Jump to content

Arrest without conviction in Florida

Posted
by soon2bnurs3 soon2bnurs3 (New) New Student

Hi everyone,

I know this isn't the place for legal advice but I would like to hear other people's opinions of the situation especially if they were in similar ones. I am currently finishing up my last semester of nursing school... yay! But unfortunately, I was arrested for Battery over five years ago. I was in a very toxic relationship at the time and there isn't a day that goes by where I wish I just walked away from that situation. I have put this thought on the back burner, however, as NCLEX is slowly approaching, I now have to consider some things.

As for the end result of the case, the arrest led to NO CONVICTION because the State Attorney posted a No Information Notice. It basically states that the case was not suitable for prosecution and action was taken to clear the records and to release any bond. Since the charges were dropped, I didn't have to pay a fine, go to court, or do any rehabilitation program. I was not found guilty or pled guilty, and was not put on probation. I then went ahead and expunged the arrest and what was left of the case but I do know that expungement is pointless as the BON has access to everything.

The part of the application that concerns me is disclosure. Will I be shooting myself in the foot if I disclose this? Is this even necessary to disclose? I know honesty is the best policy but I also don't want to open a can of worms. Would any of you disclose it? I'm not entirely sure what the application asks for, but based on their website,

"Any applicant who has ever been found guilty of or pled guilty or no contest/nolo contendre (regardless of adjudication) to any charge other than a minor traffic offense must list each offense on the application. Applicants with prior criminal convictions may be required to submit the following documentation to the Board ..."

I don't think it applies to me nor does my attorney, but we can never be so sure. I will appreciate any input. I really hope that my past actions don't haunt me in the future. I'll try to update this as I go. Thank you for reading~

I had the exact thing happen to me. Mine was from 2012. The case result was the same and resulted in the same manner. I didn’t disclose it and my background check was approved. Only difference is that I now live in Indiana. 

13 hours ago, NewgradRNOR said:

I had the exact thing happen to me. Mine was from 2012. The case result was the same and resulted in the same manner. I didn’t disclose it and my background check was approved. Only difference is that I now live in Indiana. 

That’s relieving to hear. I’m glad you were able to pass your background check without disclosing the case. Every state is a bit different unfortunately so I’m not entirely sure if Indiana and Florida follow the same guidelines when asking about criminal background for applicants. 

Please keep us updated. I’m currently in my first semester of nursing school with two domestic violence charges (6 & 10 years ago) both led to no convictions. I’m feeling really discouraged with all the conflicting information out there on this, afraid I won’t be able to get my license or a job after all this. 

On 9/20/2020 at 9:34 AM, Nursingstudent1992 said:

Please keep us updated. I’m currently in my first semester of nursing school with two domestic violence charges (6 & 10 years ago) both led to no convictions. I’m feeling really discouraged with all the conflicting information out there on this, afraid I won’t be able to get my license or a job after all this. 

I will try my best! I've reached out to my attorney who handled my expungement since I got a preview of the initial licensure application and asked her how I should answer the following questions:

Criminal History Initial: Have you EVER been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty, nolo contendere, or no contest to, a crime in any jurisdiction other than a minor traffic offense? You must include all misdemeanors and felonies, even if adjudication was withheld.

Sealed Criminal History: Have you EVER had any records sealed pursuant to section 943.059, F.S., or other states applicable statute?

 

I was never convicted because the charge was dropped before I could even go to court, so I can put 'No' for the first question because that is the truth. My record was also EXPUNGED under 943.0585, therefore I can put 'No' for the second question as well.

From my knowledge I know that if you were found NOT GUILTY by a jury or a judge, the case may be eligible to be sealed only. You may be able to answer 'No' for Question 1, but you have to answer 'Yes' for Question 2, which you may have to disclose to the BON.

Anyway, if you can expunge/seal both of those charges, I would try to do so. It really depends if the charges were dropped or if the judge found you not guilty that led to no convictions. I hope you like nursing school so far! It's going to fly by before you know it.

So it sounds like you can put No for both questions? Have you heard back from your attorney yet? Both of my cases were “disposed by prosecutor” But are not sealed or expunged. I know they can’t be expunged in my state (Florida). What state are you in?

2 hours ago, Nursingstudent1992 said:

So it sounds like you can put No for both questions? Have you heard back from your attorney yet? Both of my cases were “disposed by prosecutor” But are not sealed or expunged. I know they can’t be expunged in my state (Florida). What state are you in?

Yes, my attorney confirmed that I can put 'No' for both questions. By putting 'No', I am still answering both questions truthfully while not denying anything. I think you can't expunge/seal those charges because it's related to domestic violence unfortunately. I currently live in Florida as well. In your case, if your charges led to no convictions which sounds like it did since it was "disposed by prosecutor", I think you would be okay to put "No" for both questions. The background check/fingerprints however, will pull up those charges, and since it was not sealed/expunged, they will have access to everything and question it. They did mention on the application that if you had previous criminal history, to just be prepared to give information as the BON may want to schedule a meeting with you. At that point, I would just be honest with them. I don't know the circumstances of those charges, but the BON is specifically looking to see if you have changed as a person. 

Please keep updating as you go through the process of licensure. I’m just feeling uneasy about this.

 

I did find this which makes me nervous. Does your lawyer specialize in medical licensing law?74798715-8905-4DDA-8EB4-0BA5C89E63B2.thumb.png.654d7637c5b7b7ce247b6da9667c69e9.png

1BBA62D3-2BAD-4AB4-9674-AF811A8DE62B.png

On 10/9/2020 at 9:29 PM, Nursingstudent1992 said:

Please keep updating as you go through the process of licensure. I’m just feeling uneasy about this.

 

I did find this which makes me nervous. Does your lawyer specialize in medical licensing law?

I have been uneasy from the start so I understand how you're feeling. My lawyer does not specialize in medical licensing law, she specializes in criminal defense and expungements. If you consult with an attorney that does specialize in medical licensing, then it might give you some peace of mind, or at least give you the answers you are looking for. I do want to note this part of the act:

(c) Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a crime in any jurisdiction which directly relates to the practice of nursing or to the ability to practice nursing.

(d) Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, any of the following offenses: 

If the charges led to no convictions without holding adjudication, then most likely you just have to explain your story to the board. In my case, I can put no for both questions, but I'm also anticipating that the board will see the expunged case and its up to them if they want to proceed with scheduling a meeting. 

Yeah I have just been making myself sick about it. I don’t want all of this to be for nothing. From what I have read though, if you do have to explain yourself to the board they are really just looking to see if you have changed/grown since the incident. So I keep trying to tell myself that since I do believe that I’ve changed. Unfortunately I have two arrests which I feel makes it look even worse. 

22 hours ago, Nursingstudent1992 said:

Yeah I have just been making myself sick about it. I don’t want all of this to be for nothing. From what I have read though, if you do have to explain yourself to the board they are really just looking to see if you have changed/grown since the incident. So I keep trying to tell myself that since I do believe that I’ve changed. Unfortunately I have two arrests which I feel makes it look even worse. 

Try not to let this bother you too much, your mental health is also important. Nursing school will be stressful enough as it is. If the board speaks with you, don't give every single detail about the events. Keep it super broad, summarize it, and focus more on yourself and how you became a better person. Prepare all the documents that you will possibly need, and just be prepared to prove to the board that you're not that same person you were when the incident occurred. If you're confident in yourself, then the board will believe it. You're going to be super busy with school but try to be proactive in the community and be a member of a nursing organization! You're not only just proving the board, but you're proving yourself. I really do wish you the best of luck and of course I will update this discussion as I get closer to NCLEX!

Thank you for your words of encouragement ❤️ Good tips, I have definitely been thinking about getting involved in the community more. Good luck to you as well.