I am telling my story because I would like to see the laws changed. I was arrested in 2000 for Grand Theft Auto. I had been on meth for about 7 years prior to my arrest. I had been trying to stop for at least 6 of those years but could not. When I took the car, I was planning on driving off the San Luis Obispo grade but the truck needed gas and I put unleaded. Turns out that it ran on diesel. Once I turned it off it wouldn't start again. So I called my dad and told him to tell his neighbor (who I took the truck from) where the truck was. When I was arrested they were going to put me on probation, but I acted very bad with them so they sentenced me to prison. I knew what I was doing when I acted that way. I was tired of the life I was living, and wanted to place myself in someone else's hands. I didn't fight it at all and come to find out that it should only be Grand Theft Auto if you take the car with no intentions of returning it. I called to tell where the truck could be picked up from for heaven's sake! I didn't think about my life 10 years after being released from prison at the time. I only knew that I couldn't live the way I was living any more so I HELPED them convict me. I have been out for more than 10 years (after being expedited to Nevada to deal with other charges) and haven't even so much as gotten a traffic ticket. No one that knows me now other than family can picture me with a past like the one I have. There isn't anyone in my life that wouldn't be a character witness for me. And why should it be that people who do the time for their crimes can't ever be on the same playing field with the rest of society, especially when MOST people have commited crimes, even felonies, at least once but never got caught. Would some one please do a survey on that! I can't tell you how many times I have heard "I just never got caught." Even if it is just being under the influence of some kind of drug. A felony is a felony. However, if you get caught and have money or fight to get off, you very well might. And in that case you can seal or expunge your record. I could have been in those shoes, but I didn't fight it at all, and in fact, I did just the opposite. Because of that specific circumstance, I will never have the chance to seal or expunge my record in California. Long story short, it does not pay to take responsibility for your actions in the state of California. Still, I do not regret taking responsibility for my actions. I can look people in the eye. I know who I am and if I owned my own business, I would hire people like me because I understand that a person who really knows why NOT to do things that are wrong are far more trustworthy than others because I think others can possibly be persuaded to do bad things at any moment (You never know what might be what makes someone curious). Someone who knows by experience why not, is much harder to pursade. I know that you never REALLY get away with anything you do in life, that you have to life in your own skin forever and that there is a God and I know that others in my shoes know these things too. So experience is the best teacher but the state does not recognize this.
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