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  1. #1
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    Felon on record - become a police officer?

    Hello officers & viewers,

    I want to become a police officer, and have wanted to for a long time. I am a junior in high school and the only thing that might prevent me from becoming an officer is that I am a convicted juvenile felon. The charge is for drug possession which I plead guilty to. I was sentenced to 60 hours of community service and 1 year probation (i got lucky). I have since quit the addiction and have dramatically improved my life by anyones standards.

    My question is - even with a felony on record that will be expunged when I turn 18 (im 17 now), could I still become a police officer? I understand the odds are pretty slim after a discussion with my probation officer, though he said it's possible. What would I need to do?

    My consoler said I would likely need to get a contract or something from the Governor, or something of the like. Is this accurate? I understand felons can not posses a fire-arm - though it will be cleaned when i turn 18 ( i know its not completely cleaned ).

    That's the only charge I have on record and in August i'm going to be going to court (end of probation hopefully). Any advice would be great. Thanks!

    -Jfab
    Last edited by JFab; 07-06-2010 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Grammar correction

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    I can't speak for your state. However in California, any person convicted of a felony (or of a crime in another jurisdiction that would be a felony in California) is prohibited from employment as a California peace officer as a matter of state law. This prohibition holds even if the conviction was sealed, expunged, or set aside. It may also apply to any convictions that were subsequently reduced to a misdemeanor occurring on or after January 1, 2004.

    Proceedings under juvenile court are generally not considered to be a criminal conviction unless the individual was certified, tried, and convicted as an adult. Therefore, juvenile convictions are not included as a legal bar to appointment as a peace officer. However, the conduct surrounding the offense should certainly be considered as part of the overall background.

    I'm going top bet the laws in your state are pretty much the same.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    It's questionable that you're a Felon under the laws of your state, but you're not home free either. Juvenile offenses are usually adjudicated by the Court, with few if any aspects of an Adult trial. If your original arrest was for a felony, it's entirely possible this could prove to be either a major obstacle or bar to your employment as a Police Officer. Were you to apply as a Police Officer (when you're old enough to do so) the arrest, it's circumstances, and subsequent adjudication in Juvenile Court will have to be fully disclosed. Keep in mind that with respect to a Police Background Investigation, there is no such thing as an "Expungement". Investigators access records which have been expunged/sealed on a daily basis. I'm not certain what your Counselor is referring to when he says you may need to get a "contract from the Governor". Your record will NOT be "cleaned" when you turn eighteen. I've explained Background Investigations to you. What you need to do for the immediate future and beyond is to, graduate from High School. Avoid "friends" who drink or do drugs. Start and maintain a record of good citizenship. This includes a stable employment history. Maintain a clear, violation free driving record. Seek knowledgible information/ advice on your chances of becoming a Police Officer. Good luck.

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    Saying you "quit the addiction" tells me you more than likely are well beyond the acceptable uses of your substance of choice in just about every state I know of.

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    You're still on probation, but stated you've changed your life AND you wanted to be a cop for a "long time."

    Bullshyt.

    A long time? Really? You wanted to be an Officer before you got a felony conviction? Didn't want to be one of us very badly didn't you?

    Changed your life? No. Not in that short amount of time. It's not long enough to see if it's a change of life or an attempt to get off probation. Changing your life is what happens when the court isn't hanging over your shoulder babysitting you.

    I see you also didn't mention what type of drug you were possessing nor how much. Meth, crack, cocaine, shrooms, etc...hang it up.

    So, while you might have intentions of changing your life, you might allow this to change your life for the better, I don't buy any of it. There hasn't been enough time.


    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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    Well, at least he writes better than the majority of college students do here.

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    Best bet, go to college. Maintain a high GPA. Demonstrate how much you've turned your life around. Juvenile felonies are not the same as Adult. It will depend on alot of variables as to whether you can be a LEO.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
    You're still on probation, but stated you've changed your life AND you wanted to be a cop for a "long time."

    Bullshyt.

    A long time? Really? You wanted to be an Officer before you got a felony conviction? Didn't want to be one of us very badly didn't you?

    Changed your life? No. Not in that short amount of time. It's not long enough to see if it's a change of life or an attempt to get off probation. Changing your life is what happens when the court isn't hanging over your shoulder babysitting you.

    I see you also didn't mention what type of drug you were possessing nor how much. Meth, crack, cocaine, shrooms, etc...hang it up.

    So, while you might have intentions of changing your life, you might allow this to change your life for the better, I don't buy any of it. There hasn't been enough time.
    I'm with Smurfette. I've had more than one conversation with a meth addict who claimed to be "doing really good," meaning they hadn't used "in a long time." Whenever I ask what "a long time" means, I usually get a reply of, "Oh about six hours I suppose."

    Really? That's a long time?

    Granted, to a juvenile a few months might seem like a long time. But quite frankly, I don't think your chances of getting hired anywhere are very high. I'd go with Zeitgeist's advice: Go to college, maintain a high GPA. Demonstrate how much you've turned your life around.

    At least then when you realize no one is going to hire you for this job, you've got an education to get you a job in another field!
    MAC

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    What was the drug ..... ?

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    Join the military. Serve. Than if you still want it...apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYPD017 View Post
    Join the military. Serve. Than if you still want it...apply.
    I second this

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    LOL at all these threads trying to dump off these losers into the military
    What is Perseverance?
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    -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
    -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.

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    you would probably be better than some other officers I know. Dont let things drag you down. You need to see if for sure what you did counts as a felony for you. In most States a minor is not charged with a crime sometimes it has to be pretty serious to make it count as a CRIME instaead of a youthful offense.

    Go to school or the military and then apply. Either way that will put at least 4 yrs in between your problem. Keep your nose clean and you should be able to get in. (all this hinges on your record not being considered an adult CRIME)

  14. #14
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    I would try being a probation officer then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unit453 View Post
    Well, at least he writes better than the majority of college students do here.
    I'll give him that. Other than spelling counselor wrong, pretty well written at least.

    I'm going to go with the "gotta give it a lot more time" theory. Even then, the felony conviction may be an automatic DQ. Best of luck.

    Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unit453 View Post
    Well, at least he writes better than the majority of college students do here.
    I'll second that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYPD017 View Post
    Join the military. Serve. Than if you still want it...apply.
    You cannot join the military if you have used illegal drugs other than marijuana (and if you used marijuana it could only have been an "experimental" amount).

    Most kids lie about simple use to get in, but you can't hide it if you have a conviction

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeymedic View Post
    I would try being a probation officer then.
    He would have just the same amount of chance of being a Police officer than a parole/probation officer.....same stringent guidelines and basic non-felony and other charges would be almost disqualified with the difference of probation requiring a 4 year degree at the very least.

    Sometimes I get the funny ones who are serious about becoming a PO when they have multiple felonies, countless misd. charges, assault, drug use, etc. and they tell me they've always wanted to get into law enforcement.

  19. #19
    I see dumb people...
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheKansan View Post
    LOL at all these threads trying to dump off these losers into the military
    Seriously, as a part-time military officer I'm asking you all to STOP PAWNING THE DIRTBAGS OFF ON US!!! They only create a rather huge and overwhelming headache, drag down the unit's performance, etc. Then we end up kicking them out anyway.
    MAC

  20. #20
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    2 things, what kind of drugs and how old were you when you were arrested?
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  21. #21
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    With a felony conviction for drugs, it's a no-go in Florida.

    You are 17. This occurred when you were a junior, so it can't have been that long ago. While I can appreciate the fact that you now see the value of law enforcement and are inspired by it, you will probably not be able to become a police officer. This is why your parents, your teachers, and society have been telling you for years to follow the rules, stay in school, do your school work, don't break the law, don't do drugs, etc...You are approaching adulthood, and you are now discovering the hard way that we do, in fact, have a "permenant record". The things that we do in our lives DO count, and CAN affect us and the things we want to do. Society demands that we follow the rules and be good citizens. There is plenty of room to be yourself without breaking laws, but too many people feel that "Rules are for everyone else because I'm so special". You ain't that special, Sparky.

    My advice to you is be realistic. Being a police officer is not an option for you anymore. So, do what you can. Suck it up, go to college, pay attention, get good grades, and look for a job that will allow you to work WITH law enforcement, as a counselor or some such position. Be honest about your past, but make sure that your ACTIONS show that you have moved beyond it and recognize that is was an episode that could have cost you even more than it did.
    "They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally they became heroes..."

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  22. #22
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    You didn't just experiment you were addicted to whatever you were using so I don't see any kind of chance of you being a Police Officer.....what a bunch of crap that you always dreamed about being an Officer but that didn't prevent you from smoking dope...if you really wanted to get into LE you wouldn't have even tried it and don't give me a bunch of crap about peer pressure....when I was a kid thoughts of being a cop never crossed my ming and I still never had any desire to use that crap and I had a few friends who did....I was able to turn them down just fine and not feel pressured at all into trying it.

  23. #23
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    Hey mac, it seems that the military takes anyone in these days, even prior felons, all they need is for the recruiter to get some affadavit signed by higher echelons. I was active duty for 3 yrs, between 2001 and 2004. In 2007 I joined the reserves and went on my 2 week AT, I saw a bunch of hoodlums, soldiers sagging their ACU bottoms, Drill Sargeants macking it up on lower enlisted, garbage is what I saw.

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    All I got to say about the orignal poster is...WOW is he serious??!!!
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  25. #25
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    Its probably not gonna happen for you, especially with the amount of clean applicants out there.
    Neither a Republican nor Democrat, both parties are hopelessly flawed.

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