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September 2006 I was arrested at my then boyfriend’s house.
I went over to talk to him because he was supposed to pick me up for brunch as
a birthday present and never showed up. I called his cell to find out where he
was and when he was coming but received no answer. I then called his home phone
and a woman answered. She informed me they were getting married and he would
not be seeing me anymore. At that time, I was six months pregnant with his
child and had been dating him for more than three years. I was totally
surprised! I asked my mom to ride with me to his house so I could talk to him
but felt I needed protection because I was pregnant. I took a baseball bat with
me for protection because I did not want to show up, unannounced and have this
new woman do something to hurt me or my baby because I assumed she did not know
I was pregnant.

I arrived and saw his car in the driveway. I knocked on the
door and asked to speak to my then boyfriend and she told me he was not there.
I did not believe her since I saw his car in the driveway so I walked in the
house pass her. (Home Invasion) My mother walked in behind me and waited at the
front door while I looked around the house for him. When I saw he was not in
the house, I walked toward the front door to leave and the girlfriend jumped on
my back knocking me down to the floor on my pregnant stomach. My mom broke it
up by pulling her off of me so I could stand. I then ran out of the house breaking
the glass on the front door and called the police on my cell phone. I told them
I had been attacked at my boyfriend’s house and that I was six months pregnant.
I waited for the police to come because I honestly did not know I had did
anything wrong. Little did I know she also called the police.

Once outside the door, waiting in the driveway of his home,
she came back to the door yelling and screaming at us. My mom and I both waited
for the police to arrive to give an account of what happened. While the police
were taking our statements, my then boyfriend drives up on his motorcycle. He
informs the police he does not know either of us and wants to know who is going
to pay for his broken glass door.

The police arrested me and took me to jail. My mother was
not placed under arrest. I was released on my own recognizance because I had
never been arrested or committed a crime before. I was told when to appear in
court and assigned a court appointed attorney. My case was adjourned for
several months giving me time to have my baby. I was told over and over and
over again how Oakland County does not deal or offer lesser charges. I kept
trying to explain that I did not break into his house. That I did not assault
anyone and in fact was the one attacked. The only thing I thought I was
responsible for was paying to replace the broken glass door. I hired a lawyer
which I paid $3,000 to represent me. He told me he was able to get me a plea
agreement and my sentence structure could be probation up to one year of county
jail. I took the plea because he had me convinced I would not going to jail but
if I went to trial, the prosecutor would seek 20 years in prison. I had never
been in trouble before at the age of 30 and he was sure I would get probation
and community service. I trusted my lawyer and knowing I just had my first
child, I thought it was the best thing to do. He never told me I would never be
able to clear my record. That I would have a hard time finding a place to live
as a convicted felon and that I would never be able to get a good job again
even though I am college educated.

Because I was charged and took the plea with three charges,
I can never get my record expunged. The prosecutor would not take any of the
charges off even once they had the full story. I have never been violent to
anyone and only went there for answers from him and it went all wrong. I never
had a criminal record before this and have not been arrested for any reason since.
I relocated to get as far away from Michigan as possible and start over with my
daughter once I was released from county jail. It just seems totally unfair
that I made one mistake in my entire life over a relationship with a man and I
have to pay for it forever. I think if a person has one case and only one case,
they should be able to get their record expunged. I think it is unfair to deny
them an expungement based on how many charges the case had. My charges are not
even remotely close to what actually happened because on paper, I look like a
violent criminal that breaks into people’s houses, assaults them, and destroys
their property! That is not me at all and it is not what happened. I was
released off probation early. I believe Michigan should have a first time
offender rule or law like Georgia, the state I currently live in. If this would
have happened in Georgia, it would have been forgiven and I could have moved
forward with my life without a criminal record unless I was arrested and
convicted of another crime. But since it happened in Oakland County, Michigan
and because they charged me with three crimes for one incident, I can never put
this behind me. I am currently homeless and jobless and don’t know what to do!

User story by N. in Michigan

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