Living with 290: Inquiry about probation and being on the registry

Hello everyone, I had a question in regards to the registry. I understand that probation comes with a set of rules, depending on the PO assigned, can I ask what your personal experience was like when you started probation? I have heard some horror stories and was hoping some of you would be willing to share how the experience was/has been for you?

Secondly, can you tell me what being on the registry has been like? I understand that finding work is going to be really difficult, have you been evicted? Attacked? I just want to try to prepare myself and your advice would be truly appreciated.

Thank you!

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Regarding probation: It not only depends on your DPO, but the county also makes a big difference. Orange County is the worst. I was convicted in OC, but I immediately moved to San Francisco. By state law, the originating agency is required to transfer the entire case to the new county. I had very little contact with my DPO in SF. I usually saw her every 6-8 weeks. I always showed up early and the appointment lasted no more than 15 minutes. There was never a home visit. I did what was required and lived (and still live) a low profile. Since SF had the case, they were the authority to grant my early termination of probation, reduction to misdemeanor and expungement. I truly believe that I wouldn’t have had this same success if I stayed in OC.

As for everything else, I’m not on any public registry so my experience on 290 may be different than most. I am gainfully employed, and I have a nice apartment in an affluent area. However, I do know someone who is on the public registry, and I recently heard from him. He is doing very well working for the county as well as having his own side business. The point is, you can find personal success.

As for your personal life, trust is something that will need to be built. I don’t mean them trusting you, but you trusting them. I’ve learned people can be wolves in sheep’s clothing, and they can exploit your status. On the other hand, there are just as many empathetic people, too. You just need to be cautious. Good luck to you.

I second NPS with regards to county. My conviction originated in Los Angeles County and despite the DPO’s there having huge caseloads (my DPO only had SO cases) they were very strict and by the book. If I followed all her rules, I would no issues. Once formnal probation was granted, DPO did a home visit to verify residency but no interviews or anything. She had me meet her every 2-4 weeks and always asked how my personal life was, how work was, if anything changed, and if I had interactions with LEO’s. An travel out of county even for the day required a formal auth and I had to plan it weeks in advance.

Then I moved and txfer’ed case to Sonoma County in NorCal. Night and day. Although I expected (and my LA DPO cautioned) Sonoma DPO’s to be much more involved since they had small caseloads they were in fact much less involved. Same thing with follow the rules and have no problems but met them only every 6-8 weeks and interview was usually 5 min. I also went from a strict formal probation with a DPO for high risk cases to a revolving DPO for low risk (I am super low risk but since I was a new txfer they had me assigned to only open DPO who was a high risk person). For travel out of county I could do it same day I just had to leave message for DPO. For anything more than 24 hours I just had to call and get a pass. Also travel out of state for work was easy to approve. They also did one home visit. I did all 36 months and am now off.

Registry is another thing entirely. I am fully disclosed so anyone who searches website can see me. Im pretty sure you cannot be evicted for simply being on registry but your landlord may find another reason to do so if they find out. When I moved I specifically found a place that did not do background checks (they have to divulge this in the application) and also specifically said they do not restrict based on 290 but they do include the website info for leasees to search on their own. Work was hard but I ended up contacting an old employer who was willing to give me a chance. I was honest with her and it paid off. I am lucky though and I have heard from others in my counseling and therapy that it is dificult to find good work (more the felony conviction than the 290). 2 coworkers found out (and possibly more) because their wives got email alerts when new RO’s moved into the “area”. My approach with them and anyone else is to tell them the truth (my offense was internet related and i was suffering severe depression and suicidal at the time). Your approach may differ and should be tailored to your situation. One took it well the other’s wife threatened to tell everyone at work because they “needed” to know. Luckily the person quit and was on bad terms with employer and other coworkers so nothing came of it. My boss and I have an agreement that anyone who comes to her, she will tell them she is aware, that she feels there is no danger (there isnt) and to ask me if they have any questions. So far so good but it hangs over me like a constant cloud and threatens to rain on my life every day.

Thank god I have a wife and daughter who help me through it all. My worries now are about how my situation will impact her life. I am very careful to avoid situations where my status will come out but now with IML and once she starts school there will be times I just cannot be with her.

Good luck and feel free to ask if you have any questions and I will answer if I can.

Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your feedback!

I live just outside of SF and I will be sentenced in a federal court.

I have really been rather terrified about what I have heard happens with both probation and the registry.

Thank you for your input!

All I can say is to tread very carefully. I got probation, was moved from one probation officer to another for a period of time, only to end up with a probation officer who actually told me she thought I should have done prison time in my very first meeting with her. Within weeks, she collaborated with a district attorney investigator to bring a bogus second case against me.

Spent 5 yrs on LA county parole after a 6 year sentence in CA state.

All of the advise is great…but based on my experience, when a parolee is doing great on parole but is also aware of the law and on what they can’t and cannot do or makes you a target. I don’t know if it it was jealousy, the fact that I had a beautiful girlfriend, or supportive friends and family, or someplace nice to live but, or them being wary of their job security (yes I know these may sound like conspiracy theories) but I had the most problem with the parole agents themselves.

One of them planted evidence (a pornographic CD) into an envelope that I had intentionally left on my desktop with foreign currency. I was arrested for 30 days before we could go to the board (where parolees when for judgement at that time…now we go to a magistrate) When we challenged the evidence, neither the evidence or the arresting officer showed up so the “judge” dropped the case.

You also have to be aware of where you are, what you are doing, and who you are doing it with! Sorry but we are now social pariahs and we will continue to be until the laws change. Law enforcement will consider you a higher threat because of your arrest and the equal protection that you had been accustomed to will be adulterated. (this BTW applies to all 290s)

I pulled over near a bust stop (legally) to get something to eat and next thing I know someone is knocking on my window I lower my window a bit and a “chick” is asking me a question. Next thing I now police cars pull ahead of me and behind me with lights flashing. She was a prostitute. So during the stop the officers tell me that its no big deal, that they will even pull my truck around the corner and park it on a side street so that it will not be towed and that I should be released promptly. BAH!

The arrest report stated that they came upon my truck on the side street (yes where they moved my truck) and found me with a YOUNG LADY’S head in my lap. (assuming fellatio here) But here’s where it gets really weird! The YOUNG LADY, to begin with, was a guy, transsexual, and was put in an adjacent cell to me in the lockup. Since the facts did not jive with the “reports” the case was kicked out. Unfortunately for me, that constitutes “contact” with law enforcement and my PO would not let it go. Another 90 days in county jail wherein a nice “deputy” outed me as a 290 infront of gangbangers and as a result wound up doing my 30 days in medical with 13 stitches on my head, and other traumatized areas. I remember other deputies taking photos of my head but none offering to do anything about it.

Don’t get me wrong…I have a good life. I’m self employed, make decent money, have great friends and family…but even though I am done with parole I will not allow myself to be placed into a corner. The rest will happen and we ha no control over it.

PS I still read in some of these discussions that no many make a distinction between parole and probation or jail and prison…maybe someone should?

Have a great life and don’t let anyone keep you down but always…if you want compassion, practice compassion!

My experience has not been too bad. Classes are bothersome but not bad. I found a job easily through an employment agency and have been working for 6 months and even got a promotion after three. It’s menial work but it’s work nonetheless.