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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Hello, I have a personal question I hope you can answer I

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Hello, I have a personal question I hope you can answer? I have recently obtained my A.A and I would like to transfer to a university to persue a career in Psychology. The problem I have is that when I was 22 I had been charged with, taking money from a vulnerable man, which was my grandfather. I took his cell phone and I did not return it and my sister got mad and I ended up with this charge. I was young and foolish and I didn't even care to try to resolve the issue at the time. The problem now is I have matured and chnged my ways and this charge is still on my record. This was seven years ago. My question is do you think having this on my record would disqualify me from working as a mental health Counselor?

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. You are trying to enter the most helping of helping professions and you have a charge against you. You were an adult at the time, so this will be harder to deal with.

I'm not sure from what you write if it was a felony. If it was a misdemeanor, you will not have worries. You will only be asked about felonies. If you were only charged but never convicted, you do not have to worry about it. You are only asked if you were ever convicted of a felony.

Now, I don't know of any state that disqualifies someone automatically from getting licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor or a Psychologist by virtue of one felony that will be at least 10 years in the past when you apply for licensure. The same with social workers.

You will, though, have to answer yes to the question of having ever been convicted of a felony. I'm assuming here you were tried and convicted. If so, you will explain the date and the nature of the crime. The panel will rule on it. You will not be disqualified for one petty theft `10 years prior to application.

Now, this might be an embarrassment for you. If so, find an attorney who will do this inexpensively for you. It might have to be a family member or friend because it will take some time and effort. The attorney would need to file a petition to seal the record of the felony conviction. This way you just don't bring it up. This would be in the state and county where the conviction occurred. See the idea here? Were you a minor when it happened, this would be easy or automatic. The attorney will have to tell you what in that jurisdiction is required.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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