I am new to the site, did not know it existed. I am a 290 registrant, with no options for relief but a Governor’s Pardon. My case was non-violent. I got my case in 1998, was my first experience with law enforcement. Not knowing the consequences I plead no contest to my charge. I acted stupidly and thought this was the “honorable” thing to do. I ended up with doing almost 7 years in prison. Wasn’t until I paroled that I found I would be a life time registrant.
I am blessed with a great family which knew the situation and supported me unconditionally, lost some friends, but found who the true ones where and have them to this day. I have read some of the stories here, and really feel for those who are not as lucky as I have been. Just wanted to share the blessing I have had despite my mistake and the fact this will hang over my head forever.
When I was released I found work, a place to stay and enrolled in an online college program (you all know we cant go on campuses). I spent seven years and achieved a B.S and M.B.A. During this time I worked for a company for seven years and made it to lower mgmt. I left this company when a offer that doubled my salary came in. This is the struggle: even though I have always not hid my felony, companies will hire you and then fire you when they “discover” your felony (which is on the application). I lost a good position and found myself out of work. I hunted down a temp job 45 days later, which has lead to my present job. I work for a great company and make a really good living.
During this time I met my wife and was accepted into her family with open arms. Was very difficult meeting the prospective in-laws and making them aware of my situation. My father – in -law is an active county Sheriff. They are awesome! I am truly blessed to have such a great family by marriage. My wife and I have just celebrated our 9 year anniversary.
I am writing this because I have to register every year and be humiliated as I am treated like crap at the local police office. I constantly have the weight of being “found out” by co-workers and new friends. I have to live the the limits my prior actions impose on me and my family. However, I have found if you concentrate on what can be done in your life, not what you can’t have, things can work out well. Also, I have found refusing to explain yourself gets better reaction than trying to “explain” the situation where you made a lapse in judgement. I refuse to re-litigate my case with anyone. I tell people that, that part of my life is over, they can work with the person they see today, or worry about a past person which no longer exist. After all it is what we do, not what we say that matters.
I desire to do what I can to help those in this group, but like many of you fear the attention that can come from putting yourself out there. I have been successful, but understand because of the SO badge, all can be lost at a moments notice. That is the burden all here share.
Hang in there all.
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