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Eight years ago (I was 20), I pled guilty to driving while intoxicated and received a "nolle prosequi" on a charge of possession

Rockville Centre, NY |

...of marujuana.I have now applied for a NY teaching license. I have already been told that my application is being investigated. Can anyone tell me what happens next, and if it is possible that my application will be approved?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Your application will be reviewed by the Department of Education. Any plea to a UPM (Unlawful Possession of Marijuana) charge would not be a crime. UPM is a non-criminal charge designated as a "violation" in NY. If you pled to a Criminal Possession of Marijuana, that could constitute a Class "B" misdemeanor or higher, depending on quantity and whether or not it is alleged you possessed for purposes of sale to others. But I'm guessing it was a UPM as part of the DWI traffic stop.

    The DWI is an unclassified misdemeanor in NY, so you have a criminal record. A DWI conviction in and of itself should not prove fatal to your application, however. This was 8 years ago, I am assuming you've had no trouble since that time, and I am also assuming you have been forthright on all application materials.

    It is my opinion (and hope) that you will be fine. Good luck in your new career.


  2. Sadly, it is impossible to answer. Your application might very well be approved. This question would probably be better answered if it were posted in the section for employment law. Good luck.

    I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: howard@brooklynlaw.net. This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.


  3. I suggest following the advice of Attorney Simser. Best of luck.

    Jasen Nielsen


  4. First, it depends upon what type of possession, UPM vs. a misdemeanor quantity, which may or may not be seen as of equal severity by the Department of Education. As the prosecutor declined to prosecute, there should be no criminal conviction and it is not clear why it was not sealed, unless it was rendered outside of New York State. However, the DWI may or may not be a factor, as it is clearly a conviction per your facts.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.


  5. The difference between a conviction to a violation and a unclassified misdemeanor can greatly determine what happens next. What you need is a certificate of final disposition from the court so you can ascertain the charges and the conviction. Take that to a lawyer.

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