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IowaStreet

In Desperate Need Of Assistance

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When I was a youth, over 20 years ago, I got into some trouble and was sentence to 3 years probation and community service under the Youth Act.  Three weeks before I was to be released from probation, I got into some more trouble, that is by accident.  I was robbed and my purse was stolen.  My birth certificate and social security card was in my purse when I was robbed.  I didn't have enough money to send to Mississippi to obtain a copy of my birth certificate.  A neighbor of mine gave me a social security card of her cousin that was strung out on drugs and paid the $20 for a duplicate ID in her cousin's name.  Young, stupid, and dumb I got an ID in her cousin's name because I needed to find a job quickly since I was just robbed and my rent was due shortly thereafter.  

 

Three weeks before I was be released from probation, I was arrested for a stolen check.  The check was given to me by an ex-boyfriend that owed me money.  When I went to court, the person who owned the check told the court she did not want to press charges because she knew her brother gave me the check.  She said in-fact, she knew when he stoled them from her and how many he took.  The state of Virginia decided to press charges anyway and sentence me to 12 months in jail.  The judge said he needed to make an example of me.  All of this took place well over 20 years ago and I am still paying for it now.  I tried to obtain a Secret security clearance and was denied.  I was told it was because I have a felony.  The charge I received for the three years probation was in Federal court, although, while in court the judge said that it was not a felony and should not have been heard in that court, but still was.

 

I have tried so many times to get this charge removed from my record, but was unsuccessful.  Please help!  Is there anything I can do?

 

 

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When it comes to working for the government and especially seeking a security clearance, nothing is hidden.  Federal law doesn't allow for the sealing or expunging of convictions and even if it did, the government would still have the information.  The only way to perhaps obtain some relief would be to seek a presidential pardon....given that you also have a subsequent state conviction, it's unknown how well that will received.  You need to consult local counsel. 

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If all your charges are State you can check the laws for a pardon.  The President can only pardon federal prisoners.  The matter will not be erased.  Unless you can prove to the governor that you were innocent it is a moot point.

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Technically speaking, like an expungement, a pardon doesn't make it as though the acts never occurred, esp. as it relates to government jobs (in the internet age, expungements are all but officially meaningless, even where expungement doesn't have a waiting period of years -- once dozens or hundreds of databases suck up that public record and disseminate, no way to get it all deleted).  At any rate, a clearance will depend on character and judgment issues.  You repeatedly demonstrated that you have problems in that regard, and I'm quite surprised someone would even suggest that there was a point to seeking even so little as a secret clearance.

 

Since you mentioned the (irrelevant detail) when it wasn't necessary to ask the question, I'll feel free to comment. First you mention identity theft, and then (I guess cashing a stolen) check, both "three weeks before end of probation".  You also don't mention for what you were originally on probation.

 

You didn't get in trouble again "by accident" when it came to the check or the SS card, and it doesn't matter whether the owner of the bank account didn't want to press charges against her brother or you.  You knew it wasn't his bank account and cannot pretend that he couldn't have cashed a check or asked his sister to give him cash if it was on the up and up.   :)  

 

I also don't know that I buy that you needed to produce a birth certificate or SS card before someone would allow you to start work 20 years ago.

 

"The state of Virginia decided to press charges anyway and sentence me to 12 months in jail. The judge said he needed to make an example of me."

I know it will sound facile, but you were free to appeal, seek reconsideration of the decision/sentence, etc.  You already had a criminal record. 

 

I suspect the felony conviction is not the ONLY reason you wouldn't be given a secret clearance (at least I hope it isn't). 

 

"The charge I received for the three years probation was in Federal court..."

I think you men conviction, possibly with a suspended sentence. You don't explain why you didn't take steps to seek review of what occurred there, and we cannot know if there's a viable path to seek correction of record if it in fact wasn't a federal felony charge.

 

"I have tried so many times to get this charge removed from my record, but was unsuccessful. "

It isn't a "charge"; it's evidently a conviction.  I don't know how many times is "many" and you don't share what the attempts entailed.  I'd like to think at some point you've discussed with a criminal attorney with federal appellate experience.

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