I have been paying the price ever since my guilty plea. I lost my high-paying job, and eventually my wife and kids due to depression, drugs, and alcohol abuse. After my convict, I failed to attend my “ level “ hearing because I just “gave up” knowing at that time I had already been sentenced to probation and court-ordered therapy (which I had to pay for out of pocket). Looking back now, I should have attended the hearing to petition the court to have my assigned level be the lowest possible, even though it was not guaranteed. So, since I failed to attend the hearing to explain why I should be assigned a low-risk level, the judge assigned the highest level 3. That means I will be registered for life in my state. The state sends me a form on a yearly basis which I must fill in and return within 10 days or they will issue a warrant for my arrest. I also must have my picture taken every 3 years. I was fortunate enough in 2004 to apply for relief through a disability form which was approved by a judge so that I could seek certain types of employment. I was turned away many times before I received that disability form.
This is where I’ve been since 1995 and will remain for the rest of my natural life unless the laws are changed. In my case, I have not and will never offend again. It’s been 25-plus years since that fateful day which the system will not let me live down or forget.