GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
Hi there.

I'm currently freaking out a bit and need some advice from people much wiser than me on the topic. Basically, when I was twelve years old, I was charged with assault for throwing an empty water bottle at a "friend." I'm not a violent person at all, and the whole situation troubled me for years. In short, after a meeting with a mediator, the charge was deemed pointless and everything was dropped. The mediator disclosed to me that the charge was ridiculous and a cry for attention. I was told I would never have to worry about it and for the most part I haven't. Over the years I've had background checks done to work with children at schools, volunteer in hospitals, shadow, etc., and it has never been an issue. Now, applying to medical school, it's starting to freak me out a bit. I've searched public records and nothing results from the search, but do medical schools do some kind of "super search" that could result in the charge popping up? I'd rather not disclose something like this and avoid it if possible, but, I'm aware that might not be a feasible option.

Thanks
 

nm06003

5+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2013
118
14
Status
I would say it's probably not ever going to show up if you were not charged.
 

nm06003

5+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2013
118
14
Status
And a lot of juvie records get wiped out once you're 18 (at least in my state, I would check within yours).
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,178
32,847
Status
Academic Administration
If you want something to worry about, worry about John Lackey's shoulder. Don't worry about what you threw all those years ago... it is not going to come up and it was a childhood situation that has no bearing on the future.
 
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
If you want something to worry about, worry about John Lackey's shoulder. Don't worry about what you threw all those years ago... it is not going to come up and it was a childhood situation that has no bearing on the future.
With the Chapman addition hopefully we can deal with it. What about an FBI check, though? Could that be grounds for a rescinded acceptance (worst case)?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,178
32,847
Status
Academic Administration
You were charged as a child and then everything was dropped. You really don't have anything to report but be on the safe side and read all the MCAT instructions and secondary questions carefully. If you have any doubts, call schools that ask to report arrests (not just convictions) and ask if a charge that was dropped when you were 12 needs to be reported.

Docs don't like surprises but I'd be surprised if this came up in an FBI report or if anyone would really care about it, if it did.
 

Gryffindor20

2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2015
256
349
Dumbledore's Office
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
With the Chapman addition hopefully we can deal with it. What about an FBI check, though? Could that be grounds for a rescinded acceptance (worst case)?
Even if it does come up on an FBI background check (and many schools only use Certiphi), at worst the dean of admissions will get a good laugh. Seriously, who charges a twelve year-old kid with assault for throwing a water bottle?
 
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
You were charged as a child and then everything was dropped. You really don't have anything to report but be on the safe side and read all the MCAT instructions and secondary questions carefully. If you have any doubts, call schools that ask to report arrests (not just convictions) and ask if a charge that was dropped when you were 12 needs to be reported.

Docs don't like surprises but I'd be surprised if this came up in an FBI report or if anyone would really care about it, if it did.
I contacted the juvenile court office and was told the charges were never dropped, but the case was closed. That was news to me as I was under the impression that the charges were dropped. I was also made aware that me record is not sealed. At this point, I'm super confused.
 
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
The laws surrounding issues like these are actually quite clear. You will be fine based on what you have described. Just be thankful that you didn't do something completely reckless like eat someone else's snack without permission.
Haha I like that one.
 
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
Even if it does come up on an FBI background check (and many schools only use Certiphi), at worst the dean of admissions will get a good laugh. Seriously, who charges a twelve year-old kid with assault for throwing a water bottle?
My "friend's" parents were going through a divorce and I was the target of their aggression. The father even threatened to beat me up!
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,178
32,847
Status
Academic Administration

Hospitalized

5+ Year Member
Sep 8, 2014
1,923
2,611
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I got sent to the principals office in high school. Is that going to show up on my background check?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gryffindor20
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
Maybe there is nothing there and the "case" never got to the point of charges filed. Who can remember what the grown-ups said when you were 12. Check your record:

https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks
I'm leaning towards disclosing it on secondaries to avoid anything bad. In my mind, it doesn't seem like too serious of an offense, and definitely not something to bar me from becoming a physician. And, if I'm wrong, then I guess it was never meant to be.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gryffindor20

Gryffindor20

2+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2015
256
349
Dumbledore's Office
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I don't think that the charge of "throwing a water bottle" is going to keep you out of med school. Unless it was one of those five-gallon kind that people put in water dispensers, and you threw it off a second-story rooftop with the intention of hitting someone in the head.
 
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
I don't think that the charge of "throwing a water bottle" is going to keep you out of med school. Unless it was one of those five-gallon kind that people put in water dispensers, and you threw it off a second-story rooftop with the intention of hitting someone in the head.
It was a small empty bottle. Honestly, it was a good shot that I could've never replicated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gryffindor20
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
I'm mainly concerned that, if I don't disclose the charge, it could come up now (pre medical school) and bar from even entering, or after medical school and bar me from receiving my license. I'm not too familiar with the process of receiving a medical license, but I would hate to be out four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Disclosing it seems like the best option.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,178
32,847
Status
Academic Administration
I'm leaning towards disclosing it on secondaries to avoid anything bad. In my mind, it doesn't seem like too serious of an offense, and definitely not something to bar me from becoming a physician. And, if I'm wrong, then I guess it was never meant to be.
Disclosing dopey things that don't need to be reported suggests that you don't know how to follow directions. It takes time that the committee spends reviewing applications that have that flag and deciding whether it is too serious to be allowed to go forward (no sense wasting everyone's time if you served a sentence for attempted murder) or not.

You can get peace of mind and answer truthfully for about $50 between the FBI fee and the fingerprinting fee. That's less than the cost of one secondary. I'd recommend it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gryffindor20
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
Disclosing dopey things that don't need to be reported suggests that you don't know how to follow directions. It takes time that the committee spends reviewing applications that have that flag and deciding whether it is too serious to be allowed to go forward (no sense wasting everyone's time if you served a sentence for attempted murder) or not.

You can get peace of mind and answer truthfully for about $50 between the FBI fee and the fingerprinting fee. That's less than the cost of one secondary. I'd recommend it.
So, when the secondary prompt specifically asks, "Have you ever been charged with or convicted of any offense, other than a speeding violation", I should just ignore it? Obviously you know more about this process, but me not reporting my charge seems like lying, regardless of its dopiness level. In fact, I'm trying to clear this up to avoid any direction following mistakes. And I'd prefer to avoid a three month wait to receive the FBI report.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,178
32,847
Status
Academic Administration
If there is no record, I do believe that you can say with honesty that you have never been charged. If you want to answer with the material you've provided here, go ahead. It will take time to review but if it helps you sleep at night, go for it.
 
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
If there is no record, I do believe that you can say with honesty that you have never been charged. If you want to answer with the material you've provided here, go ahead. It will take time to review but if it helps you sleep at night, go for it.
Thank you for the help, I really appreciate it!
 
OP
GoCubsGo20

GoCubsGo20

2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2016
500
664
Status
Medical Student
I did quite a bit of digging this afternoon and found that I was never formally charged. The case was handled informally meaning I never actually received a formal charge. I have no idea that even existed, but thank goodness it does. Moral of the story: don't throw water bottles at your friends and check on this type of stuff years before you apply. :smack: