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  • Felon on record - become a police officer?

    Hello officers & viewers,

    I want to become a police officer, and have wanted to for a long time. I am a junior in high school and the only thing that might prevent me from becoming an officer is that I am a convicted juvenile felon. The charge is for drug possession which I plead guilty to. I was sentenced to 60 hours of community service and 1 year probation (i got lucky). I have since quit the addiction and have dramatically improved my life by anyones standards.

    My question is - even with a felony on record that will be expunged when I turn 18 (im 17 now), could I still become a police officer? I understand the odds are pretty slim after a discussion with my probation officer, though he said it's possible. What would I need to do?

    My consoler said I would likely need to get a contract or something from the Governor, or something of the like. Is this accurate? I understand felons can not posses a fire-arm - though it will be cleaned when i turn 18 ( i know its not completely cleaned ).

    That's the only charge I have on record and in August i'm going to be going to court (end of probation hopefully). Any advice would be great. Thanks!

    -Jfab
    Last edited by JFab; 07-06-2010, 08:45 PM. Reason: Grammar correction

  • #2
    I can't speak for your state. However in California, any person convicted of a felony (or of a crime in another jurisdiction that would be a felony in California) is prohibited from employment as a California peace officer as a matter of state law. This prohibition holds even if the conviction was sealed, expunged, or set aside. It may also apply to any convictions that were subsequently reduced to a misdemeanor occurring on or after January 1, 2004.

    Proceedings under juvenile court are generally not considered to be a criminal conviction unless the individual was certified, tried, and convicted as an adult. Therefore, juvenile convictions are not included as a legal bar to appointment as a peace officer. However, the conduct surrounding the offense should certainly be considered as part of the overall background.

    I'm going top bet the laws in your state are pretty much the same.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      It's questionable that you're a Felon under the laws of your state, but you're not home free either. Juvenile offenses are usually adjudicated by the Court, with few if any aspects of an Adult trial. If your original arrest was for a felony, it's entirely possible this could prove to be either a major obstacle or bar to your employment as a Police Officer. Were you to apply as a Police Officer (when you're old enough to do so) the arrest, it's circumstances, and subsequent adjudication in Juvenile Court will have to be fully disclosed. Keep in mind that with respect to a Police Background Investigation, there is no such thing as an "Expungement". Investigators access records which have been expunged/sealed on a daily basis. I'm not certain what your Counselor is referring to when he says you may need to get a "contract from the Governor". Your record will NOT be "cleaned" when you turn eighteen. I've explained Background Investigations to you. What you need to do for the immediate future and beyond is to, graduate from High School. Avoid "friends" who drink or do drugs. Start and maintain a record of good citizenship. This includes a stable employment history. Maintain a clear, violation free driving record. Seek knowledgible information/ advice on your chances of becoming a Police Officer. Good luck.

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      • #4
        Saying you "quit the addiction" tells me you more than likely are well beyond the acceptable uses of your substance of choice in just about every state I know of.

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        • #5
          You're still on probation, but stated you've changed your life AND you wanted to be a cop for a "long time."

          Bullshyt.

          A long time? Really? You wanted to be an Officer before you got a felony conviction? Didn't want to be one of us very badly didn't you?

          Changed your life? No. Not in that short amount of time. It's not long enough to see if it's a change of life or an attempt to get off probation. Changing your life is what happens when the court isn't hanging over your shoulder babysitting you.

          I see you also didn't mention what type of drug you were possessing nor how much. Meth, crack, cocaine, shrooms, etc...hang it up.

          So, while you might have intentions of changing your life, you might allow this to change your life for the better, I don't buy any of it. There hasn't been enough time.
          sigpic

          I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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          • #6
            Well, at least he writes better than the majority of college students do here.

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            • #7
              Best bet, go to college. Maintain a high GPA. Demonstrate how much you've turned your life around. Juvenile felonies are not the same as Adult. It will depend on alot of variables as to whether you can be a LEO.
              Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
                You're still on probation, but stated you've changed your life AND you wanted to be a cop for a "long time."

                Bullshyt.

                A long time? Really? You wanted to be an Officer before you got a felony conviction? Didn't want to be one of us very badly didn't you?

                Changed your life? No. Not in that short amount of time. It's not long enough to see if it's a change of life or an attempt to get off probation. Changing your life is what happens when the court isn't hanging over your shoulder babysitting you.

                I see you also didn't mention what type of drug you were possessing nor how much. Meth, crack, cocaine, shrooms, etc...hang it up.

                So, while you might have intentions of changing your life, you might allow this to change your life for the better, I don't buy any of it. There hasn't been enough time.
                I'm with Smurfette. I've had more than one conversation with a meth addict who claimed to be "doing really good," meaning they hadn't used "in a long time." Whenever I ask what "a long time" means, I usually get a reply of, "Oh about six hours I suppose."

                Really? That's a long time?

                Granted, to a juvenile a few months might seem like a long time. But quite frankly, I don't think your chances of getting hired anywhere are very high. I'd go with Zeitgeist's advice: Go to college, maintain a high GPA. Demonstrate how much you've turned your life around.

                At least then when you realize no one is going to hire you for this job, you've got an education to get you a job in another field!
                MAC

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                • #9
                  What was the drug ..... ?

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                  • #10
                    Join the military. Serve. Than if you still want it...apply.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NYPD017 View Post
                      Join the military. Serve. Than if you still want it...apply.
                      I second this
                      www.akdefense.com/articles
                      www.twitter.com/akdefense

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                      • #12
                        LOL at all these threads trying to dump off these losers into the military
                        What is Perseverance?
                        -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                        -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                        -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                        BOP - BPA - ICE

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                        • #13
                          you would probably be better than some other officers I know. Dont let things drag you down. You need to see if for sure what you did counts as a felony for you. In most States a minor is not charged with a crime sometimes it has to be pretty serious to make it count as a CRIME instaead of a youthful offense.

                          Go to school or the military and then apply. Either way that will put at least 4 yrs in between your problem. Keep your nose clean and you should be able to get in. (all this hinges on your record not being considered an adult CRIME)

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                          • #14
                            I would try being a probation officer then.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Unit453 View Post
                              Well, at least he writes better than the majority of college students do here.
                              I'll give him that. Other than spelling counselor wrong, pretty well written at least.

                              I'm going to go with the "gotta give it a lot more time" theory. Even then, the felony conviction may be an automatic DQ. Best of luck.
                              sigpic
                              Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
                              And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son.

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