There’s No Time Like the Present
In Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th Century poem, Troilus and Criseyde, the author penned, “As tyme hem hurt, a tyme doth hem cure.” Though Chaucer was referring to matters of the heart, the frequently used adapted version of this phrase, “time heals all wounds,” pertains to so much more -which is perhaps why the theory that time is a miracle healer is still strongly debated. In most cases, time simply allows us to distance ourselves from a disastrous situation long enough to gain perspective, find a solution to the problem, or merely to forget in an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality that also offers a false sense of comfort. So, what wounds can be healed by time? Failure, defeat, rejection, and bad judgment, like breaking the law.
People Whose Past Reputations Were Wiped Clean by Time
Frank Abagnale – Conman, Forger, Impersonator
Frank Abagnale was a con man known for forging checks and was world-class impersonator. By the tender age of 16 years old, Abagnale was already impersonating an airline pilot, pediatrician, attorney, and a teaching assistant. In 1970, He was captured at the age of 21 in France after cashing $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in 26 different countries. Abagnale served 1 year in prison in France, 1 year of prison in Sweden, and 4 years in a federal prison in the United States. He was released on parole with the stipulation that he would help the FBI by training them to recognize fraud.
After release from his parole, Abagnale attempted many jobs, but was fired from them all after it was discovered that he was concealing his criminal history. It was not until Abagnale decided to be forthcoming about his criminal past that he was able to start a consulting company to help banks, law enforcement, and corporations protect themselves against fraud, legally using his talents and skilled eye for fraud to help society, rather than just to help himself. Frank was able to recover from his juvenile life of crime and has continued to help the FBI for the past 35 years.
Kevin Mitnick – Hacker
There are many conmen – forgers and impersonators alike – who followed and preceded Frank Abagnale’s trajectory from conman turned government aid. Now more so than not, conmen come in the form of hackers. While there are many notorious hackers who have gone from black hat hacking – hacking that involves breaking into someone else’s system for financial gain – to government employee, or at least are now working as white hat hackers – which legally diagnose security flaws. Kevin Mitnick is the most notable and notorious hacker of the 20th century.
Kevin Mitnick is considered the poster child of hackers for having committed multiple criminal cybercrimes. While on a two and a half year hacking spree Mitnick stole millions of dollars worth of corporate secrets from companies such as IBM and Motorola. He even hacked into the National Defense Warning System. This self-called “social engineer” was imprisoned twice for his offenses, but eventually turned his life around. Like Aganale, Mitnick harnessed the knowledge and skills that he once used to break the law, and put his expertise to good use by starting his own company as a Computer Security Consultant.
Time is of the Essence – Reasons to Expunge Your Criminal Record as Soon as You are Eligible
There are many people who have famously turned around a life of crime into a life of service or success. Though you may be unable to capitalize on your criminal mastermind by using your skills to become a consultant to law enforcement and private companies, over time you may also be able to turn your life around by expunging your criminal record. Unfortunately, even if you have changed for the better since being charged for your offense, your criminal record will not reflect that change until you have your offense expunged from your criminal record. An expungement will allow you to legally say that you were not convicted for the offense. Additionally, if you are ever asked about the offense, you are have the opportunity to acknowledge your history, but explain that the court of law granted your expungement, thus proving your rehabilitation since the offense occurred.