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Living with 290

Living with 290: Endless Sentence – But Hopeful.

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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Great story , I think we all feel the same way


I too have had a first time run in with the law and paid for a crappy Lawyer with no spine and took the plea. There is relief available though a certificate of rehabilitation for certain crimes. Call the Public Defenders office in your town/County and talk with them. They will tell you straight up if you have a chance. I have received a COR and relieved of the duty to register every year. No more embarrassment or ducking friends and such. It’s gonna take some work and over a year in appearances in court almost monthly for me, but… Read more »

Hi! Do public defenders cost a lot?
And can you explain the process that you went through to achieve the certificate of rehabilitation?

Janice and staff, Thank you for everything you do so unselfishly for everyone on the list and for American FREEDOM. Here is a summary of my story I thought I would share with you people on here. I hope it gives someone hope and helps even one person then it would have been worth spending the time writing it. First off I am a non violent non contact first time ex offender from an incident that occurred over a decade ago. I think a lot of people here can relate to that since I bet the majority of cases are… Read more »

“all can be lost at a moments notice. That is the burden all here share.”

Such a true statement. But not for everyone. But true for allot of us.

Just saw this post, I see you are strong. It is a good story. Thanks

I just wanted to make one statement about going to college. The beginning comment stated he was not allowed to be at the college for classes. I work with offenders in the Fresno area and the community college has never refused or denied me from going to classes or being on campus. I had to register with the college police, that’s all. I work with offenders who are in Coalinga state hospital and I design Release and Relapse Prevention Plans and mentor them on how to talk with the state evaluators in order to increase their chances of being released.… Read more »

Thanks for posting everyone; these comments empower me to continue thriving for a better life. I too wanted to add some comments. Mike R- don’t get discouraged even if people find out your status. You are doing something good for yourself which contributes to your own rehabilitation. Take this from someone who was at a community college and endured the most grueling and hideous media attack for something I had done 10 years ago. Sure, it was probably one of the worse experiences I have been through, but I fought back and didn’t give up. In fact, I did even… Read more »

@DR: We can’t be prevented from leaving, but we can be prevented by the country you want to visit from landing. I’ve heard lots of rumors and one or two stories, but Mexico, Canada, and the Philippines are a for sure no go, and most South/Central American destinations are out. RSOs do travel, but it’s a hit-and-miss. Best advice is call the embassy anonymously and straight up ask. 9 times out of ten it’s ‘up to the immigration officer’ if there is no federal policy in place that specifically says RSOs are not allowed. (Canada, Mexico, and the Philippines have… Read more »

Although a country may not have a blanket rule about not letting someone on one of the United State’s sex offender registries into their country, the US is sending a letter to the destination country saying that the traveler is likely to commit a crime in the destination country. That is what many people on this site have reported. I think getting an official notice from the US with that damning word “likely” is what tips the destination country’s customs official decision towards turning you around and sending you back. Just a guess.

And I believe that is where the lawsuit is! how could they possibly conclude that about me let alone slander me in such a way!

They’ve just become to use to being able to kick us around!

What if we drive into Mexico? I’m trying to find any context to that matter. And who do I need to notify if I am just going to drive or walk into Mexico for the day?

I recently returned from a great trip that took me through The Netherlands, Belgium and France. I experienced no problems whatsoever.

There are no reports of any problems with any country in Europe (outside of possibly the UK). Once inside the Schengen countries national borders no longer exist if one wanted to move around. There is more to do and see than a person can do in a lifetime.

This may be worthy of it’s own headline.

Justice Department will no longer use the words “felon” or “convict” to refer to people who have left prison/jail: Also mentioned in the article. Use of the word “Offender”.

Very interesting. So, I wonder what they will call the people on the registries who are also done serving their sentence?

I wanted to write someone and ask that very question, Timmr. Greta Van Susteren actually mentioned this during her Off-the-record segment at the end of her show a few days back. She was all for easing the pressure on Felons re-entering society. Everyone always mentions how they want to do the right thing for citizens of the U.S. until they find out you are registered. Then the stuttering begins. Registered Citizens are forgotten when they all talk about reforms. I contacted this guy here in Nevada about the class action lawsuit he’s filing for access to firearms after 5 years… Read more »

I am wondering how the courts are going to explain away the fact the government itself is here saying that keeping the label “offender” after time is served is really placing a burden on the person. It’s not merely the perception by the former offender as an “embarrassment”.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x