I did my time

I can unerstand if someone commited murder or some other terrible voilent crime, or are repeate offenders but, what about just a lack of good judgement when you were young and dumb? I went to jail twice for bad judgement…first time I was 16 and the at 18,since then nothing but I’ve been a good citizen,this conviction has hung around me forever.Some times it bothers me other times it dosen’t…but I did my time and have not been in trouble for over 30yrs what is wrong with this country people talk about getting a life I’m trying but this so called democratic country just won’t let me.I would never ever repeat history for a number of reasons…I work hard and stay out of trouble…hey come on take this scarlet letter off of me.I’m a good person.

Welcome to the Straight Dope, mrwizard. I’m going to move this thread to MPSIMS, since About This Message Board is for technical questions about the board.

So… what did you have bad judgement about?

Your OP is a bit confusing.

Are you complaining about -

1: That you are currently being oppressed in some active fashion for a 30 year old criminal offense? (i.e. that you are being denied jobs, opportunities etc.)


2: Just the overall social stigma of being a convicted criminal


3: There should be some statue of limitations and old convictions should be be taken off your record

My buddy and myself got drunk and broke into a boat didn’t steal a thing,drank some more and got caught,later I borrowed my friends car,but his parents pressed charges I was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle I received 5yrs and 18 months respectively…and for that I can’t vote

Most state’s have a process where you can petition to have your rights restored. You need to look into that. I’d search for you but don’t know what state you are in.

All the above plus, I can’t vote as I explaine to another member I was 16 my buddy was 15 we got drunk and broke into a boat drank some more and got caught we both got sentenced to 5yrs… later I took a friends car and his parents pressed charges and I was charged with un authorized use of a motor vehicle and got 18 months since then nothing WTF I’ve been a good person since then

Those seem like wildly inappropriate sentences for joyriding in a buddy’s vehicle, and a pair of drunk 18 year olds getting into an empty boat.

I get the impression there has to be some significant backstory you’re leaving out.

We both had long hair…and the boat wasn’t empty…it belonged to someone…when we got to the county jail it was oh we got some hippies here we need to cut that hair and make em look like real people…we had never been in trouble before this honest

I shudder to think where I’d be if things had gone microscopically different in my misspent youth. The closest/worst I came would have returned a ridiculously long sentence (RFK stadium; Grateful Dead show; caught with sizable quantities of three different non-narcotic drugs; I owe my life to an unknown security guard who let us go). Poor and unrepresented at the time, I would likely either still be in jail or just getting out. I think I’ll go outside and roll around in the grass for a few minutes.

… back.

It’s GD territory, but I think there might be a case to be made for certain crimes being automatically expunged from your record after a certain amount of time. Of course, whether this was one of those crimes or not I’m not objective enough to say.

I sometimes wonder what would happen if everyone was completely confronted with the entirety of their lives and the punishment they have gotten away with. Everyone would owe a lot of speeding tickets, that’s for sure.

Welcome to the boards. Look into that voting restoration petition thingy.

Nobody goes to jail for “having bad judgement”- you committed crimes. I’d have to know the full story before deciding whether the punishment was appropriate or not, but you need to acknowledge and own the fact that you are an ex-convict and that there are consequences to your actions. Sometimes those consequences last for the rest of your life. Your parents should have taught you that before the legal system had to.

That said, getting your rights back is apparently no biggie, at least in my state. I know someone that got out of prison only four years ago for multiple serious felonies, and already has his rights back, with the ability to buy guns and vote, which is really too bad as he’s a Republican.

Wait . . .

The boat was not empty when you broke into it? You mean, someone was there? And you continued to break in? And then what did you do?

Five years is a serious sentence for a sixteen year old, and it had nothing to do with your hair. It sounds to me like you committed felony burglary and perhaps held someone by force. Then got caught.

Look, mrwizard, redemption and forgiveness are always available, but you have to be honest about the wrongs you committed, and you have to show sincere remorse.

Leaving out important details and blaming it on law enforcement officials not liking you because you had long hair means that you’re not being honest, you aren’t sincerely remorseful, and you don’t yet deserve forgiveness.

Own up to what you did, stop blaming other people, and we’ll talk.

Hey I’m 58 years old and have paid my dues as they say,why is it that your friend can do these things and I can’t?..and if you want the whole story here it is…this happened in fla…we got pretty messed up and found our way to this marina, got aboard this nice boat and found thier booze and drank some more and were caught on the boat. I don’t know who owned this boat but the original sentence was, check this out, 6months to 15 years how about them apples, if it wasn’t for my friends parents this is what we would have gotten,but,instead we got 6months to 5years for breaking into a boat!!!..oh before I get off track… you don’t have to preach to me and remind me what I am, I have I have the gov remind me everytime I want to vote or buy a rifle, so I can go hunting I’ve got to borrow one from my bud if your friend can buy a weapon then he is not by a long shot buying it legally,I went to walmart with my son who is 35 and when they ran my social the FBI said no way my… son thought that this was just crazy…and the car deal… went down like this. I might have borrowed or in your mind stole the car but it came down to the parents pressing charges all because my friend was a pu**y and was’t supposed to lend his car to anyone so he told the police I took it without his permisson so there’s 18 months I’ve been clean ever since…so, don’t tell me about you did the crime except the" tag" I have and I’m not a smug repug. I think 30 years is long enough don’t you… you sound to me like your a staunch supporter for the type of goverment that most people don’t subcribe to these days…thanks for your support…but no thanks. I make a hundred grand a year welding, what if Ididn’t pay my taxes because I’m not really a citizen, remember I have a felony conviction I have no civil rights would stand behind me or them? Bad guys are the ones that do it over and over again. NOT ME!!!

My friend is not buying his guns illegally. He has a statement saying this his rights have been restored and he passes the background check by legit gun dealers. Has a voter registration card. Have you researched that option? It is a process, with paperwork and everything, that you have to go through to get your rights restored.

I may have been obtoose in my question to you but what state do you currently reside in MRWIZARD?

First off I would like to say that the boat had “no” people living on it second Texas for now…I hope to be moving back to montana third I have tried to get a pardon or even get my record expunged my last letter was to the president its been a few months since I wrote to him and the gov of fl still no answer have your friend write and tell me how he did it

Egads! This new math is failing me again!

So at age 16, you receive a 5 year sentence but you get out two years later at age 18 (time off for good behavior?) to commit another crime for which you receive 18 months. If you received any time off for that crime, you could still be 18 or maybe 19 years old when you got out. You’re now 58 years old. You say you’ve been clean for over 30 years, but that’s almost a 40 year gap between. Did you do something else in the intervening 10 years? This is so confusing! :dubious:

That said, you now have a good job at 58 years old making $100K a year despite your felony convictions, and your biggest issue is that you can’t vote and that you have to borrow a rifle when you go hunting. I’m sure many people would be envious of your situation.

Have you taken a look here which says, in part,

More information/forms for FL is available at the Clemency page.

I don’t work or live in the state of Florida, but those pages seem to indicate that there is an appeals process.

Isn’t it a requirement of having voting rights to be able to create paragraphs, to punctuate sentences, and to capitalize? If not, shouldn’t it be?