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A couple weeks ago I got a jury summons in California.I checked

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A couple weeks ago I got a jury summons in California.I checked the box where it asked if I had ever been convicted of a felony and my civil rights were not restored.This disqualified me from jury duty.

I am worried now that I made a mistake.

In 1968 (I was 20) I was arrested for smuggling pot across the border (Federal offense). I was charged with violating The Marihuana tax act, and I was sentenced under the youthful offender act. I was given 5 years probation. After four years I was released from probation & a certificate of vacation of of conviction was filed.

I don't know what this means. Am I still a felon? For the sake of jury duty, were my civil rights restored? Am I in trouble for saying I was a felon? The court clerk wasn't helpful. She told me to look up my record and see if I am still considered a felon.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Nate replied 11 months ago.
My name isXXXXX have been a licensed attorney for over ten years and will be assisting you today.

The history of the Youthful Offender Act is a murky and conflicting one. It is clear that "setting aside" a conviction is not an expungement, and most of the legal analysis done on the subject considers it like a pardon.

The little law on the subject does seem to say that for purposes of owning a firearm, voting, and sitting on a jury, a conviction set aside under the Youthful Offender Act does not count against you. You wouldn't be in trouble for answering the way you did because it is confusing even to most judges, but you ought to contact the court and ask to change your jury form submission to "no" on the felony disqualification.

Some more reading on the subject particular to your situation can be found in this article on the Youthful Offender Act starting on page 510 and 511

http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2776&context=dlj

If you have more questions please feel free to ask. I'll be happy to answer them. If you do not, please do remember to rate my service in assistance to you today.

Thanks!
Nate

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Nate, thanks for your reply. If I do nothing at this point, is it likely that I will get arrested? Does my vacated conviction still show up in my record? I have plane tickets to go to the Philippines on Nov 12. I know that jury duty is a responsibility, but to change my plans now would be difficult.


 


Thanks.

Expert:  Nate replied 11 months ago.
You know, honestly it does not really matter. Like I noted, Youthful Offender situations are such a gray area. The worst thing that will happen is they will summon you again - not that you'd even get arrested.

Legally, it should still show up on your record, but when you start talking about records that old it's a flip of a coin whether it made it into the FBI database.
Nate, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 10627
Experience: Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
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