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Roger
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Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26916
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I dont have a lot of money to afford a lawyer. I have a felony

Customer Question

I don't have a lot of money to afford a lawyer. I have a felony on my record and it has been there for 5 years. I have stayed out of trouble since. It was a major mistake I made 5 yrs ago and I'm still paying the price - no job and not able to apply for a house or apartment. I haven't been able to get my career going or move due to this felony. I wrote the judge a letter (it may need touched up), but everything I've read online says I need a lawyer. Do you have any suggestions? I need a Pro Bono lawyer or someone inexpensive. I was also told it would cost me thousands of dollars to get the felony off my record. I just don't have that kind of money. Suggestions? I've been calling lawyers all day and no one will assist me. I'm desperate!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Criminal Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

 

Unfortunately, Indiana's expungement laws are very restrictive and it may be that you aren't even eligible to get an expungement or even a restricted access order.

 

Generally, Indiana's expungement statute only allows an expungement for someone who was arrested, but not charged with a crime. Since you were convicted of a felony, an expungement would not help you.

 

However, a new Indiana law took effect in 2011, which allows a person to petition a court to restrict access to a person's criminal record. The new is not an expungement, but if a court orders a person's records to be restricted under this law, the person may legally state on an application for employment that the person has not been arrested for or convicted of the felony or misdemeanor recorded in the restricted records.

 

Under the new law, if you were convicted of a Class D felony that did not result in injury to a person, you would be eligible 8 years after they have completed all obligations of their sentence.

 

If you were convicted of any other type of felony, you would not be eligible.

 

If you are eligible (once your 8 years is up), the best way to find an attorney is to contact your state bar association and ask for help locating an attorney in your area that will work pro bono or at a reduced rate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So I need to get a lawyer is what you're saying. If so I need one who is inexpensive. I can't get a job and I get an apartment. I've included the letter I wrote. What can I do to improve it? I've already waited 5 years, I cant wait 3 more years. I'm desperate. What can I do???????

 

 

Dear The Honorable Kevin xxxx:

 

I am writing to ask for your assistance. I was in your court September 2008 (cause number: xxxxxxxx). I was charged with a class D felony for possession of a controlled substance. I’m writing you to see if I can get my felony reduced. I have gone straight since being in your court.

 

I admit I made a major mistake. This happened only months after father, whom I was close with, passed away suddenly. After he passed away, I got mixed up with the wrong people who I thought were my friends. I no longer associate with those people. While on probation, I obtained therapy to deal with my father’s passing correctly. I went to school and obtained two degrees in Graphic Design, and took some Web Design classes as well. While in school, I was on the Dean’s List every semester. Also I graduated with honors and became a member of xxxx Txxx xxx. I volunteered with Planned Pethood’s assisting with the cats and adoptions. Lastly, I have been exercising 6 hours a week at the YMCA for 4 years now. I keep myself busy, off welfare, and always learning.

 

I am having a very difficult time obtaining a job and moving into an apartment due to the class D felony on my record. I truly do want to work. Graphic Design and Photography are my passion, yet due to my class D felony I cannot find anyone to hire me. The same is true about renting an apartment. All apartments in Michigan do background checks and I did not get approved for an apartment due to the felony. Is there a way we can reduce the sentence so that I can obtain a job and an apartment? I am ready to move forward with my life and start fresh. Only you can assist me.

 

Sincerely,

Kelly xxxxxx

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

Hi - thanks for the additional information.

 

Unfortunately, there is NO way around the 8 year waiting period before being eligible for an order restricting the access to your record of this offense. An expungement/restriction just isn't possible under Indiana law until the waiting period expires.

 

The only other possibility is to seek a pardon from the governor. Here's a link to the packet/instructions for your state: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/pardonpacket.pdf

 

Other than applying for a pardon, the only thing you can do is wait this out for 3 more years and then consult an attorney for help with the petition to restrict access to your record.

 

The Indiana Bar Association can help you find an attorney in your area that can assist for free or at a reduced rate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So how am I going to get a job in graphic design??? EVERYONE is doing background check. Basically I'm f**ked for the next 3 years. I can't wait 3 more years!!!!!!! Also when I get evicted out of my dad's house, how am I supposed to get a place to live??? You really have been no help at all. I'm back at square one. What if I got a lawyer? Could they help, because you're not???

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.

I can't help what the law is, so please don't shoot the messenger!! All I'm doing is telling you how the law applies to your situation.

If you hire an attorney locally, he/she will tell you the same thing, unfortunately.

Again, a pardon is the only real option you have except for waiting out the time until you'd be eligible.

I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but I can't help what the law is, and I hope that you can understand that.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You still have been no help. You didnt even read that letter i wrote to see if that will help.

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.
I did read the letter, BUT the judge has NO authority to overlook the 8 year time period, and can't do anything to help you until that time period is over.

Also, I don't agree that I haven't "helped" you - I think I've told you what the law is and what you're looking at. However, I do understand that I didn't tell you how to get around the provisions of the law, but unfortunately I can't tell you that because there aren't any exceptions - - other than the pardon application.

I certainly wish there were some way to get an expungement/restricted access order now - - that would certainly make you happy and it would make my job here much easier. But, I can't provide you with anything like that because it doesn't exist.

Again, I don't make the law, I'm just telling you what it is.
Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.
I truly hope that you don't think my answers are POOR just because I can't give you information that is favorable to your situation. I know it may not be what you want to hear, but the information is accurate.

All I can do is provide you with the law - - I can't create exceptions that don't exist. Again, I'm sorry that I can't give you some way to put this behind you that doesn't require waiting the full 8 years.

Anyway, I'll opt out and wish you luck with this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

How do i get a job???

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.
Hi -

Your conviction is for a non-violent felony, so you certainly should not be considered a threat to cause harm or to defraud, etc.

However, it is VERY hard to get a job as a felon and I have many clients that have faced this same issue. Unfortunately, employers have the right to choose not to hire a felon, so there's no easy way or legal right to force an employer to hire you.

The main option many people take is to become self-employed. If you're interested in photography, that certainly could be something that you could do by yourself. You could likely also do freelance photography until you can get this removed from your record.

Also, you can go to school and generally qualify for student loans if you choose to go to college/graphic design school. Thus, you could spend your time in school and try to supplement your income with student loans until the time passes.

Aside from doing something like this, getting a job is just going to be applying until someone agrees to hire you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I already went to 2 colleges. I have 2 degress. God have u been no help. I cant wait 3 more years. Forget the job, what about moving?? How can I rent an apartment when they do background checks???

Expert:  Roger replied 1 year ago.
I can't continue with you if you keep negatively rating my responses as it causes me troubles with the site.

I'm sorry to end it here, but I can't proceed as it's too costly for myself.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I wanna speak to someone else.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I want to speak to another person please.


 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Other.
He gave me no suggestions on what to do. Self employment is not an option. I need to know if I got a lawyer can they help.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have PTSD that is where the negativity comes from. That and I'm desperate for help! Can anyone help me?

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