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Trivial Misdemeanors Affecting Candidancy!?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by pluripotent, May 8, 2007.

  1. pluripotent

    pluripotent My fate is not determined

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    4 years ago I recieved a ticket for driving a motorcycle without a helmet and following a move, misplaced the court notice. My absence before the judge increased the penalty, or so I thought. I recieved an updated notice and immediately rectified the situation. I paid a fee and the situation just ended. Interestingly I found out two months ago during a routine job screening that I had a misdemeanor for not showing up to court. The record said that I automatically pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Its wack, I know, to think that a traffic violation can have an infuence of my med school candidancy, but doesn't it sorta make me look irresponsible? How should I explain this in the misdemeanor section?
     
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  3. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit

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    Hmmmm, I know this has been discussed to death. I thought the only things you had to report on the AMCAS were felonies and any disciplinary action taken by your school against you-- thus any misdemeanors wouldn't have to be reported (at least not on the AMCAS, secondaries may require them). Has this year's AMCAS changed?
     
  4. PlayMeSomeMusic

    PlayMeSomeMusic Always waiting...
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    According to AMCAS:

    Felony Question:
    Have you ever been convicted of, or pleaded guilty or no contest to, a Felony crime, excluding 1) any offense for which you were adjudicated as a juvenile, or 2) convictions which have been expunged or sealed by a court (in states where applicable)?
    You need NOT disclose any instance where you:
    • were arrested but not charged;
    • were arrested and charged, but the charges were dropped;
    • were arrested and charged, but found not guilty by a judge or jury;
    • were arrested and found guilty by a judge or jury, but the conviction was overturned on appeal; or
    • received an executive pardon.
    Misdemeanor Question:
    Have you ever been convicted of, or pleaded guilty or no contest to, a Misdemeanor crime, excluding 1) any offense for which you were adjudicated as a juvenile, 2) any convictions which have been expunged or sealed by a court, or 3) any misdemeanor convictions for which any probation has been completed and the case dismissed by the court (in states where applicable)?
    You need NOT disclose any instance where you:
    • were arrested, but not charged;
    • were arrested and charged, but the charges were dropped;
    • were arrested and charged, but found not guilty by a judge or jury;
    • were arrested and found guilty by a judge or jury, but the conviction was overturned on appeal; or
    • received an executive pardon.
    It would seem that unless he's a junvenile at the time he would have to report it to AMCAS.. or am I reading it wrong?
     
  5. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit

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    T'would seem so. To the OP: even though you'll report it I don't think it will affect anything seeing how it arose out of a simple traffic violation and you have a decent explanation for why it became what it did.
     
  6. gotmeds?

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    AMCAS only asks about felonies, not misdemeanors (unless they changed it this year).
     
  7. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance

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    Oh God, they ask about Misdemeanors? LOL

    That's going to be a laundry list for me... :laugh:
     
  8. PlayMeSomeMusic

    PlayMeSomeMusic Always waiting...
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    I posted those right from my 2008 application I'm filling out for this application cycle
     
  9. pluripotent

    pluripotent My fate is not determined

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    Wait, misdemeanors were not asked in the application prior to this year?? Oh what luck. Its the same with my committee letter. My school decided to discontinue it this year with our new advisor stepping in. This is robbery!
     
  10. crimsonkid85

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    .... executive pardon? dear god, what would you have to do to receive executive pardon? med school would probably be the LAST thing on your mind....
     
  11. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    Just tell them the truth. If what you told us is the truth, I'd imagine you'll be fine. Don't even think of hiding anything though - I just went through an EXHAUSTIVE federal criminal background check so we can do rotations at the VA. They really did go and verify my old roommates, jobs, etc.
     
  12. Old ortho

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    Go and talk to a criminal lawyer. It is possible to expunge your conviction after a few years which results in no criminal record.
     
  13. gotmeds?

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    This is not entirely true. The record is still there, but it's just listed as expunged. A background check can still turn it up. However, for AMCAS purposes, you wouldn't have to disclose it. You'd have to use your judgement for secondary applications.
     
  14. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Banned
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    Candidacy? I wouldn't say you're a candidate until you're interviewed; before then you're an applicant.

    Nevertheless, call the clerk of the county court and see if you can have it expunged. If you can't then you'll have to report it on AMCAS. They do let you explain the offense but I imagine it can only harm you.
     
  15. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit

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    Yah, wait- so does this include **gulp** speeding tickets where you didn't have to go to court?
     
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  17. ssquared

    ssquared Member

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    That was my thought exactly! :laugh:

    I have a friend who got a misdemeanor for wiping chalk off of her tires. I would love see her trying to explain that to an interviewer. "I didn't want to get a ticket...."
     
  18. pennybridge

    pennybridge Banned
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    lol nitpick of the day goes to....
     
  19. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    AMCAS only asks about felonies, but almost every med school will ask you on their secondary if you've been convicted/plead guilty to a crime other than things such as a minor traffic violation. Misdemeanors are not civil offenses, they are criminal offenses. You'll have to report it. On the flip side I doubt anyone would deny you admission because of the "crime" you've described.
     
  20. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    The government records may have to "expunge" your crime, but every day private background check agencies buy all the charges/convictions from courthouses across the country. They are not legally required to change their database when your criminal record is expired/expunged. If you are charged or convicted of a crime there will always be some computers out there that indefinately hold, and make available, that information.
     
  21. pluripotent

    pluripotent My fate is not determined

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    I'll speak to my pre-med advisor too. Thanks!
     
  22. lawnboy313

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    AMCAS 2008 asks about misdemeanors in addition to felonies, as written above. It got changed from prior years.
     
  23. st0w

    st0w plasticperineum syndrome

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    Actually, this is incorrect. This year, AMCAS *does* ask about misdemeanors, in addition to felonies.

    As per traffic violations, it depends on your state. If your state considers whatever violations you have to be misdemeanors, then you *must* answer 'Yes' to the misdemeanor question. If your state does not, then you can answer 'No.' This comes directly from AMCAS, as I mailed them to ask this very question.

    The only way to be sure is to get a copy of your driving record(s) from whatever state(s) you have/had a license in. If there are any charges on there, validate whether or not they are felonies/misdemeanors.

    Sucks, don't it?
     
  24. mongrel

    mongrel Assoc. Prof. Dogsuit

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    Yes, it does. Where does one get a copy of their charges and validate whether their are felonies or midemeanors? Does this mean you must go talk to a criminal lawyer before submitting the AMCAS?
     
  25. st0w

    st0w plasticperineum syndrome

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    I'm not sure about the criminal lawyer part personally.. I never even thought of that route. Maybe Law2Doc wants to chime in here.. I would think it depends upon what you have on your record.

    You can request your record from the DMV in whichever state(s) you have held a license in. Some process it online and mail it to you (NY), others require submission of a paper form. I don't think this is something to be TOO concerned about, but I would hate for anybody to say no and then have an offer rescinded due to a background check at acceptance discovering an undisclosed misdemeanor. Unfortunately, this year AAMC is piloting this new background check policy. It's detailed in the handbook on the site, worth reading over. They're mostly looking for drug and sex offenses, it looks like. Who knows if they'd actually rescind for a minor misdemeanor..
     
  26. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant

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    I see. I applied in the current (2007) cycle, so I didn't know about that. But what I'm getting at is that most shools would eventually ask you about that anyways in their secondary, so to change it to the current system where they ask about misdemeanors on your primary app doesn't change everything that much in the long run. I think only one school I applied to didn't ask about criminal activity and I applied to 10
     
  27. poly800rock

    poly800rock Member

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    if you have a speeding ticket listed under a background check is that considered a misterminor? I plead guilty for going 65 in a 55 zone and it's listed as dismissed in criminal court? please help!
     
  28. MassTransport

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    In most states, a traffic violation is considered an infraction (regulatory offense, minor offense, etc) and not a misdemeanor, so these don't have to be reported. However, in the glorious state of Texas, traffic violations are considered misdemeanors, and these should be reported. I heard that the same was true in North Carolina. Standard I am not a lawyer disclaimer applies, but for Texas, I asked DPS and the local court clerk and got the same answer.

    To the OP, I seriously doubt something like that would influence your chances. It seems the general agreement is that they're looking for more serious misdemeanors like drug possession or DUI.
     
  29. pluripotent

    pluripotent My fate is not determined

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    Let me give a backdrop about my misdemeanor, and then please add your thoughts. I took a ride on my motorcycle to our local grocer store, a block away, when a cop decides to parole the vicinity. On my ride home, he pulls me over for not wearing a helmt. I explained that I was a block away from my home and he was lenient, instead of impounding my motorcycle, he wrote me a ticket. I was a college student, unable to pay the $250 ticket, and I disputed it in writing. I went back to college, and my mother calls me a couple months later, with news that I had recieved a court summons for not paying my citation! I met with the judge, explained that I had disputed the ticket, and he said they had no record of such a dispute. They lost it! I showed him my copies of the dispute, so he was lenient and said that at this point, I can either pay a $450 fine or do community service. I opted for the later and completed the ordeal way back in 2001. To me, the case was closed. However, in December of 2006, during a routine employment job screening, my records showed that I had a misdemeanor referenced to this incident! I was found guilty for not paying my fine nor showing up to court, which was an automatic misdemeanor. I hired a lawyer to either reverse the misdemeanor, or expunge my records. This process is long and arduous, but I will perservere because the court system was unjust.

    My pre-med advisor told me to write on the application form that "your explanation is forthcoming--without giving them any information, except that it involves riding a motorcycle without helmet." So on my secondaries, I wrote, " In 2001 I received a ticket for riding a motorcycle without a helmet. I was not issued a misdemeanor then, and I recently found one on my record referenced to this infraction. I am currently investigating into it. When I have more information, I will provide an update." Here is the question; Do I follow up, or let it go?
     
  30. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

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    Well, you've told them you're going to provide more information when you have it. It appears as though your attorney is still working to see what, if anything, can be done. I'd wait and just send an update letter (that includes as many other positive updates as possible) when your attorney has a final disposition for you. I don't think this is going to be a big deal for you at all. Good luck!
     

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