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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27461
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Arrested and charged with possession of marijuana while

Customer Question

Arrested and charged with possession of marijuana while driving a friend's car. Charge was dismissed. I am currently in medical school and I am applying to graduate programs. I want/need to know how accurate I need to be when explaining the circumstances of the arrest. The schools I apply to require a Certiphi background check. Will they be able to see the report written by the arresting officers? Would I be able to say that the case was dismissed because the attorney and prosecutor agreed the charge was inappropriate because the marijuanna was not mine (even if this was not true and might have been reported differently by the officer).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Are you online at this time?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

What they will see is your RAP sheet. They will not see court transcripts or discovery material. Still, it's best to stick to the truth, and not give any more information than is asked for.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If they wanted to verify my account of what happened, would they be able to request discovery material or court transcripts?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

They probably won't do that. They'd need a court order. However, once you get through school and have to get your medical license, your licensing board may wish to look into your records. Given that, you will not want anything inconsistent to appear on your graduate application.

I have known people who had difficulty getting admitted to the bar because what was found on their records was different from and less favorable than the information they put on their school applications. The health industry is also a restrictive profession. I wouldn't volunteer more information than you were asked for, but I certainly wouldn't suggest lying.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That leads me to my next question...would there be communication with my licensing board and graduate program? By the time I apply for licensing I will have already been either accepted into a graduate program. I understand that the licensing board might have access to more information which would create an inconsistency between my grad application and board license, but how would either party know?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The issue is that I had an incident during my undergraduate freshman year with marijuana with subject me to disciplinary conduct, which is going to be put on my application. If I then put an additional recent incident on my application that admits responsibility for a possession charge despite it being dismissed, I am concerned that it may look very unfavorable. So evaluating the possibility/risk to present the circumstances of the dismissal of the charges in a different light is important for me.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

The licensing board will want your school records. I don't know the extent of what they will request.

You asked if you could provide untrue information. You're never going to get any attorney to say that it's a good idea to lie on an application. A marijuana dismissal is a dismissal. A youthful indiscretion in your past is that led to a dismissal is far easier to swallow than lying about it in the present which, if you are caught, would indicate a present lack of character.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How could I find out to what extent the licensing board would request school related information?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

You can't. They don't give that information away because they don't want applicants for licenses to play the system.

I've apprised you of the possible risks, and that's all I can do. The rest is your decision.

I wish you future success in your career.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.