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Hello, I am really in high hopes that my story can be heard and my record someday expunged.

In 1984 i was a 14 year old runaway from Georgia. I Ran away because of multiple home stressors and circumstances… I lived in Tampa Bay Fla. under an assumed name or alias and pro- claimed myself to be 18 and married to my then boyfriend. I obtained employment briefly with a fast food chain until my employer realized i was not who or what i said i was through my social security number and so on.

I was arrested at a K-mart for shoplifting a few small items.. i was taken to jail for the night finger printed and let out the next morning. I can not recall many details of the charge or outcome except i believe i was placed on probation.

I left the state of Florida as soon as i was released and ran to Maine… shortly thereafter i married when i was 15 in South Carolina.

I have since lived a quite and normal life, very civilized and contributed to society. However i have a hard time explaining this being on my record, anytime i am fingerprinted for security or employment reasons.. i am confronted with it. I was not an adult when i was arrested, my birth certificate coud show this but my birth certificate is in an entirely different name? My mother changed my original name when i was around 11 or 12 years of age… i have no record of this through the courts and have no idea how to or where to obtain these records or if i need them at all to clear this matter.

I have been denied employment and barred from working with elderly in care homes or any “vulnerable” persons due to the fact that i may “take advantage”. I am not a criminal and do not steel things…. not even from work! I would like to pursue other opportunities in law enforcement and security possibly in the near future… Is it possible to have my record in Tampa Bay Fla. appealed or expunged?

Sincerely…

Karmen

User story by Karmen Diaz in Florida

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