« on: Yesterday at 02:05:36 PM »
I have 2 cases on my record (both nonpublic). One for jostling (pushing someone)(misdemeanor) and the other for credit card fraud (felony). I've paid my debt to society with both and both are now off of my record. I also have an embezzlement charge which was dismissed. I am wondering if I am still able to go to law school and take the bar exam? Will this look TOO bad? I DEEPLY regret my actions and have not done anything since. All of these crimes have been committed within the past 3 years. Will they give me mercy? Do I still have a chance?
I'm going to give you a typical attorney answer. Maybe?
Let's start with the very bad. The number of crimes (three- that's more than one, or two, although it is unclear if the embezzlement was part of the credit card fraud or a separate incident). The type of crimes (jostling, alone, would be no big deal, but credit card fraud and embezzlement both go to honesty and character & fitness qualifications - in addition, expect some probing into your finances in many jurisdictions). And the timeline (they were within the last three years; it's hard to show evidence of significant rehabilitation within a short time frame). You are going to have problems, even though they are off your record.
Now, the good. Context will matter. Assuming you accepted responsibility, made any court-ordered restitution, and can adequately explain both why it happened then and why it won't happen again, you should have a shot.
Different states have different rules, and different schools do as well. Find out if there are any specific to the school/state you wish to practice in. The best rule of thumb is to disclose everything. The Bar will want to know about the charges, even if they were dropped or removed from your record.