Juvenile Felonies

Hello. I need answers, please!

I am 30 y/o. When I was 15 I got 2 felonies (controlled substance & concealed weapon) & 2 misdemeanors (shoplifting & alcohol poss.). I was told that juvenile records were sealed, so I answered ‘no’ to the question on the AMCAS. Apparently, they are not. I have the option now of having them permanently sealed or expunged (erased). . . but everyone that I’ve talked to says that they will still be there if the background check agency digs deep enough. My questions:

1.) Do I need to disclose?

2.) If yes, how do I disclose this information after I have already answered ‘no’ to convicted felonies/misdemeanors?

3.) Will I be able to receive a medical license with 2 juvenile felonies?

4.) Is it even worth having the records expunged?

5.) If/ when I disclose this information, would it make a difference if I explain that the charges were for a joint and a Swiss army knife?

Hi, and welcome to OPM :).

I asked around here about what your options are and where to go from here.

First, the good news: you’re probably not sunk. Admissions-types seemed to think that, if you come clean, it shouldn’t be a big negative.

I’m not certain that sealed juvenile stuff does come up on a background check, but assuming it does…

It was recommended that you get in touch with AMCAS and explain the situation, ask how it should affect your application. You don’t want to be flagged with an “abnormality” or whatever; that’d be a bad red flag.

Also, write a letter to the schools you’re applying to, explaining the situation. Basically explain what’s going on (details of what the crimes were) and why you didn’t report it (it was juvenile and sealed). It may also pay to give some context - kind of explaining what it is and how you grew from it, while still taking responsibility.

Anyway, that’s the feedback I got in asking around. Hope it helps.

Just to add to pi1304’s comments and before you do anything else, you really need to consult with an experienced attorney who represents clients before professional licensing boards. Someone like this.

Sounds like you need a lawyer. Juvenile records are supposed to be sealed. That means, sealed. Period. No one should be able to see that information and if it’s being released, it needs not to be. If law enforcement were to look up your past, even they should not be able to see any information before you were 18.

With that said, some lawyers may not be interested in helping you. Keep calling them until you find someone who will (or contact your local bar association.) Your potential damages may be big since you are potentially losing out on going to med school. Be persistent. No one is going to care about this as much as you are so you need to state your case and be adamant about it being fixed. (I am not a lawyer, I was a legal secretary for 12 years.)

Be hesitant to take any advice from anyone other than a good lawyer. Really. Talk to a lawyer or more than one.

  • Aime Said:
If law enforcement were to look up your past, even they should not be able to see any information before you were 18.

Perhaps, it depends on the state but in Minnesota, that statement is flagrantly wrong. ALL law enforcement as well as legal representatives (judicial or representative) have the ability to see the juvenile files. Sealed, expunged, or not.

I speak from personal experience with a situation (non felony and NOT me).