunged.
     
  14. myself111

    myself111

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    I don't think I'll have a problem with actually getting in to the graduate program it's just the internship that worries me. But by that time it will be 5 years which is the minimum amount of time needed to get expunged where I'm from.
     
  15. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    Its not uncommon for graduate programs to do background checks as well.
     
  16. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Yeah, our program did background checks and definitely noted red flags.
     
  17. BuckeyeLove

    BuckeyeLove Forensic Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    Oddly enough, I was just in court this morning and the judge was discussing this exact issue with a defendant. Rule of thumb is that it will show up. It just won't say that you were "convicted," thus, if asked on any job app about any previous "convictions," you can justifiably respond with a no.
     
  18. myself111

    myself111

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    So basically an expungement just means that the charges are dropped against you.
     
  19. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

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    Getting your record expunged is dependent on satisfactorily meeting the requirements of probation and then you would need to petition the judge and it would be based on his decision. It can take some time. Once it is expunged, then some government agencies will see it still. The VA has specific guidelines in their application for expunged crimes. I don't remember the specifics. Certain arrests will show up in your FBI record regardless of expungement so you would still need to explain those at times. I would imagine that stalking would be in the FBI record so any site that uses that database would see it.
     
  20. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    While employment background checks might not find this, I guarantee that this would be discovered in any interactions with the legal systems.

    Why this matters: Any lawsuit and/or board complaint requires you to have exerted ordinary prudence that a reasonable person would use in the same or similar situation.

    Here's how that goes: You are a school psych. You see a kid for emotional dyscontrol. Parents are going through a divorce. Depo you. First 18 questions would cover this. Boom: board complaint and lawsuit. Or you don't ID the kid how the parents want. Or they try to get the student accommodations that are inconsistent with IDEA/your school's ability to provide. All end with attys asking these questions and destroying your professional reputation.

    How are they going to find out? They ask you under oath and run a $48 background check.
     
  21. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Postdoctoral fellow Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Practicum sites tend to do these as well, especially those involving children and/or the justice system.
     
  22. myself111

    myself111

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    So, in conclusion, I can't have a professional job just because of one stupid mistake I made?
     
  23. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    No. But it may be create some hurdless, and even some frank barriers, if you want a job working mental health service delivery. Expungment will make it doable, but it will probably be something you will be explaining for quite some time.
     
    Last edited: 09.29.14
  24. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    What erg said, it doesn't bar you, but it will make things more difficult. Also, your reputation from here on it is that much more important. Guard it well, if you can establish a work history of being dependable, hard-working, ethical, etc and so on, you'll be fine. If you make more stupid mistakes though, then yeah, not many places will give you a chance.
     
  25. OneNeuroDoctor

    OneNeuroDoctor Clinical Neuropsychologist 2+ Year Member

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    A misdemeanor charge when you were young will not keep you from getting licensed. If you have changed and grown from the event it could be a strength. Important to be honest about the event rather than hiding it. I believe misdemeanor charges eventually go off your record without need for expungement.

    Wasn't Bush or Obama charged with or admitted to drug abuse in college, and they became Attorneys and Presidents.
     
  26. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

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    Bush had to explain his past and was very clear that he no longer used any mood altering chemicals. Will Ferrell did a funny skit where Bush relapsed right after getting into the White House or at least I thought it was funny cause I have sort of a twisted sense of humor!
     
  27. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    No one said they couldnt get licensed with a misdemeanor. We did say that a conviction for "stalking" would obviously raise eyebrows and close some doors along the way. And Psydr brought up how this past could haunt one's practice once they are licensed. These are all legit points/concerns

    The person was not convicted of substance use charges, they were convicted of a threatening act/behavior towards another person, which will be viewed a little bit more serious than if oine took a few too many bog rips in college.
     
  28. myself111

    myself111

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    So basically, get the conviction expunged. Be on good terms with the law and do volunteer work. I've did volunteer work with children such as reading to and teaching children to read and took children to athletic practices.
     
  29. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist 10+ Year Member

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    If you get into a program, be the absolute most cautious, by the book, evidence based, highly documented, diplomatic, humble, heavily insured, small practice practitioner possible.
     
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  30. PositivelySkewed

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    On a semi-related note, I know of several people who were accepted into grad programs and/or received internships after getting DUIs. It's difficult to predict how a misdemeanor might affect you because we don't really know the rate of people in grad programs with some sort of record and we also don't know how many doors these records might have closed. Definitely private problems that usually only DCTs or supervisors are aware of.
     
  31. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

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    As Erg pointed out previously, stalking and substance abuse are likely going to be looked at differently. After all, we have treatments for substance abuse and psychologists are used to working with this population. We tend to work more with victims of stalking as opposed to those convicted of stalking.
     
  32. myself111

    myself111

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    I have received extensive therapy for it. And I didn't threaten anybody. I obsessively wanted to talk to someone to the point of breaking the law. I had OCD.
     
  33. myself111

    myself111

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    Don't assume that I threatened anybody because I didn't. I obsessively wanted to get a hold of somebody and it got bad to the point of breaking the law. I had OCD and received therapy for it.
     
  34. myself111

    myself111

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    I'm going to give them a page or two long explanation if that is what it takes.
     
  35. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    Last time i checked, a person doesn't get convicted of "staking" for simply being mildly annoying.
     
  36. myself111

    myself111

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    Well I certainly didn't threaten anybody. The definition includes this "Harassing victim through the internet" which I did. I didn't threaten anybody. I had OCD which was the root of my obsessions for contacting this person. No excuses. What I did was wrong.
     
  37. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-VA 7+ Year Member

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    Are you under the impression people feel safe when being harassed?

    The point is that will be viewed as serious violation against a person tatger than a "immature college mistake" (like possession or drunk and disorderly) and the sooner you realize this the better.
     

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