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I decided not to fight and advice the same to anyone else

Criminal   (7,892 Views 13 Comments)
by alexiscc alexiscc (Member) Member

1,268 Profile Views; 21 Posts

I have an old misdemeanor battery conviction (let's just say the "battered" party was a huge, pumped-on on steroids male 3 times bigger than me, who assaulted and grabbed me leaving giant bruises--and I spit on his sleeve for that I got battery charge. That person just happened to have the right buddies). They only got me to plea no contest because public defender didn't care and wanted to quickly be done, and promised "full dismissal" if I accept the deal and plea no contest. But California "dismissal" is nothing... it stays on record forever.

I decided not to fight and try to get nursing or occupational therapist degree, even though this would have been my dream....I see people posting even with felony backgrounds and being advised to keep fighting and find school that accepts them. Well, if someone already got a degree and especially is tied by student loans, surely they better fight. But otherwise, I think an advice to "pursue your dream" is very dangerous and worthless. Nobody in this world cares about "your passion for nursing"--you get branded as a criminal for life and since that moment you get a conviction, it begins to define you, if you're in certain occupation.

I believe one should NOT fight and try to pursue school in nursing with background problems.

So, far, laws had been only tightening and the means to check backgrounds (electronic means) had been getting more perfected. Databases grow and grow to accumulate every minor offense, to make it visible to everyone.

Should we expect laws to relax? NO. The economy will not be recovering--anyone with brains had already figured it out; on a long run, economy will be going downhill and competition for jobs will be fierce--do you think people with criminal backgrounds will be given more chances in medicine? No, not really. Quite the opposite. Also, I expect the state rules to become more strict. It will make sense for them, as with economic problems and no money to fund healthcare, the competition for these jobs will be high and there will be no shortage. Even if there's shortage--they can always import foreign nurses, that's what they had been doing. Some states have more relaxed rules right now, but I fully expect them to catch up with the rest; this had been general tendency with all states.

Even if you eventually get a job... you'll have to live in fear of being extra scrutinized or even accused of things, because they know of your background; will possibly expect to be the first one to be to laid off, etc. Plus, the need to expose your past to strangers all the time and explain that you're not an elephant, while it's you who's often the victim in these "crimes", even though you got convicted. Always being looked down by "goody toe" ones who think they're better than you because they have no record, being put down, humiliated, having your dirty laundry exposed every time, denied--this truly is poison to life. That's why I think people shouldn't make a reckless decision to invest years of life into school and end up in debt they likely can not pay off.

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235 Posts; 4,162 Profile Views

I agree with some of what you are saying. But I think what really needs to change are the BON's. They need to post clearly on their websites what offenses will keep someone from getting a license.

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104 Posts; 3,486 Profile Views

Of course, you are a 100% right. It is senseless-- useless-- to fight as an individual.

However..... if everyone of us 65,000,000 who cannot find work due to minor criminal records would unite, I am sure some kind of legal action could be pursued.

The 2010 Census, which BTW would not employ you with any kind of record, found that 65,000,000 people were "unemployable" due to minor criminal records.

Now... I think even if you are a Republican, you can see that this ain't right. LOL

Only in America would waste of life of this magnitude be tolerated.

I would like to posit the notion that if society feels the criminal has not paid his/her debt, which evidently is the case, seeing as how finding employment is impossible, then society should incarcerate everyone with a misdemeanor on up. This way, we are off the streets and, for our part, will have access to free healthcare. Whatcha think?

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21 Posts; 1,268 Profile Views

I agree with some of what you are saying. But I think what really needs to change are the BON's. They need to post clearly on their websites what offenses will keep someone from getting a license.

The problem is not the license... I know I could get a license, say, in FL, without trouble with that misdemeanor. The problem is getting a job... Officially, it's legal everywhere for a nursing home to deny employment to a person with a felony; off the books, unofficially, the same rule applies to misdemeanors, with any medical facility. There's too much fear of lawsuits.

I looked at one medical publication recently, and they recommended that if a medical office hires any administrative (!) personnel that has any conviction to...inform *coworkers and patients that a person has conviction and give them option not to deal with that person*. Sounds like lynching, no? Like making someone wearing big scarlet A? Imagine working in such conditions. This is like hazing and I imagine could drove a person to suicide. This should be illegal.

Not only BONs would have to change, the employment laws as well. They'd need to establish a rule after how many years people can not be asked about certain convictions. It used to be that if you moved to another county and didn't list your old county address... no one would find out about minor misdemeanor convictions--moreover, courthouses would destroy misdemeanor records after 5 years (at least in Los Angeles). Now, it all goes to Federally maintained electronic criminal record tied to fingerprints--and misdemeanors and felonies stay on forever, even the slightest offence. Even just an arrest without conviction is visible, so if person was innocent--it doesn't matter, their arrest will pop up with every fingerprinting.

I don't see the laws changing to protect people... It's usually the minorities who're most affected and they don't have upper hand. Nobody cares because unemployment is high and others are only glad to have people removed from the candidate pool. Well, this attitude of society WILL back fire on everyone... just see what's happening in TX now with Group One. Medical personnell get permanent bans from employment for any little disagreement with a supervisor or for quitting job, being put in central database as "offenders" and permanently blacklisted... So, wait, Big Brother times are just starting, not even close to what it'll be in the future.... My prediction it will take at least 10-15 years for Americans to wake up and fight back for their privacy and dignity.

I went to software engineering field... was hired recently--no problems because of my misdemeanor, but they still did background check, even for that software position, though it had nothing to do with money handling or patients.

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21 Posts; 1,268 Profile Views

Of course, you are a 100% right. It is senseless-- useless-- to fight as an individual.

However..... if everyone of us 65,000,000 who cannot find work due to minor criminal records would unite, I am sure some kind of legal action could be pursued.

The 2010 Census, which BTW would not employ you with any kind of record, found that 65,000,000 people were "unemployable" due to minor criminal records.

Now... I think even if you are a Republican, you can see that this ain't right. LOL

Only in America would waste of life of this magnitude be tolerated.

I would like to posit the notion that if society feels the criminal has not paid his/her debt, which evidently is the case, seeing as how finding employment is impossible, then society should incarcerate everyone with a misdemeanor on up. This way, we are off the streets and, for our part, will have access to free healthcare. Whatcha think?

What I think is that with further economic decline pending, it's not an unrealistic scenario that people will be losing more and more rights every month, rather than gaining them. My post was not about legal fight on a large scale, to change the laws, but about a personal choice to go to school and borrow student loans.

I think this is quite imaginable, in the future, to see larger amounts of people incarcerated and used for slave labor, actually, in private jails...

Also, keeping people's minor criminal records permanently available for employers--this is the way to force more people into economic slavery/low wages/undesirable occupations--a profitable thing... this is essentially a form of illegal incarceration, keeping someone in financial/economic trap, long after they're done with legal system.

I read your posts about not being able to find employment in local town with a minor misdemeanor... sounds like you'd do better moving to a bigger town, as I think in big cities small criminal records wouldn't matter that much for non-medical employment. Here, in LA, a lot of people have records....

Personally, I went to school for technical occupation, as employers don't care for your records in these professions, as there's no need to deal with money or customers.

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104 Posts; 3,486 Profile Views

I like the reference to the scarlet letter, alexiscc.

You seem super intelligent, and your posts have been a godsend to me in that, for a moment, I thought I was going crazy. LOL

You've done your homework. I did quite a bit, too. I consulted many attorneys on this matter, and was finally referred to a monster attorney in Indianapolis. She told me that it has gotten so bad, that employers look at misdemeanors in the same light as a felony. They are virtually the same.

Here, nursing homes hand you a list of what they will not accept. Of course, a 10-year-old misdemeanor isn't on there; but, you are correct that they will not hire you because they are scared of law suits.

I also agree 100% with your opinion about working conditions if you are hired with a criminal record as a nurse. My classmates job hop like crazy because demand here is high; however, I know if I got hired as a nurse they would know I have nowhere to go. It is like a relationship. It is very unhealthy to be in a relationship where you are so disposable.

The B.O.N. is the least of anyone's problems.

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235 Posts; 4,162 Profile Views

I totally agree with you. Things need to change. I see the importance of protecting the public, but I think there needs to be a time limit on how long convictions can count against us, especially nonviolent misdemeanors. Everyone talks about getting expungements, but there are a lot of states, including mine, that don't allow expungements, no matter how much time has passed. I once lost a waitressing job because of a background check. If a person can't even get a job waiting tables, then that's really bad.

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21 Posts; 1,268 Profile Views

I like the reference to the scarlet letter, alexiscc.

I also agree 100% with your opinion about working conditions if you are hired with a criminal record as a nurse. My classmates job hop like crazy because demand here is high; however, I know if I got hired as a nurse they would know I have nowhere to go. It is like a relationship. It is very unhealthy to be in a relationship where you are so disposable.

The B.O.N. is the least of anyone's problems.

Exactly, if, after a lot of efforts, a person secures a position, they'll have a "watchful eye" on their back at all times and can have things forced on them, like extra work or pressured to do unethical or illegal stuff, because their employer will know they have nowhere else to go.... I worked as a private caregiver after having that dismissed misdemeanor--I felt that if my employers knew about my past conviction they would have a lot of leverage over me... scary, makes one very vulnerable to abuses. The knowledge about you having a record just gives people too much power over you.

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12 Posts; 697 Profile Views

I totally agree 120% with alexiscc. This new system is a wake up call, to everyone. Today it effects us, but tommorow, others. No such thing as privacy and it should be unconstitutional to hold a minor misdermeanor against someone for the rest of their lives.....not being able to attain employment.......we surely are moving backwards.

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104 Posts; 3,486 Profile Views

If someone can sue McDonald's for hot coffee and O.J. can be acquitted, I am 100% positive there is an attorney out there, possibly having been a victim themselves, who is sharp enough, and hungry enough to find, as you say macca, that this is, indeed, a form of discrimination.

Freedom means to be able to pursue happiness unencumbered. This is what the Civil Rights movement was all about. 65,000,00 Americans are encumbered today by criminal records that 20 years ago would not have even been brought up. If a minor misdemeanor is serious enough to bar someone from employment in 2011, it should have been serious enough in 1990. In other words, what is wrong today should be no less wrong yesterday.

65,000,000 Americans are under a form of house arrest. Crazy.

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104 Posts; 2,605 Profile Views

Wow! I just ran upon this here funny little post. I believe you shouldn't have to fight for "dream," and life should and is suppose to be easy and fruitful! BIG BUT HERE; although I also believe if its your true dream and you have to fight for it then you will.

No matter what I believe if you did the crime you should understand there will be some "fighting" involved, but instead of thinking of It as fighting for your dreams use the word "Conquering," its a stronger word And it makes u feel great to even say it!

I believe you can get through school and CONQUER YOU GOALS!!

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34 Posts; 2,348 Profile Views

I used to believe in fighting for your dreams. It took me a year to fight with the BON to get my license. I felt it was such a sweet victory. Some good it did me when no one will hire me. I just interviewed for my dream job. Was all excited that I made it through two interviews and they said they couldn't have found a more perfect fit. I thought surely this is a mistake. Got the paperwork to start orientation next week only to get a call today saying that becase of issues with my background check that they would have to withdraw the job offer. I was upfront and honest about it. So, I think you are right. The BON is not the problem it is getting past it and getting hired. I am deeply disappointed and don't have any fight left in me.

I wish those that fight success. I feel like I will forever be punished for my stupid mistakes from my past. It doesn't matter how much I've changed and what a great asset I would be to their team. All they look at is FELON.

Wish those who are fighting the best!

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