2 Dismissed Misdemeanor Charges... Rejection Letter? Please help. - page 2

Hi, I had taken the TEAS exam, passed, and had my interview for a practical nursing program & it went very very well. The woman told me that I had nothing to worry about and I should be getting... Read More

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    Well I applied to take the entrance exam at 2 other schools along with filling out applicstions, but I didnt disclose it in the application. I'm just going to hope I have the courage to bring it up if I get the chance to have an interview. I just feel so nervous even thinking of what to say and how to say it during an interview, I would just think it would make the interview go negative unless they think I was brave for being honest and still like me for how it was already going.

    I worry so much, I hate it! I also got an email saying that I will be emailed a date to go meet with that original program director who rejected me, again nerveracking!!

    Quote from db2xs

    I disclosed the information on the online application for admissions, not during the interview. I am getting ready to graduate with a BSN in May (decided to forego the MSN) and now have to face the BON/NCLEX thing. This is proving to be very difficult. My misdemeanor is over ten years old (I posted something yesterday, asking questions; you can see it on the message board), and truly it has been a non-issue for me all these years. I unfortunately never checked to see if it was truly expunged, so I'm going to do that now. I truly believed that I was not denying anything, because I was always told that if my record was expunged, I didn't have to admit it unless specifically asked details.

    It seems that you're straightening everything out now, even before going into school. Good for you. That will save you from any surprises at the end, which is what my situation is.

    Good luck with your school applications!

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    Sorry it's taken me so long to respond!! I haven't been on here in awhile. The way I look at it, is everyone makes mistakes. Some people get theirs caught, and many more do not. That's why I don't believe in judging people too harshly. Many people can get into an argument and maybe even push and shove one another, and the next thing you know, you're charged w/ A&B. So I understand where you're coming from. A&B looks bad, because there's a worry about violence toward a patient, but your bigger problem is the possession charge, especially if it was a narcotic. There are so many variables involved, it's hard for me to predict anything for you. And I'm not by any means qualified to give legal advice. I would, however, advise you to do a complete background check on yourself to start with. You need to see what the school is seeing when they look you up. Just because someone at court or wherever said that your stuff was dismissed doesn't mean things aren't popping up. Once you know where you stand background check-wise, you can then see about getting that stuff off of your record.

    It also depends on what state you live in, and what their rules and laws are. I'm in Florida and things are strict here. I was very lucky that my misdm was able to be sealed, or I would be totally screwed. I also sealed everything up, and petitioned the BON for an exemption which they granted--BEFORE I ever even attempted nursing school. I really believe that cleared a path for me. I also go to a Community College, which is different here than the private schools. I believe private schools are more strict because they are more expensive. You will owe them out the ears by the time you are finished, and they want to make sure you are employable so you'll be able to pay your loans back. That's why, from where they look at it, they won't take anybody that has any kind of legal issues, even if you stole a piece of gum when you were five, they will reject you because they worry nobody will hire you when you're done, which is not entirely true, but that's how the private schools are seeing it. If you've been in trouble for possession of narcotics, it may depend on how long ago it was and how you've changed since.

    Your BON may want to see evidence of how you've stayed clean (it doesn't matter if you had a "problem" or not, the way they see it, you did). You've got to look at how these establishments are seeing you, not how you see you. The BON really likes it when you go to NA or AA, it shows that you are making a concerted effort to stay on the "straight" and narrow path. They are leary of anyone w/ drug or alcohol issues because they worry how a person will handle being around drugs all day, and if you will come to work drunk, high or hung over and maybe endanger patient safety. That's how they are looking at it.

    You've got to get with your Clerk of Court, go down there, and ask for a disposition of your charges. You need to determine exactly where you stand in the legal system. Were you convicted? Was adjudication withheld? Did you have to do probation? What many people don't understand is that even if your weren't convicted and the charges were dismissed, you still have an arrest record. An arrest record is different than a conviction record. An arrest record is your mugshot from when you were picked up by the cops. They are two separate things. In Florida, if a person gets arrested, but it's thrown out of court, anyone can google that person and see their arrest record. The person has to petition the Dept of Law Enforcement and pay $75 or more dollars to get that wiped off. It doesn't just go away because they weren't convicted. So I suggest that you first:

    1. Google yourself, check at least the first half dozen pages of your name. What do you find? What you find, anyone else can find also.

    2. Contact the Clerk of Court in the county where you were arrested. Ask for a disposition of all of your cases. Were you in fact convicted, if so, was adjudication withheld? It makes a big difference if it was NOT withheld, that's bad news. Did you successfully complete probation? If you served probation, you were convicted of something. As far as the BON and everyone else is concerned, even pre-trial intervention is considered a conviction of sorts.

    3. Go on the sheriff or police department's websites that arrested you. Search your name, does a mugshot come up, does an arrest record come up? Don't fool yourself into thinking that nobody is doing this to you. The school's do it all the time. Digging up dirt on someone is as easy as 1-2-3 these days with the internet, and it's FREE. You can find out so much about a person in a matter of seconds and it doesn't cost you a dime.

    4. Once you know where you stand, contact your state's Department of Law Enforcement and find out if you're eligible for a sealing of charges. In Florida, if a person was merely arrested, but never convicted, charges thrown out, etc...they can go straight for an expungement. Seal and expunge are two different things entirely, everyone thinks they're the same, they aren't.

    5. If need be, get a decent lawyer that works with record sealings, although I was able to do mine myself. Much cheaper. But it sounds like your case is a bit more complicated than mine was.

    6. Contact your BON and tell them straight up, what you've done, where you stand legally and are you eligible for an exemption? Don't make excuses, blame others or have long-winded explanations. A lot of people think this helps...it doesn't. The BON is all about personal responsibility. Keep it concise, let them know you want another chance to help others and be a nurse. Consider volunteer work and attending NA. This will look really good when you petition your BON for an exemption. Again, many people think attending NA makes them look guilty, like they're admitting they have a problem. As far as the BON and everyone else is concerned, you already do. You were arrested for narcotics. They are not going to want to listen to stories about how it was someone else's fault etc..not saying you would do that, but many others have and it just makes a person look irresponsible. The BON is big on "How have you changed since you got in trouble? What have you done to rehabilitate yourself?" They are HUGE on rehab. They need to see how a person has changed, improved.

    7. Do exactly as you're instructed to do by the DLC, BON and the schools you apply to. Fulfill their requirements and promptly.

    Good luck to you! If you need more help, have a question feel free to msg me. I know what a horrible feeling it is to be denied something you really want to do, and feel you would be good at, based on past errors in judgment.
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    Quote from mindlor
    From your tone you sound as though you are not in the US. That said, in the US you can secure a lawyer who will then help you to purge your record of those letters. If the charges were dismissed they should not be in your file or history.

    So my advice, speak to a good attorney.
    I realize this is an older post, however, sealing or expunging your record does not mean it won't be visible to nursing schools. They will still be able to see the charges or in your case, dropped cases. The only time sealing or expunging your record is beneficial is when your applying for a loan or a job that doesn't involve the government or healthcare. Any job with the US government or healthcare field is going to get a full, all inclusive background check no matter what.
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    Quote from octobersongs
    I realize this is an older post, however, sealing or expunging your record does not mean it won't be visible to nursing schools. They will still be able to see the charges or in your case, dropped cases. The only time sealing or expunging your record is beneficial is when your applying for a loan or a job that doesn't involve the government or healthcare. Any job with the US government or healthcare field is going to get a full, all inclusive background check no matter what.
    Do you know if this applies to private hospitals as well? I am ok with BON seeing my expunged misdemeanors, but i am worried that i'll run into issues when I start nursing school and apply for clinical sites at hospitals, who will want to do a background check on me. The expunged arrests shouldn't show up for them, right?
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    I'm sorry Mzaur, for the late post too, but I can't answer your question. What I posted above was what my lawyer told me. He said anything that requires fingerprinting is going to yield ALL results no matter what.
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    Quote from db2xs
    I was always told that if my record was expunged, I didn't have to admit it unless specifically asked details.
    First off let me say I am NOT an attorney and I'm from Texas so I am speaking from that experience. However, I believe what I am about to say is pretty much uniform among the states. A record is not automatically expunged in most cases which means it is totally wiped off both your state and FBI records. You have to actually submit a written petition to the court to expunge it, a hearing will be held and if the petition is granted they will send the proper instructions to the state and FBI. I had such a situation when I was arrested for possession in 1981 (pills loose in my purse), but the lab determined the pills were not a controlled substance (I told you it was aspirin) so I was no-billed, and charges were not filed and the case was dismissed. To get the arrest off my state and FBI record I had to go to court ... now it's gone as if it never existed and does not require disclosure or explanation to the TxBON.

    However, it's important to realize that "taking a plea" with the promise you case will be dismissed after you complete the court-ordered terms makes you INELIGIBLE for full expunction (you admitted guilt and a final determination was made) or to be granted a governor or presidential pardon. I have also come to find out that how your plea deal is handled is important because there are situations where the court will hold the charges and/or final determination if you do "x" will dismiss the case (used now in some drug cases at least in Texas), but I am not an attorney and there is where it's EXTREMELY important that when you are charged with anything YOU GET AN ATTORNEY. A plea deal may sound easier and cheaper but it definitely has ramifications.

    In some states (like Texas) you can petition the court for "non-disclosure order" so that it does not appear in routine background checks done by employers or the public but which does not wipe it from you FBI background report. I have come to understanding licensing agencies such as the BON and multiple others specified non-governmental agencies are granted access to charges subject to Texas orders of non-disclosure. The same non-governmental agencies have been granted access to obtain FBI background reports.

    An order of non-disclosure means you petition the Court to review your case. Notice is given to the prosecutors who also review the case and your criminal history after the charge to make sure you are eligible (there are restrictions like you can't have another chg within "x" amount of years, etc. and there are certain charges that cannot be non-disclosed i.e family violence, injury to child/disabled or elderly adult, etc.). You are essentially found to be rehabilitated and no longer a risk to society.

    The Texas BON does not require your disclosure of criminal arrest/matters under Non-Disclosure Order and do not consider them unless they bring up questions concerning moral character, etc. (remember they have access to the full record as explained above). Why? It's just my opinion it holds alot of sway, because the process to review your criminal matter and determine you are rehabd and no longer a risk has already been done by the Court which is the high-hurdle they are seeking u to pass in their review. It is definitely worth obtaining non-disclosure not only for this reason, but because future employers (unless they are a governmental agency) and your neighbors will not have access to the info.

    Good Luck.
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    Hi just wondering if you ever figured this whole thing out, I'm in a similar situation and I'm from MA so i want to know if you got any advice on approaching this problem of a CWOF!

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