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CASPA Advice on New Misdemeanor Question

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I am applying this cycle and just noticed the phrasing for the misdemeanor changed from last cycle. A few years ago I was charged for a misdemeanor but the charge never went to court and I was never convicted; shortly after the charge was expunged from my record. I understand how this may appear and cannot explain in words how much I regret this, but this does not reflect my current morals or define who I am as a person.

This rewording terrifies me because last year the application clearly asked if I had ever been convicted, to which I could confidently answer no.

The current question asks:
Have you ever plead guilty or no contest to a misdemeanor criminal offense, or been found guilty by a court of such a criminal offense? Yes or No

Since the charge did not go to court I never plead guilty and was never found guilty. I am worried about misinterpreting the question and answering incorrectly. Any advice on the correct way to address this would be greatly appreciated. I am also wondering if anyone has any suggestion on whether or not to mention this charge somehow in my application. Last year there was an area to explain any issues but it appears to have been removed upon entry of the COVID-19 essay. I was planning on mentioning the charge there despite it being expunged since my biggest fear is not appearing transparent about my past.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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I agree the new wording is hard to interpret; I'd almost advise asking PAEA as they dictate changes to the CASPA app. Looks like they have a student email separate from the CASPA info (the CASPA email will just get you the CASPA folks who can't really tell you how to interpret a legal question like this).


Short of that, it might be worth asking your schools if you are really worried about it, but I can understand that is likely not how you wanted to explain it to them.

Edited by Allegro
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