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Physicist with a felony?

by Swampdog
Tags: felony, physicist
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Dec19-12, 11:08 AM
P: 5
Well I've come up with this plan: I'll stay with the HVAC while I save up for an expungement. I figure this would give me a good amount of time to study during my free-time, as well as give me a solid understand of the HVAC business, enough to fall back on should things not go so well. Then I'll take your advice and start off with community college, talking with advisors and try to plan on transferring to a four-year college. How's that sound? Another question I have is if I do get my record expunged, how would that look to a college? Is it possible for them to see it on my record and hinder my chances regardless?

Also, all of the computers were returned.
Dec19-12, 12:09 PM
P: 1,102
Quote Quote by Swampdog View Post

Also, all of the computers were returned.
Interesting detail!

What a glaring difference between that end result and one where the computers were subsequently sold with a sober mind and the proceeds spent on yourself.
Dec19-12, 12:26 PM
P: 1,084
Quote Quote by Swampdog View Post
Also, all of the computers were returned.
Were they returned when you sobered up, or were they returned when you got caught?
Dec19-12, 01:01 PM
P: 5
Quote Quote by TMFKAN64 View Post
Were they returned when you sobered up, or were they returned when you got caught?
When I was caught, unfortunately. I confessed to the crime and handed them over. I co-operated fully, if it's any consideration.
Dec19-12, 06:36 PM
QuarkCharmer's Avatar
P: 1,035
A Community College won't care about your criminal history. Get enrolled if you have the time and start working on what you can (basic math, general courses etc). Skip your personal life and save up for the expungement if it's even possible. I know in some states Juvenile records are sealed automatically when you turn 23 or something, I forget the exact age, but you might try to look up how it works in your state.

It's possible to get into a 4 year school with a felony, but you can expect to jump through hoops over it, and show them all the paperwork, do an interview etc. But it certainly won't happen unless you get to work and show them that you are serious about it. This might include getting a 2yr degree et al.

I'm not sure if the nature of your crime will come into play. A friend of mine got accepted after his 2yr degree at a CC with a felony DUI. I think that felony theft, from a school of all places, might warrant a bit more consideration on the schools part.
Dec19-12, 08:09 PM
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BobG's Avatar
P: 2,284
The reason the answers vary so much is because university policies vary so much.

Around half don't ask about criminal records*. They don't have to ask, and some feel that if they do ask and know about your criminal history, then they could be considered partially liable if you do something horribly wrong while attending. Some feel that once you've paid your debt to society, then they have no legitimate reason to reject you on those grounds. In fact, they worry they could be opening themselves up to a lawsuit from the rejected student for violation of civil rights.

Around half do ask. Some of those reject all students with a criminal record (but not many). Some want more information about the felony conviction and decide them on a case by case basis. Many of the universities that do ask have no written or standard procedure for how to handle a "yes" answer about felony convictions and their admissions staff have no specific training on how to handle it.

Of those that do ask and actually use the answer as part of their admissions process, over 50% of sex offenders are rejected (kind of vague), over 50% of drug offenders are rejected. Around a third of people convicted of misdemeanors are rejected. Sometimes a person with a misdemeanor could be rejected while a person with a felony could be admitted (as mentioned, many universities have no standard procedures even though they ask about criminal records).

Some universities require your permission to do a criminal background check on you whether you answer yes or no.

In other words, there is no way of getting a reliable answer other than at least looking at the admissions application and asking the school about it if the application does ask about it (and even then, you could be getting just the opinion of the person you're talking to because the school has no official policy).

You are going to have a problem getting into "prestige" universities that depend on the reputation of their graduates to maintain their own reputation as a "prestige" university. Dropping out of high school and getting your GED would pretty much torpedo your chances at those universities anyway.

* - Definitely not very accurate. I could reference a few surveys, but none of these seem to be done with much rigor, and none of them seem like a very reliable source if you want actual percentages. They're better than anecdotal evidence, but not much better. You can look for these yourself - maybe you could find one that actually does seem to have been conducted in way that seems more thorough and reliable than the others. But they are good enough to illustrate that all universities don't handle criminal records the same way.
Dec20-12, 04:02 PM
P: 1,084
Quote Quote by Swampdog View Post
When I was caught, unfortunately. I confessed to the crime and handed them over. I co-operated fully, if it's any consideration.
I don't think it's much of a consideration. Maybe it's just me, but it seems to me that if you had turned them over as soon as you sobered up, it would be easier to dismiss this as just a prank. After you are caught, cooperating is just in your best interest.

As others have said, your best bet is probably to try to avoid being asked about it. Not every school or employer asks. And if you can get your record expunged, it will be worth every penny.

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