Paying dearly for a life changing decision

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.

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1 thought on “Paying dearly for a life changing decision

  1. I cannot relate specifically to what you are going through, but my boyfriend can. It’s been a year for him. He took a plea deal and it seemed like the punishment was harsher. He had the same, court-ordered therapy and he has 2 more years of probation. Thankfully he scored low on his assessment but the judge he had basically threw the book at him giving him 100 hours of community service and 150 days of electronic monitoring. The judge told him he hated the fact that he wasn’t getting any jail time. I feel like the registry does no one any good. The county literally delayed adding him to the registry and it wasn’t until his alleged victim’s mother called that they finally did something. Who literally watches the registry like that? It is disgusting to me.

    I’m so sorry you are going through this. I wouldn’t wish this life on anyone. Here in North Carolina, he is required to register a year after the conviction, which is actually this month, then every six months after that. He will have random PO visits and cops who show up whenever they want. A person should hope and pray they are home because law enforcement wants to make sure the whole community knows who you are. They will leave a bright neon door hanger if there is no response when they visit. Thankfully we live at the end of the road, but can’t imagine for those that don’t.

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