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Discussion Starter #1
No whining, no complaining about the "system," just a short story and a request for some opinions on the subject. Better yet, some input from anyone who might have already tip-toed through this particular mine field, already.

If you aren't in the mood for a "long one," better stop here!

About 30 years ago, I was a slightly screwed-up "little kid" who'd returned from serving in a combat zone, and honorably discharged about 5 months later.

Got home, was considered to be a little too reclusive than was healthy, as diagnosed by a well-meaning brother-in-law. His "cure" was to get me to a party that I didn't want to go to, to integrate me back into "society."

I didn't want to go because I was apprehensive about running into a young lady who evidently thought waiting 2 years was do-able, but 4 years was 2 years too long. In retrospect, she was probably right.

Of course, she was there, with "Jody" in tow.

There was no "scene," but I did seek solace in the bottom of a bottle. (Stereotypical sailor?) Brother-in-law drove me home, but while he was getting the front door open, I made my escape and started walking back towards the party. Seems I wasn't quite done yet.

While making my way back towards the festivities, I bumped into a residential mail box. You know the type, aluminium box mounted on a post, place at the roadside.

I took this to be an "attack" and promptly broke it's skinny little neck, popping it's head off. And sure enough, a few more steps down the road, several of it's buddies were waiting to ambush me. They were dispatched in a similar fashion.

Now, during the carnage, it seems that one or more of these little boxes contained some mail. It didn't seem right at the time, to leave this stuff scattered along the road, so I gathered it up and placed it in a small pile, next to one of the decapitated mailbox post.

This would be when the passing deputy took an interest in me.

We discussed the matter, he was nice so I recounted the whole story to him. He then offered to take me for a ride and I thought that sounded like a good idea. He did remark at a later time that I was a "fairly pleasant little drunk, quite conversational, too."

Interestingly enough, the only charge brought against me was possession of stolen property. When sobered up, I was of the opinion that it should have been drunk & disorderly, destruction of several mailboxes (Fed. offense?) and possession of stolen US Mail (certainly a Fed. offense.)

My attorney was not particularly happy to hear me voice that opinion, by the way. He had no choice but to enter a "no contest" plea.

It does seem the Feds had in interest in seeing what the locals were going to do with me, as a pair of them sat in the proceedings. Had they felt the Federal interest had been slighted, they were fully prepared to raise some charges on their own. (So I was told.)

I pretty much "spilled my guts" in court and told as much as I could actually remember about the event. I was able to offer up two character references from a Sgt. and Capt. with the Norfolk Narcotics, Vice and Intelligence Squad that I'd worked with during my last few months in the service, as well as another month or so, after I'd been discharged.

It was a since discontinued program that offered those of us with a MOS that didn't have much of a civilian market a way to get some training and/or experience that might help land a job on the "outside."

I was a gun captain in an 8 inch, 3 gun turret, on the last of the heavy cruisers, the USS Newport News, CA-148. (My avatar picture.) No adds for that kind of work in any of the newspapers that I could find. . .

I guess the judge felt I wasn't a complete waste of time, because accepted the "no contest" plea and decided to "withhold adjudication for one year." And the Feds sitting in on the case seemed satisfied with that finding, so I faced no new charges from them.

At that time, I was of the opinion that after one year and staying out of any and all legal trouble, that my "record" would then be "cleared." Turns out, that was not the case.

I got an email from the same man with the Dept. of Licensing who helped me straighten out a fingerprint problem, telling me that there was another hold-up, because this 30 year-old case turned up in the background check.

He said "Even though this arrest dates back over 30 years, our verification staff must evaluate this record to ensure that it does not constitute a disqualifying offense." And, "I will monitor your file as it makes its way through the evaluation process, and I will notify you by e-mail when I receive confirmation of the final status."

I cannot tell you how nice it is to have such people working for us, in our State government! I mean that, sincerely.

Regardless of the outcome, I will be seeking legal advice on having my record "expunged." I think that is the term I'm looking for. I hear that this is something that can be done in a case like mine, but that it is not, as I came to discover, an "automatic" process.

If you are bothered by the somewhat "humorous" way I recounted the story, I have to tell you that this is the only way I can comfortably recount it. Otherwise, I find it to be a most embarrassing part of my personal history, displaying gross immaturity and monumental stupidity.

Since then, I've had NO further contact with the criminal justice system, and only a very few traffic tickets spread out of the past 30 years, none within recent memory.

So, what do you think? Will I be "denied?" Should I be? I do know that at the time all this happened, going around armed would have been a very bad idea for me. But since then, I do feel I've matured to the point where I can safely exercise my Constitutional Rights.

I didn't think this would have come into play, because everything I read about applying in my state, Florida, spoke of violent crimes, DUI's, and drug-related offences, and those statements all contained a time-frame, such as "in the past 3 years," or "past 6 years," or multiple offenses.

Arrested? Yes. Convicted, I don't think so, the "adjudication" was withheld, there was no finding of guilt.

I think they may give me a "pass" on this, but I just don't know.

mm
 

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I suspect you will be fine. Between the distance in time, and the nature of the incident, I doubt it will be cause to reject your application.

Matt
 

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I loved the humor in your story, although true it was a fun read.

I think you are good to go with Fl. or any other state getting your permit. You have no felonies on your record, no federal charges were ever filed, you showed that it was an isolated experience and over 30 years ago. But when something pops up on yours or anyone’s record it is there job and duty to check it out and evaluating the situation before handing you a out of jail free card and sending you your permit.

Legalities that's all. Don't sweat it until your denied!

Ti.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, guys.

I try not to worry about it, no real point to it unless I do get denied.

Hopefully, that won't happen but I will work on it, if it does. Like I said, no matter how that comes out, I'll still look into what can be done with that "record," if anything. I'm not up on the legal system when it comes to "expungement."

In fact, that term sounds like something that should be followed up with a thorough handwashing, doesn't it? :biggrin2:

mm
 

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What jurisdiction were you charged in?

Matt
 

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madmike said:
I try not to worry about it, no real point to it unless I do get denied.

Hopefully, that won't happen but I will work on it, if it does. Like I said, no matter how that comes out, I'll still look into what can be done with that "record," if anything. I'm not up on the legal system when it comes to "expungement."
This is probably a retorical comment, but let us know what happens! :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You betch'um, Red Rider! :biggrin2:

I mean, yes, I certainly will.

mm
 

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Mike - thank you for a well written story - and being able to share it here. I am sure many of us have some tales to tell which would not be exactly devoid of some embarrassment!!!

Pity such relatively minor events can come back to haunt us but it does trike me that once they have checked it out, you should not be denied your CCW - it is really almost trivial. Sure as heck ain't some horrendous darned crime!!

I hope your remaining wait will not be too long and that the result will be as you wish.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Matt,

That would be Pasco County. One night in the "Bastille" in Dade City.
In all honesty, I cannot recommend the food.

And to everyone else, I appreciate the supportive comments. When not actively obsessing about it, I'm fairly confident that I'll see that permit, soon.

Mike
 

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IANAL, but I can point you in the right direction.

In this case, the FDLE is your first stop, for a letter of eligibility. http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/expunge/faq.html#how

After that, you file a petition in Pasco county, with the letter attached and the necessary affidavits. You can get the application for the letter of eligibility from the clerk's office in your nearest county courthouse.

Your case sounds like a perfect matter for expungement.
 

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madmike said:
You betch'um, Red Rider! :biggrin2:

I mean, yes, I certainly will.

mm
I got the point! :image035: :biggrin2: :hand10:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Matt,

Thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction! :biggrin2:

I'll get on that, right away!!

Mike
 

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My pleasure. The phone number for the FDLE office that handles this stuff is on that page I pointed you to. I am sure they will be helpful.

Matt
 

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Sure sounds like it shouldn't be a problem. Heck, what's a guy to do when he's attacked by a mailbox? (Great sense of humor, ya' got there).
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #17
"Disparity of Force" should apply, I was out-numbered! :redface:

This all took place in the same time-period that I aquired the "nick" of "mad mike." :blink:

mm
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It took me a couple of minutes to research that "literary reference!"

When I was young enough to watch shows like Mr. Rogers, I had no interest in them. Besides, it was all Black & White, and was referred to as "picture radio." :biggrin2:

mm
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It just keeps getting weirder!!!

Turns out the FDLE supplied the info that there had been a charge made back in 1974. What they didn't supply was the disposition of the case. So, they wrote to the county for the needed information on Jan. 25th.

I got "antsy" and went to the county gov. center, myself and requested to see my file. No matter how they ran the search, the results came back as "No record found."

So, when the county finally does reply to the license folks, that most likely going to be the "info" they supply.

I located the attorney that handled the case. His records don't go back that far.

Seems to me that the (Shall issue) State must show cause that my civil rights not be afforded me, due to their having been revoked in a criminal court proceeding. I should NOT have to "prove" that they were not taken away in the first place.

Am I looking at going to court (read: expensive!) to have my civil rights restored, when they were never taken away in the first place?

How absurd!

It occurs to me that I've never answered a question on a job application where I was asked if I'd ever been "charged" with a crime, I insist they the proper question is "have I ever been convicted of a crime?"
I consider the former question to be entirely improper, the later is the valid one.

I still don't know what they are going to do, but I would like to argue the case that must show just cause to deny my rights, and failing that, issue the damned permit.

Yet again, I point out that I'm not a lawyer, but a reading of the law seems to say that even if I'd been judged guilty (and I was NOT,) the fact that it was 30 years ago would NOT be cause to deny the permit. In all the questions asked, they gave a time-frame of "in the past 3 years," or "past 6 years." And those crimes listed were all either drug related or violent in nature. And my case did not fall into those areas.

If eventually denied, I will find out how to appeal the decision. No mention of that exist on the State web site. I might have to "invent" one. I cannot afford legal representation, so I may have to do it myself.

Maybe I'm seeing it too simplistically. Only through the due process of a criminal court proceeding, can my civil rights be taken from me. That did NOT happen. An agency of the State cannot of its own volition strip me of those rights, without due process, by a simple decree. That is NOT justice.

They cannot tell me I have to prove my civil rights are in tact. They must provide evidence that my rights were taken away. I'm not supposed to be the one making a claim, the burden of proof should be theirs. (I'm running out of ways to say this!) After all it is a Right I seek, not just the "licensed privilege" they've unconstitutionally turned it into.

Can you tell I'm starting to get just a little frustrated?

mm
 
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