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    If you've been convicted of a felony...

    ..... a UPCS charge...does that mean you can never be a police officer? What about a negligent driving second degree? Will that keep someone from being able to be a cop? Do the conditions vary depending on where you live or is it the same everywhere?

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    There is nowhere in the US where a convicted felon can carry a gun, therefor there is nowhere in the US where a convicted felon can be a cop. There are other routes you can look into in a law enforcement career (working for a PD in a non-sworn position such as a clerk), but even those are unlikely.

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    In WA state, after five years you may be able to get your gun rights back, provided you've stayed out of trouble during that time. You may be able to get your record expunged.

    I know this because I live in WA and have consulted with a couple of lawyers on the subject. However, I understand that having a felony expunged doesn't mean that access to this information can never be seen. I'm quite certain that this information could readily be available in certain situations. But I do know that gun rights and voting rights can be restored- but there are conditions/requirements to be met successfully, and the process is not automatic, nor guaranteed.
    Last edited by TERA; 09-24-2008 at 06:38 AM.

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    What about this?

    CLASS B & C FELONIES (non sex offenses)

    A person previously convicted as an adult or juvenile of a felony may petition a court of record to restore the right to possess firearms if all of the following apply:

    1. The conviction is not a Class A felony or sex offense; See next section below.
    2. More than 5 years have passed in the community without being convicted of any crime (misdemeanor or felony);
    3. No criminal charges are currently pending in any federal, state or local court; and
    4. The offender does not have a prior felony prohibiting the possession of firearms counted as part of the offender score.

    If the person petitioned the court and got the right his/her gun rights back, would there be a chance to gain employment in law enforcement? Or would the fact that the felony occurred be enough to bar the person from consideration forever?

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    Ok lets get away from the gun thing. Google Washington State police standards. Click on the first page. Go down a bit and you will read "What will deny me certification to be a LEO". #3 says "Convicted of a felony under the laws of this state or convicted of a federal or out-of-state offense comparable to a felony under the laws of this state." I'm pretty sure every state has the same or similar ruling.

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    I would say that in most if not all states a convicted felon can't be a cop, however I stand by to be corrected.

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    Consider this. Why would any LEA hire someone who has been convicted of a felony, even if that felony has been expunged, when they have many other applicants to choose from who have never been in any trouble their entire lives?
    The neglegent driving charge? That's another deal killer. No agency is going to take the risk of hiring someone convicted of neglegent driving, put that same person in a department owned vehicle, expect that person to be involved in all types of high risk driving situations, and then not end up paying out the major civil suits when that person cracks up a squad and the neglegent charge is brought up in the suit. The risk is too great and it's a risk a dept doesn't need to take since there are other applicants who have clean driving records.
    Remember the saying - "Life is full of choices. Choices have consequences." In your case you made the decision to commit a felony so now you have to live with the consequencs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TERA View Post
    ..... a UPCS charge...does that mean you can never be a police officer? What about a negligent driving second degree? Will that keep someone from being able to be a cop? Do the conditions vary depending on where you live or is it the same everywhere?
    I hope the day does not come where convicted felons can wear the badge. It would be a disgrace to the people who have earned the right to not only become a Police Officer but those who have worn the badge with honor for so many years.
    "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

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    Quote Originally Posted by TERA View Post
    In WA state, after five years you may be able to get your gun rights back, provided you've stayed out of trouble during that time. You may be able to get your record expunged.

    I know this because I live in WA and have consulted with a couple of lawyers on the subject. However, I understand that having a felony expunged doesn't mean that access to this information can never be seen. I'm quite certain that this information could readily be available in certain situations. But I do know that gun rights and voting rights can be restored- but there are conditions/requirements to be met successfully, and the process is not automatic, nor guaranteed.
    Most departments will DQ/non select, merely for a felony arrest. A felony conviction is a certain DQ for reasons already stated. Keep in mind that in a LE Background Investigation, there is no such thing as an expungement. Background Investigators routinely access records which have been expunged. Even convicted felons who have had their Civil Rights restored through a pardon,will not qualify for a sworn LE position. When you examine the entry requirements for any LE agency, you'll probably note that a Felony conviction is an auto DQ. Even in the virtually unheard of event an agency was willing to employ you, state law, POST standards, would prohibit your being hired.The original felony conviction is the killer, not the restoration of Civil Rights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TERA View Post
    In WA state, after five years you may be able to get your gun rights back, provided you've stayed out of trouble during that time. You may be able to get your record expunged.
    I don't know about Washington State, but federal law prohibits felons from possessing guns. Washington State may consider your record expunged, but the Federal government does not.

    I'm sorry, but you can't be a police officer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakflak View Post
    I don't know about Washington State, but federal law prohibits felons from possessing guns. Washington State may consider your record expunged, but the Federal government does not.

    I'm sorry, but you can't be a police officer.
    +1

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    No law enforcement agency is going to hire anyone who has been convicted of a felony, even if that person is really sorry and/or it happened 20 years ago!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshift va View Post
    I hope the day does not come where convicted felons can wear the badge. It would be a disgrace to the people who have earned the right to not only become a Police Officer but those who have worn the badge with honor for so many years.
    ……….and to those who have fallen in the line of duty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ISPCAPT View Post
    Consider this. Why would any LEA hire someone who has been convicted of a felony, even if that felony has been expunged, when they have many other applicants to choose from who have never been in any trouble their entire lives?
    The neglegent driving charge? That's another deal killer. No agency is going to take the risk of hiring someone convicted of neglegent driving, put that same person in a department owned vehicle, expect that person to be involved in all types of high risk driving situations, and then not end up paying out the major civil suits when that person cracks up a squad and the neglegent charge is brought up in the suit. The risk is too great and it's a risk a dept doesn't need to take since there are other applicants who have clean driving records.
    Remember the saying - "Life is full of choices. Choices have consequences." In your case you made the decision to commit a felony so now you have to live with the consequencs.

    With all due respect, how many of you have ever tried marijuana? Ever done anything that was illegal? I bet most of you have. One of the only differences between you and I is that I got caught. Now I'm all for taking responsibility for what I've done wrong, and I have. In fact, I've taken giant leaps in reconstructing my life on my own. I've got a degree in chemical dependency counseling, I was awarded the President's medal (an honor for a high grade point average), and I'm working on a criminal justice degree right now. I'm also working at an addiction treatment facility and I love my work.

    This whole "you gotta live with the consequences" thing: great in theory. But I'd argue that I paid my debt to society, yet the stigma and "consequences" will be life-long nonetheless. Do you think this fits the crime?

    And of all of those "never been in trouble" people you have to choose from as applicants, how many do you think have screwed up but just got lucky enough not to get caught? Does that make them better people than me?

    I'm just wondering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshift va View Post
    I hope the day does not come where convicted felons can wear the badge. It would be a disgrace to the people who have earned the right to not only become a Police Officer but those who have worn the badge with honor for so many years.
    I understand what you are saying here, but there is part of this I don't agree with. I think that people who have worked very hard to turn their lives around could very well be a credit to, and valuable to, law enforcement.

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    deleted deleted deleted deleted
    Last edited by Lawman17101; 05-13-2009 at 03:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TERA View Post
    With all due respect, how many of you have ever tried marijuana? Ever done anything that was illegal? I bet most of you have. One of the only differences between you and I is that I got caught. Now I'm all for taking responsibility for what I've done wrong, and I have. In fact, I've taken giant leaps in reconstructing my life on my own. I've got a degree in chemical dependency counseling, I was awarded the President's medal (an honor for a high grade point average), and I'm working on a criminal justice degree right now. I'm also working at an addiction treatment facility and I love my work.

    This whole "you gotta live with the consequences" thing: great in theory. But I'd argue that I paid my debt to society, yet the stigma and "consequences" will be life-long nonetheless. Do you think this fits the crime?

    And of all of those "never been in trouble" people you have to choose from as applicants, how many do you think have screwed up but just got lucky enough not to get caught? Does that make them better people than me?

    I'm just wondering.
    Trying pot is not a felony! I think it's fantastic that you turned your life around, and I can appreciate that you want to now do the right thing and help with law enforcement, but why would a department hire you over someone who is equally qualified but doesn't have a criminal history? For me law enforcement is a calling to help my community, if you feel that same calling, then keep working with the kids in drug programs. Everyone has a part they can do, you just need to find yours. Good Luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DACP View Post
    ……….and to those who have fallen in the line of duty.
    My father is a retired sergeant, and my grandfather a retired police chief, and my uncle a retired lieutenant, and though they may be family, none of them consider me "a disgrace" to them, or their badges.

    My desire to fight crime is not disgraceful. I've paid my debt to society, and then some, and will continue to..and I'm on your side. I have the deepest respect for law enforcement. How is this disgraceful?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mooseyard View Post
    Trying pot is not a felony! I think it's fantastic that you turned your life around, and I can appreciate that you want to now do the right thing and help with law enforcement, but why would a department hire you over someone who is equally qualified but doesn't have a criminal history? For me law enforcement is a calling to help my community, if you feel that same calling, then keep working with the kids in drug programs. Everyone has a part they can do, you just need to find yours. Good Luck!
    Some people don't have criminal histories because when they messed up, they didn't get caught.

    I appreciate what you're saying here, and I thank you for your encouragement to find my niche where I can be most valuable. I will. It may not be in LE, but chances are, I'm going to be working closely with you, as my desire is to help kids who are involved in the drug court system. I'm starting an internship soon, as a CD counselor. The reason I'm taking criminal justice courses is to get a better understanding of the criminal justice system.

    BTW...doesn't the Americans with Disabilities Act protect officers (as well as others) so that those with addictions have the option of treatment rather than losing their jobs? Why is it that this protection is afforded only after employment is gained, while those who've taken the initiative and put in the hard work necessary to overcome addictions try to gain employment and can't?

    I know that's off topic a bit.
    Last edited by TERA; 09-25-2008 at 07:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TERA View Post
    Some people don't have criminal histories because when they messed up, they didn't get caught.
    When I hired on, I filled out a questionaire and took a polygraph asking me about all UNDETECTED crimes I committed. (ie. I did it, just didn't get caught.) I promise you, if any of those were a felony, I would not have been hired. Convicted, caught, whatever language you use, some one who committed a felony, whether convicted, caught, or not, is still a felon, and therefore barred from employment as a sworn officer.

    Quote Originally Posted by TERA View Post
    BTW...doesn't the Americans with Disabilities Act protect officers (as well as others) so that those with addictions have the option of treatment rather than losing their jobs?
    Most only allow for this provision if you turn yourself in. If you are caught, they will show you the door very quickly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TERA View Post
    With all due respect, how many of you have ever tried marijuana? Ever done anything that was illegal? I bet most of you have. One of the only differences between you and I is that I got caught. Now I'm all for taking responsibility for what I've done wrong, and I have. In fact, I've taken giant leaps in reconstructing my life on my own. I've got a degree in chemical dependency counseling, I was awarded the President's medal (an honor for a high grade point average), and I'm working on a criminal justice degree right now. I'm also working at an addiction treatment facility and I love my work.

    This whole "you gotta live with the consequences" thing: great in theory. But I'd argue that I paid my debt to society, yet the stigma and "consequences" will be life-long nonetheless. Do you think this fits the crime?

    And of all of those "never been in trouble" people you have to choose from as applicants, how many do you think have screwed up but just got lucky enough not to get caught? Does that make them better people than me?

    I'm just wondering.
    Never done anything felonious. Decided long ago what I wanted to do, made the choices to get here. Someone once said (and I'm going to mess this quote up), but it goes something like this: being young doesn't mean making choices that you spend the rest of your old age regretting. The point of that being is far too often people claim being young and dumb as an exucse for a poor decision. And when they get older and have to live with the consequences, all you hear is how they were young and dumb.

    Sure, there is such a thing a doing stupid things in your youth, but some things are really beyond being just young and dumb. Young and dumb is not a get out of jail free card.

    As for those "never been in trouble" people you seem to despise. Try this: not everyone out there "was just lucky enough not to get caught", some of us were actually just "smart enough to never try".

    So, yeah it sucks, but I don't want to work with a convicted felon. Your family probably loves you, as they should, but that doesn't mean you should be a cop.

    One thing, I have frequently seen on here are grave mistakes made in one's past, mistakes that really were poor choices and poor judgment. These people then get on here asking for some justification to their poor choice as some way to justify them becoming cops.

    You have to understand there is a HUGE difference between getting a speeding ticket in your lifetime, or failure to signal before a turn, and experimenting with illegal drugs or committing a felony. The former are of no consequence.

    As for drug use, who in this lifetime as never heard that drugs are not illegal? Or any felony for that matter? There are some things that people just know are wrong and rightfully so.

    I would get offended with your whole how many of you have tried marijuana but never got caught theme, but I don't care. I have never tried the stuff. I knew what I wanted in life and that making a poor choice could screw that up. I also find it insulting that you lump me and my coworkers in Law Enforcement as lying, deceivers who lied to get their jobs because they "were lucky not to get caught."

    I can see right now, your attitude towards the profession is poor. Cops are liars who didn't get caught doing the same stupid ***** as everyone else.

    As for the stigma and consequences fitting the crime... Yeah, a felony conviction is a pretty serious thing. It's not something normal people have. It speaks volumes about judgement ability. Regardless of how long ago it was. You may have paid your debt to the legal system, but people don't want a convicted felon having the authority to police their streets.

    Who can trust you? You say you are good to go, but you have already demonstrated a severely poor choice. A felony is not a mistake nor an accident. IT IS A CHOICE. A choice you made and now you have to live with.

    You sound like you've turned your life around, even though you don't like hearing the truth. It's good you're doing the right thing. Unfortunately, you cannot be a cop. Find another way to help your community. You don't have to have a badge and gun to do that.

    p.s.
    As someone else stated why would an agency hire you when there are plenty of applicants who were "not lucky enough to get caught", but "smart enough to never try"?
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawman17101 View Post
    TERA, you may want to seek legal advice in order to file for an expunction of your criminal records. Most of the time, this can only be done once in a persons lifetime and it usually wipes your record clean. It may be expensive though.
    No such thing as an expungement in a LE Background Investigation. Investigators typically access records which have been expunged. Expungement would only be of value in an application for private sector employment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juicesnn4e2 View Post
    what the heck did you do?
    Several years ago I was going through a really bad divorce. My ex was stalking me. There was a history of DV. I was afraid. A friend introduced me to speed (meth) during that time, and I used it to stay awake. I was very depressed and it helped with the depression, too. It may sound incredible, but the speed actually saved my life...but that's another story. As time passed, my ex went to jail for breaking the protection order, assaulting me...he plea bargained out of the attempted rape charge...but because I didn't testify against him (I was too afraid)..he didn't do much time. Twelve months. Then he got back out and started stalking me again. The thing is, by this point I was addicted to the drug. Physically, and psychologically. What saved my life before, then became a liability. It took a toll on me and became a slow suicide instead. A little more time passed...and the people I was hanging around with were bad. They were criminals, but I didn't really know the depth of it. I was pretty naive. Anyway, one day this guy who was a friend of mine and I went to the store. To a Fred Meyer. I stopped there to buy some pens. Apparently while I was doing this, this guy was in the bathroom shooting up. I had no idea. That wasn't my thing at all...and I didn't know it was his. Anyway...apparently when he left the bathroom he left behind a flannel shirt he was wearing, and in the pocket of the shirt were his drugs. And, I found out later from the police, he had gone back to get the shirt, realizing he'd forgotten it, and when he did so he found that someone else was in the stall he had left the shirt in. He was beligerent. He demanded that the person in the stall hand over the shirt, and accused the person of stealing his drugs. The man in the stall took the shirt to security, who then called the police. I didn't know what was going on when we got pulled over leaving the parking lot. I didn't understand why we were being stopped because I didn't know what had transpired in the store.

    The guy I was with was also driving on a suspended license. A fact I also didn't know.

    The police arrested him. They asked me if I had anything "on me" that they should know about. I did, and I wasn't about to lie about it. ..and so I told them, and they arrested me. I hold no animosity toward the police ...they were doing their jobs. I respect them for that.

    My point is, I know what I did wrong, and I've paid for it. I've done a lot to turn my life around.

    I know I can't work in the field no matter what I do to prove that I'm a different person now. It makes me sad, but I guess I understand it.

    I'm not upset with the police for the stigma that drug addiction carries. They didn't create it. It's a societal issue...and it's one very highly linked to crime. I understand that. I really do.

    Why give someone like me a chance?

    Maybe law enforcement can't...for reasons others have already stated above.

    I'm doing my best right now to try to come to terms with that.
    Last edited by TERA; 09-25-2008 at 08:10 PM.

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    Terra, you're not going to be a cop. Period. That's not to say you can't turn your life around, something you seem to have already done.In your roll as a Drug Abuse Counselor, there is no end to the good that you can do. The reasons you can't be appointed as a Police Officer have been discussed at length. No need to repeat them here. Continue to better your life, continue your education, and continue in the very important work you're currently doing. Good luck.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightshift va
    I hope the day does not come where convicted felons can wear the badge. It would be a disgrace to the people who have earned the right to not only become a Police Officer but those who have worn the badge with honor for so many years.
    I agree 100%
    Last edited by Jimmy777; 09-25-2008 at 08:28 PM.

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