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Hey guys have a question about reporting DUI/DWI - would love your advice/experience with this
If convicted of a DWI in the state of Massachusetts (a misdemeanor) (sentence was: license revoked for 1 year and attending a youth alcohol program because underage), must I report this when asked in application forms?
The question is asked in different ways such as "If you have ever been convicted of, or pled guilty or no contest to any felony or misdemeanor (excluding minor traffic violations) please report below" or "Please explain any criminal conviction, criminal charges sustained against you in a juvenile proceeding, and/or court-supervised probation."
But HBS's app says that "Under Massachusetts law, you may exclude from your answer any first convictions for the misdemeanors of drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations..." - Would it mean I am able to exclude my DWI from my answer to this question in any state because the DWI occurred in Massachusetts? OR does it mean that I can exclude the DWI ONLY when answering this question in the state of Massachusetts?
I would greatly appreciate any help on this issue. Thank you in advance greatly.
I would say you have to report it. A DWI isn't drunkenness, it's drunk driving. The first time offense of drunkenness they reference would be offenses such as public intoxication or disorderly conduct.
I don't think a DWI fits the list of offenses that you can exclude. If it were me, I would address the DWI in the optional essay. Nothing to in-depth, just a few sentences (maybe 1 paragraph max) to lay the facts out on the table and explain briefly what you've learned from it and how you've changed.
If they find out about the DWI through a background check, and you didn't mention it in your application, it's going to look really bad!
Report but yes - you can make it a strength leveraging the optional essay. (e.g. lessons learned; hard things I have gone through; what made me a better person/leader/citizen, how something silly as this (at that time you thought it was silly but not any more) is haunting me through the rest of my life...) it could make a powerful statement but don't exaggerate. If it did not have any of those effects, don't claim them.
I don't believe you have to report it, it is a misdemeanor and first conviction of drunkeness. Here is the state law http://www.mass.gov/mcad/crimrec.html. It is illegal for an employer or school to request this information. Drunk driving would be included in the term drunkeness, as it means any misdemeanor as a result of being above the alcohol level.
Listen, we don't need to be perfect applicants... I think many people miss this. Not everyone at 21 years old knows that in 5 years they are going to apply to Columbia (CBS PLUG YA BABY!). With that being said, I would not hide from it as if it pops up on your background check then you'll be explaining why you didn't include it potentially. It's better to address that you lacked the maturity and insight and made a bad decision... then perhaps leverage this to include... I made a real poor choice in decision and through my mistake have come to value alcohol awareness and support SADD or something. Donations/Time volunteering will also be leveraged in EC's by doing this