About to graduate and 10+ year misdemeanor haunt

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    Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I was arrested 13 years ago for smoking marijuana in public. The public lawyer told me that my record would be expunged once I completed two days of community service and finished a year of probation. In my immaturity (and frankly, fear), I just accepted that and never checked up on whether my record truly got expunged.

    I'm graduating from a BSN program this upcoming May. This misdemeanor has never been an issue for me on job apps, and I have had several background/fingerprint checks throughout these years through various volunteer gigs, and of course, nursing school and clinical rotations. Nothing ever came up. I even admitted to several nursing programs I applied to that I had gotten arrested, and I got into all of them. But little did I realize that I'd have to be facing the BON with all of this.

    It's been 13 years since my arrest and my life is, I'm happy to say, infinitely different. One thing I'm confused about is what to provide regarding documentation of rehabilitation. As I said, I did the two days of community service, I voluntarily went to an inpatient drug rehab for a month, and I did join some 12-step programs. But that was ... 10 to 13 years ago. I could call up the drug rehab and ask them to provide proof that I was there, but I also relocated three times so my time in 12-step programs were brief, and I can't remember the names of my temporary sponsors.

    Do you think providing proof of my more recent life--say, within the past 7 years--would suffice? I am going to call the California BON and ask them more details, but I thought I'd ask and see if anyone with this experience of having to provide proof could give me some insight. Thank you very much.
  2. 2 Comments so far...

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    Not sure if BON is exactly the same regarding documentation requirements, but I just had to resubmit additional documents to the BVNPT for my LVN application and they required certified court documents and certified police reports, which neither were available to me since it was so long ago, the courts purged all closed cases after 7 years if you comply with terms and the police department does not keep any record of citations, only arrests. I then still had to provide certified letters from the correct police department and courthouse stating that they had searched their records and were not able to locate any case information involving my DOB, License Number, or case number listed on my RAP sheet. The courthouse was fine with providing documentation, but it took 3 in person visits and 15 phone calls before I was able to speak with someone in the records and archive department who knew what I was requesting and had to tell me exactly what to tell the clerk at the police station to obtain the correct document because they could not do it over the phone.

    As far as Rehabilitation, if you can contact the place where you did your voluntary inpatient that would be great to get documentation from them. You also want to send in a letter written and signed by you with accurate details of the incident and how your life is now and has been for how ever many years since the incident. You can also submit character reference letters with your application whether it be previous employers, sponsors, or professors. I know I am rambling on now, sorry. Just trying to help because my search for documents and what to submit was a long drawn out process and I wish someone would have given me some details. I paid an extra $20 or so to get a my own copy of my livescan DOJ background which helped me know which case numbers and dates to look for when going to the court house. Good Luck!
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    3 in-person visits and 15 phone calls? Yikes! I got arrested in NYC and don't live there anymore. I did manage to contact someone in the lower court and they told me to mail in $10 and a request for a certified deposition. I mailed it with a proof of receipt and it's already been over a week and I haven't received the proof of receipt. Something tells me I will have to go to NYC and take care of this. I am not too happy about this.

    All in all, how long did it take to get everything done? I've already been working on this for a month and I'm graduating in May.

    Thank you!


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