I'm working on my applications right now. Under the Character and Fitness section, one of the questions asks:
"Have you ever in your entire life been charged with, or arrested for, the violation of any law? This includes moving violations (traffic tickets), misdemeanors, felonies, and administrative charges. You must disclose the requested information even if the charges were dismissed or you were acquitted, the conviction was stayed or vacated, the record was sealed or expunged, or you were told at the time that you would not need to disclose in the future."
I've had 2 speeding tickets in the past. I got them both within a year and one was in a work zone so I also got my license suspended for some time. Do I answer "yes" to the above question? Is it big deal to them that my license was suspended? Will it negatively impact anything? Do I have to add an addendum explaining this?
Thanks for your help!
Character and Fitness Questions- Speeding Tickets?
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
Thanks for the question! Yes, you do need to disclose these two tickets. Primarily because they have asked you to, and also because when you come up for review under the Bar C&F these questions will again come up and you'll have to answer "yes" at that point. If you answer yes then but don't disclose the info now, you will have a problem.
Here's the good news: no one cares about speeding tickets Neither law schools nor the Bar will hold it against you, and it will not adversely impact your application chances or you passing the Bar's C&F.
Depending on what your record shows and exactly what each application requests, here's how it plays out as you complete each app:
*If your record shows two speeding tickets and the suspended license, or if the application requires disclosing the suspension, then disclose all of that and also submit and addendum explaining that the ticket in the work zone cause the suspension.
Overall, this is totally normal and very minor. It's a zero impact issue so regardless of whether you have to write an addendum or not, it won't be a big deal.
Please let me know if that helps. Thanks!
How can I tell if I'm required to disclose the suspension for a particular application?
It's going to depend on the language used in the question, as well as what appears on your record. For example, in the language you posted above, it doesn't appear to be necessary to disclose the suspension. I suspect that in almost every case it won't be necessary or required, mainly because the suspended license was part of the penalty for speeding in the work zone. However, I didn't want to accidentally get you in hot water by saying you didn't need to disclose it at all, so the safest route was to advise you to closely examine exactly what they ask on each application.
I've always found it odd that each school uses different language for these C&F questions, and that some ask for very little while others ask you to disclose the time your mom caught you taking cookies from the family cookie jar in 9th grade. You'd think they would standardize this and have a uniform question system on something this critical, but that has never happened.
Thanks for all your help, Dave!
I have a follow-up question. Is it bad to just disclose everything to schools, even if it may not necessarily be required? I'm just worried about thinking that something is okay to not disclose, and then having it be a huge problem for me in the future.
I really wouldn't disclose more than exactly what they are asking for. As long as you are in-line with their request, there's no problem. And if it is truly unclear, if you disclose it then it's fine but you then also have a built-in defense mechanism if you are ever asked about it ("I didn't think the question was asking that").
My thought is, why disclose more than you have to? There's no benefit to it.
7 posts • Page 1 of 1