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Would you pay $750 for a lawyer or....

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by udlax16, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. udlax16

    udlax16 ^lax=lacrosse
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    So like most college students I drink and was unlucky enough to get an underage drinking ticket. My question to everyone is would you pay $750 for a lawyer if he says he is sure that he can get the underage alcohol consumption charge dropped all together? Or would you try on your own to fight the charges without the help of a lawyer because the price is too steep for your liking. If some people could give me an opinion on the situation that would be great.
     
  2. iheartsharks

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    At most university's there is a free legal consultation service that they provide for the students. In your case if you have no other previous criminal history odds are you will be asked to choose between community service and paying a fine or both and eventually have your arrest expunged i.e. not on your record.
     
  3. Chemist0157

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    I don't think luck had anything to do with it, but how exactly would you fight the charges yourself? I don't know how big of an impact this ticket would have on your application, but if it did hurt your run for medical school, the $750 is worth it.
     
  4. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    i also think the 750 is worth your peace of mind
     
  5. bambi

    bambi Junior Member
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    You get in trouble for underage drinking?
     
  6. cpants

    cpants Member
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    Get a lawyer. You've got to protect yourself. If someone can make this disappear, it takes away headaches and uncomfortable questions for you when you are applying.
     
  7. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    I got one too, my freshman year. I paid the $250.00 to the court and was done with it.
     
  8. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    by the way, what is the service med. school use for background checks? I want to run my name through to see if it comes up. It was misdemeanor and the judge told me it would be off my record after a year of not getting another one.
     
  9. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    Only if you get caught. ;)
     
  10. Bartelby

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    Certiphi Screening, Inc.
     
  11. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    What service do I use to check myself? Do I do a "county background check"? Do schools even care about underage drinking tickets? I only had one... I could see if you had a DUI or several underage drinking citations (not because of the drinking but because you were stupid enough to get caught more than once).
     
  12. bambi

    bambi Junior Member
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    How do you get caught?

    This all seems pretty weird to me, in the UK the people who sold you the alcohol get in trouble but not you, then again I guess if you are underage here you are a minor.
     
  13. futureboy

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    You are always better off in court when you have legal representation. The charge is a relatively minor one, but it may be worth it to hire an attorney. If you win, it will be one less thing you'll have to explain on your application and interview. Keep in mind, though, that you will probably still need to disclose the charge on your app, maybe even if it's expunged.

    If you get counsel, I would be wary of this attorney because he said he was "sure" he could get the charge dropped. Is is HIGHLY UNETHICAL for an attorney to guarantee a particular result in a case. It's an old lawyer trick -- guarantee the result to get the fee, and if the result isn't achieved, claim that the judge had a bad day or that the lawyer didn't actually promise to get the result.

    I'm not lawyer bashing -- I'm a practicing attorney who is considering med school after 10-plus years in the profession. I've never done that trick to get a fee, but I saw my boss in my first job out of law school do it. Took $2,000 from a client for an expungment knowing the client wasn't eligible because of prior convictions. The lawyer filed the motion, and lost, of course, and told the client he tried but the judge just didn't agree to the expungement. The whole thing made me sick.

    Don't get me wrong. Most lawyers are honest and hardworking, but the bad apples lower the reputation of the profession.
     
  14. poiuyt123

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    wow 10+ plus years as an attorney and thinking about attending medical school...interesting. I'm just curious, how old are you?
     
  15. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    Here (US) both parties get in trouble (supplier and consumer). How much the law is enforced varies quite a bit by area. The city I live in now has a policy (which they are quite proud of) of sending every underage drinker to court, and putting all of them on probation. Which is funny because where I used to live, like 5 miles down the road, you would have needed to puke on the police chief to get ticketed.
     
  16. futureboy

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    41. There are quite a few of us in our 30s and 40s over in the nontraditional students forum.
     
  17. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    forget the lawyer... a drinking charge for college students? This will not hinder anything. You may have to explain yourself and I am assuming this is your only offense...

    No one is going to say no to someone b/c of that, and if they do, they were not worth your time. Cheating on an exam, maybe, but drinking in college? they expect everyone has whether its on a record or not. To get caught and explain yourself is going to take a moment and theyll say ah, alright, and move on.

    Seven fifty is steep and honestly not going to save you from getting rejected from med schools. In all honesty I think it says you were able to be a normal college kid who just happened to get caught.
     
  18. futureboy

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    I don't know where the OP is located, but $750 does sound pretty steep for this, unless the attorney has to go to several hearings. The OP should still have legal representation, though. The OP could try the law school clinic route, or maybe find someone to do it for $300-500. Any attorney with decent criminal defense experience should be able to handle the case.

    Keep in mind that even if the OP wins the case or it's dismissed, the OP may need to disclose and explain this in med school applications, and on state licensure applications as well. While one underage possession of alcohol case won't necessarily kill an app, it is not to be taken lightly. Physicians prescribe some pretty powerful and addictive meds, so schools may be concerned about someone with a potential substance abuse problem. I'm not suggesting that premeds stay at home every Friday night and read SDN (like we're doing now), but we all need to realize the possible effect of our past and present actions on our future careers.
     
  19. Lukkie

    Lukkie Membership Revoked
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    id rather just eat a poop hotdog
     
  20. cpants

    cpants Member
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    750 is worth it to get the charge to disappear. I'm not saying it will necessarily keep someone out of medical school, but it is a negative on the application. I understand this is how you feel about an alcohol arrest, but the person reading your application may not be so liberal about it. Not everyone thinks arrests and potential alcohol abuse is no big deal in premeds.

    OP, if the evidence is weak, or the lawyer can exploit loopholes to get you off, do it and never look back. Even if it is a slam-dunk case, the lawyer might be able to get it down to a lesser, or non-alcohol-related charge. Keep in mind, 750 sounds like a lot, but the fines you could pay if found guilty could be upwards of 500 dollars depending on where you were arrested.
     
  21. udlax16

    udlax16 ^lax=lacrosse
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    Yeah i know what you mean. This guy pretty much told me that he has made deals with the prosecutor before with students who want to go to med school and don't want this on their record. The deal would be I would plead not guilty then he would talk to the prosecutor who he's friends with and ask for a deal in which 6 months from then I would go to court and i stayed out of trouble they would drop all the charges. The city is ridiculous about underage drinking because thats how they make a lot of their money, so they don't offer any kind of first time expungement deal.
     
  22. cpants

    cpants Member
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    Go for it. If he pulls it off, you are sitting pretty with no record. The worst that can happen is you get found guilty in 6 months, and you are no worse off than if you had just pled guilty in the first place.
     
  23. udlax16

    udlax16 ^lax=lacrosse
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    750 to me at first seemed like it was a little steep so I'm trying to talk to other lawyers about what they may be able to do for me. The one thing that makes this guy special is that he used to be the prosecutor in the city and is buddy buddy with everyone still. If I am found guilty I still have to pay the lawyer and then the city a little over $360. I'm just apprehensive at the possibility of losing a lot of money. But don't get me wrong I understand that this is what is going to happen for getting in trouble. Thanks for the help guys. Any other advice?
     
  24. Food

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    I don't think it should be a big deal. At first I thought it was a DUI - and thought you were screwed. DUI would be much more difficult to deal with - in terms of med school applications. I think there should be an easy route for that to be eventually expunged from your record. It's a lot like misdemeanor possession of marijuana - one of my friends was given a free pass for his first offense. He had to appear in court...do a bunch of crap...blah blah...
     

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