I was charged with 2 counts of burglary and one count of theft about a month after I turned 18 for taking scrap metal from an abandoned house. I was arrested but never convicted, and underwent PTI to have my record expunged. However, my arrest record remains and third-party websites have gotten access to my arrest information. A simple google search of my name now reveals this information. I am currently in college and plan to apply to medical school afterwards and become a surgeon, would this be possible with my current situation?

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    Consult a lawyer to get your arrest record sealed (most likely this is possible). Even if that's not possible most laws prohibit employers from refusing to hire just due to arrest records, it is actually illegal to ask a potential employee if you have ever been arrested, the question they may ask is if you've ever plead guilty or been convicted of a crime (they can also ask if there are current criminal cases against you). The question you are asking is highly a case by case question with which you need actual legal advice, which this is not.
    – Viktor
    Dec 30, 2015 at 16:16
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    @Viktor Finding employment is not the only thing in which an arrest record might represent an obstacle. Surgeons also have to be licensed and board certified. George will also want to look into the licensing requirements of his state (and perhaps of several other states) and so on.
    – phoog
    Dec 30, 2015 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


While the decision ultimately comes down to the licensing officials of a state regulatory board, it would be very unusual for a state regulatory board to prevent you from obtaining a license based upon arrests that did not result in a conviction.

It might even be unconstitutional for them to do so, because it would effectively be a governmental punishment for a crime for which you are presumed innocent.

The fact that the arrests would be roughly eight years old at the time you would be applying for a license would likely diminish their relevance.

You might be asked to explain any arrest in your licensing application, but an explanation that made clear that the arrests did not result in a conviction ought to be adequate.

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