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People Who Have Turned Their Criminals Records into Assetts

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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.

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Benefits of Expunging a Drug Charge in Philadelphia

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If you have a drug charge on your criminal record in Philadelphia, you may be eligible to have the charge expunged. While you may feel that the drug charge is in your past and has no bearing on the person that you have become since your drug charge, others may not see having a drug charge on your criminal record the same way. Future employers and landlords are especially weary of accepting applications form people with a drug charge on their criminal record. If your drug charge is eligible to be expunged from your record, there is no need to continue to be viewed by others as an offender or drug abuser.

Why you Should Expunge your Drug Charge

Expunging your Philadelphia drug charge from your criminal record may be the first step toward advancing your career, particularly if you wish to work in one of the many industries that will not employ former drug offenders. If you hope to one day work with children, in the medical field, or as an officer of the peace, having a drug record will most likely prevent you from finding employment in your field of interest. While some applicants may be given the opportunity to defend their individual drug charge by explaining the details of the drug charge, most former drug offenders are not given the luxury of an interview. There are also many places that will not accept applications from individuals who have an offense on their record, particularly a drug charge.

How to Clear your Drug Charge from your Record

While you may have remained clean and sober since your conviction, and have attended Narcotics Anonymous and/or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, getting your drug record cleared is generally the only way to prevent future employers and landlords from discriminating against your resume. If you have dedicated yourself to living a clean and healthy lifestyle, then you deserve a fresh start in life and should not be held back by a drug charge that occurred long ago. For more information about substance abuse facilities in your area, visit the following website http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.

By clearing your drug record, your drug charge will be removed from most background checks for employment and housing, which may further your chances of getting a career in your desired field. More importantly, expunging your Philadelphia drug charge will also enable you to tell family and friends that you have not been convicted of a drug charge, relieving you of the stigma of being associated with a drug charge.

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Benefits of Expungement in Pennsylvania

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If you have a criminal record in Pennsylvania, your chances of acquiring quality employment and housing may be significantly hindered. The economy has created an incredibly competitive workforce leaving many people without a job or place to live. With more than 80 percent of employers and landlords running background checks, it is vital that you expunge your Pennsylvania criminal record. Expunging your record may help you to find better employment, housing, qualify for financial loans, and receive a professional certificate.

In Pennsylvania, there are five types of expungements:

  1. Summary Offense Expungement
  2. ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition) Expungement
  3. Arrest Record Expungement
  4. Adult Record Expungement
  5. Juvenile Record Expungement

What Type of Expungement are you Eligible for?

Make sure that you know which type of expungement you are eligible to receive before filing the petition for your expungement with the court. You can take a free Pennsylvania expungement test at RecordGone.com to see if you are eligible for expungement. If your offense was a summary offense (minor offenses such as underage drinking, highway obstruction, and retail theft), you may be eligible to expunge your criminal record. If you successfully completed ARD, you may be eligible for ARD expungement. At this time, Pennsylvania does not offer felony or misdemeanor reduction. If you were convicted of an adult misdemeanor or felony and did not serve ARD as part of your sentence, then you may be eligible for an adult record expungement if you are over 70 years old and have not been arrested or prosecuted of an offense for more than 10 years following your release from confinement or supervision. For more information about expungements, visit wikipedia.org/wiki/Record_sealing. For a Pennsylvania expungement form, click here for the PDF.

If you are still on probation and would like to expunge your record sooner, you may be eligible for a probation termination. By terminating your probation early, you may start the expungement process sooner and move on with your personal and professional life. If you have completed half of your probation, your chances of having your probation terminated are significantly increased. In addition, you must have complied with all terms of probation by attending court ordered classes and have paid all fines owed to the court.

While you always have the option to file for an expungement on your own, it is highly advisable to seek professional representation. An attorney will be able to conduct research for you, looking up all relevant data pertaining to your case, including researching previous cases – if applicable. When choosing an attorney, be sure to verify their success rate with expungements and check their Better Business Bureau rating. For help on picking an attorney read our guide to choosing an expungement attorney.

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What is a Conviction in Pennsylvania?

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In Pennsylvania, a conviction is the result of a criminal trial in which the defendant has been found guilty of a crime. In Pennsylvania, having a conviction may be the difference between being eligible, or ineligible, for an expungement, depending on the offense. If you were arrested for a crime, but not convicted of the crime for which you were arrested, then you may be eligible for an arrest record expungement. If you were convicted as an adult for a summary offense, or were convicted and successfully completed ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition), you may be eligible to have your conviction expunged from your criminal record.

In Pennsylvania, there are a few ways in which a person can be convicted of a crime. An offender can be convicted of a crime by deciding to plea guilty or nolo contendere. In pleading guilty, the defendant accepts responsibility for the offense that he or she was accused of committing. In pleading nolo contendere, no contest, the defendant neither accepts nor denies guilt for the crime for which he or she is accused. Such a plea allows the judge to determine the defendant’s guilt and consequent conviction. If the defendant wishes to fight the charges for which he or she has been accused, then a judge or jury will determine the verdict of their case. If the defendant is found guilty, then the presiding judge will determine his or her conviction and sentencing.

Once the defendant is convicted for his or her adult Pennsylvania offense, he or she will either be convicted of a summary offense or an adult conviction. If the offense was not a summary offense and the defendant did not receive ARD as part of their sentencing, then the accused must wait until he or she turns 70 years of age and cannot have been arrested or persecuted for a crime for the ten years following the release from confinement or supervision, or the defendant must have been dead for three years to be considered for eligibility for an expungement.

By expunging your Pennsylvania conviction, you are removing any occurrence of an arrest or conviction from your criminal record. As such, you can legally say that you were not convicted of a crime. Expunging your conviction may help you to pass most background checks for employment and housing, which may help you to find a quality job. To begin searching for jobs in your area, visit tips for ex-felons searching for jobs. It is from a nevada based expungement site, but the tips can be applied in any state.

If you have had trouble in the past trying to get your record cleared, these new Pennsylvania law changes could mean that you are now eligible to get your record expunged.

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Expungement Bill Passed by Pennsylvania State Senate Committee

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Posted on June 17, 2013
Decorative Scales of Justice in the CourtroomThe Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee passed expungement Senate Bill 391 on June 17, 2013. SB 391, sponsored by Tim Solobay, the Senator of Pennsylvania, amended Pennsylvania’s preexisting expungement law so that qualified offenders with low-level misdemeanor convictions can expunge their conviction after proving that they are rehabilitated and by satisfying the necessary waiting period.

The current law does not allow offenders under 70 years old to expunge their Pennsylvania misdemeanor, regardless of how much time has passed since their misdemeanor conviction. In addition, the offender must wait until he or she is over 70 year of age and cannot have been convicted of an offense in over 5 years. Otherwise, the offender must wait until he or she has been dead for over three years.

While a posthumous misdemeanor expungement may exonerate the former offender, the absolution does not change the quality of life for the departed and does nothing for society. According to RecordGone.com expungement attorney Jenna Thorne, “this bill provides needed relief for many deserving people. It will also benefit the citizens of Pennsylvania, because the new law will help to reduce recidivism rates by allowing more former offenders to secure gainful employment and support themselves.”

Expungement for those with Second or Third Degree Misdemeanors

SB 391 will allow offenders who have second or third degree misdemeanors to apply for an expungement if he or she has not committed another offense within the given timeframe. Second-degree offenders must wait seven years to petition for an expungement, and third-degree offenders must wait ten years before petitioning.

Senator Solobay stresses the necessity for expungement reform stating that “this bill recognizes genuine efforts at rehabilitation; it makes sense for our justice system and it makes sense for taxpayers.” By allowing rehabilitated offenders the opportunity to expunge their misdemeanors from their criminal record, crime rates will reduce and unemployment will lower significantly.

SB 391 will enable former offenders to become self-reliable and contribute to society, rather than being forced into a continuous cycle of dependence as a result of being labeled a criminal, which will benefit both former offenders and citizens of Pennsylvania.

To find out more, read our previous article about senate bill 391.

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Pennsylvania Voting Rights

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There are certain factors about your case that will determine if you are in possession of your right to vote. Below you will find a detailed description of these factors for voting rights in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, a person can register to vote once released from incarceration.

However, you do lose your right to serve on a jury if you have ever been convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year of prison. This right can only be restored through a Governor’s Pardon.

You can also lose your right to hold public office if you have been convicted of embezzlement of public money, bribery, perjury, or “other infamous crimes”. This too can only be restored by a Governor’s Pardon.

If you are interested in learning more about how to apply for a Pardon, visit Pardon411.com today.

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