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Underage Drinking Citation

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by TroubledStudent, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. TroubledStudent

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    Hey everyone. This has really been stressing me out, and I was wondering what you guys have to say on the matter. I recently received a citation for underage drinking, which is a class C Misdemeanor in my state. I was given the option of taking the Youth Offender's Program, a 15 hour class, which would result in dismissal of the case. After I complete the class, and I stay alcohol-free until age 21 (which I will definitely do), I will have the charge expunged from my record. I've also taken steps towards starting an organization at my university geared towards drinking responsibly. It will be up and running by my sophomore year of college at the latest. My questions are:

    a.) Will medical schools ask me to explain this even if it has been expunged?
    b.) If they do ask, how much could it hurt my chances?
    c.) Will the anti-alcohol abuse club I started or the fact that my case was dismissed help my chances?
    d.) What else could I do to make sure this doesn't hurt me in the long-run? I'm really stressing over this.
    e.) Will I be asked about this citation by medical licensing boards?
    f.) Could it hurt my chances of getting a license/getting a fellowship?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. TooMuchResearch

    TooMuchResearch i'm goin' to Kathmandu...
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    If it has been expunged, it is as though it never happened. I don't think they will know about it, and you will not be required to state that it happened...someone correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  4. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    I have gone through something very very similar this application cycle (PM for details if you want) and they did ask about it at my interviews. The main thing they wanted to know was how I dealt with the situation -- you are getting it expunged AND starting this club :thumbup:-- and what I've learned from it. I still got accepted. To make it not hurt in the long-run...don't do it again!!! I am almost sure that a misdemeanor would not haunt you in the long-run, especially after being expunged. The main thing schools told me was the felonies are what you have to worry about and this isnt even close to that. Don't stress, just be honest (only if you have to though ;)).

    Along with this, make sure you are PERFECTLY CLEAR with what schools require you to disclose in the app process. If you don't have to disclose an expunged offense, don't. If you do, then disclose it. Follow the rules, tell the truth within those bounds, and you should be fine.
     
  5. Kaydubz

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    fixed
     
  6. icarus8

    icarus8 let's go to the beach
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    I am almost certain that if it has been expunged than you dont need to report it. In the background report for after you are accepted, I believe it specifically tells you that expunged misdemeanors are not included. Check into this with someone you know who can access the CBC form.
     
  7. TroubledStudent

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    I've heard that the AMCAS application specifically says do no list expunged offenses, but if they ask about it in interviews, then it looks like there's no way around it.

    Also, can anyone comment on how this could affect me in getting a fellowship/license?
     
  8. dragonfly99

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    First off, I don't think you have to stress out over this a huge amount. The main thing was to get it off your record, which I believe is what "expunged" means. I wouldn't lie if the admissions committee asks you about it specifically, but I also wouldn't offer up the information if the conviction isn't there in your records any longer. I agree with getting someone who has access to check on this at a later point (i.e. do a background check on yourself or hire someone to). It should be gone. Even if not gone, if you have changed your ways I doubt the med school adcom will care. They will see it as a youthful indiscretion. Just be sure you don't get busted for any social infractions while in college...don't want to be seen as just a party animal.

    As far as residency or fellowship, the question of convictions, etc. is probably on the application but if expunged I assume it will be gone. It will not be an issue if the conviction is not on your record.

    As far as licensing, each state has its own rules. The applications do ask about convictions. I have filled out two. I don't remember if they ask about expunged convictions, vs. not. I'll try to look it up for you. Even supposing they did ask and even supposing you told them about it, at that time it's going to be 8 or 10 years since this happened and I don't see it being an obstacle to your getting a license. They won't care because
    a) it's kind of a minor offense and
    b) you were young when it happened and
    c) if you made it through med school and residency without getting into trouble that takes some doing. They mostly care what your residency program and med school say about you (i.e. that it's not on your transcript that you got in fights with people or having a drinking problem).
     
  9. dragonfly99

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    I checked the California medical license application and it specifically says that you have to disclose it even if the conviction was expunged. I don't know how they would know if you didn't tell the truth, or if they would know, though.
    Other states may have different rules (i.e. not require you to disclose convictions that were expunged). Again, though, I seriously doubt that one such youthful offense would keep you from getting a license. I don't think this should discourage you from doing medicine if you think it is what you want to do with your life. If you're a big partier it might not be a great fit, but if this was kind of a one time thing, I'd say plan to go for it.
     
  10. RevivedPreMed

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    Even if you get asked about it, the fact that you turned it around by starting a club will show that you learned the error in your ways and you want to help others make better choices.
    My roommate (now a law student) got arrested for marijuana when she was an undergrad. It is still on her record I believe but after that she got heavily involved with our campus program which helps kids get off drugs and alcohol. She did a lot of great things with it like going to the infirmary to comfort and help people who ended up there for alcohol poisoning.

    She basically turned something really crappy into an amazing PS.
     
  11. funkydrmonkey

    funkydrmonkey They Call Me Dr. Funkmonk
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    Delete
     
    #10 funkydrmonkey, Dec 9, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2008
  12. TroubledStudent

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    dragonfly99 thanks for the input, I just have one question.

    Because I am taking the 15 hour class on alcohol abuse, my citation is going to be "dismissed." I don't really know anything about law, but isn't a conviction=guilty, while a dismissal=the case being closed with no result? If that's the case (it might not be),then does the California License application specifically say to list convictions, or ALL charges? If it's only convictions, and I'm right about dismissal vs. conviction, then would that mean that I don't have to report it?

    Thanks a lot for everyones help by the way, a great forum.
     
  13. njbmd

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    Your best source of information in this situation is an attorney who is familiar with these types of laws in your state. With that being said, go through your "Youth Offenders program and as other have said, "Don't be caught near any alcohol before age 21 for alcohol (and never be caught with any illicit substance at any time before or after age 21). At that time(when you turn 21), get a criminal background check done on yourself. Armed with that information, you will know how to handle anything that comes up.

    If it leaves your record, then it won't be there and you shouldn't mention it unless asked a direct question (don't lie). If it's still on your record as "expunged", then you can explain it at that time. My guess is that by offering you a "Youth Offenders" program, you can essentially clear your record. Again, legal counsel is your best source of info here.
     
  14. BeardedRunner

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    If the misdemeanor gets expunged, then I wouldn't worry about starting an anti-alcohol club.

    I have a friend that got a DWI and he is doing the whole anti-alcohol education for teens, but in your case, its just a misdemeanor, not a felony.

    You should also call the police dept. and ask them if it will show up on your permanent record. I know someone very close to me ;), who received a misdemeanor this Summer for an open container on a beach. He then called the police dept. of that town and they informed him that this won't be placed on his permanent record.

    So just call the number on your ticket and ask them these questions.
     
  15. poiuyt123

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    Just curious...one of my friends said that you can never become a doctor if you are caught with DWI/DUI...is this true?
     
  16. chessknt87

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    Probably not true, but very close to it. DUI shows complete lack of respect for your own and other peoples lives=extremely dangerous in the medical profession.
     
  17. cpants

    cpants Member
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    No it's not true. Probably true if you get it the summer you are applying, but if you have some time and experience between you and the DUI, you can still get in. It is definitely something that will need to be explained on the application and in the interview.
     
  18. TroubledStudent

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    wait njbmd, are they allowed to write "expunged" next to my offense without clearing it? Isn't that kind of paradoxical?
     
  19. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    I don't know specifically how your situation will be reported out but I have seen references on criminal background checks to juvenile offenses but nothing listed as to what type. It's not as good as not having anything as all but it's infinitely better than an alcohol offense sitting there. There only sure way to know what's on these records is to do your penitence and then recheck your criminal background record at age 21. At that time,you can then figure out what (if any) action you need to take. As I said above, you definitely need good local legal counsel so that you get the best out of this situation. It carries liabilities because it's an offense in general but how much depends on how it's reported (if it's reported at all). What you don't want is to find out that something is there when you expected nothing. Get good information that is specific to your case and that can't be done on a public message board.
     
  20. TroubledStudent

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    Yeah, some of my friends are saying that it's almost impossible to become a doctor if you get an underage, even if it was expunged, is this true?
     
  21. biophysicianai

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    :eek:

    you should not only be accepted, but should also get a medal :laugh:

    seriously tho, you'll be okay. You've taken some great I'm-so-sorry-and-I've-learned-my-lesson steps. It's quite admirable.
     
  22. Vihsadas

    Vihsadas No summer
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    Absolutely not true.
     
  23. Dissected

    Dissected All bleeding stops eventually
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    If nothing else, i've learned not to listen to my friends about ANYTHING med-school related throughout the application process unless they have gone through it. dont get caught in the rumor mill!!
     
  24. atomi

    atomi Member
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    No. If it is a felony conviction maybe. But if it is a first time offense and it happened years before application, it's not a huge deal, but you might need to address it. STFA on this.
     
  25. TroubledStudent

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    thanks for all the advice. any other comments on this issue?
     
  26. TroubledStudent

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  27. Insulinshock

    Insulinshock Class of 2022
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    I think if they barred all misdemeanors a good chunk of the medical students would have to drop out. My second cousin got in with a DUI, and a doctor I've shadowed got in with two MIPs (both when he was 18 though).

    Just don't get caught. That, or run faster :smuggrin:
     

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