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My home was broken into in May of 2003. I called the police and they came and took the report and never found the people. I got the license plate. Then later that night the same car or what appeared to be the same car drove through my neighborhood slowly and I gave chase had my weapon with me and I gave chase I was going to make a citizens arrest, I fired a shot into the air and had my weapon pointed at the ground never pointed it at them. To my horror it was the wrong people I tried to console them but they weren’t having it. Long story short I got sued and went to prison for 5 years, however the jury felt that it was way too much for what I did, they showed up at my sentencing on my behalf and asked the judge for leniency. After serving 1 year my case was granted appeal and I was released, the prosecutor wanted a conviction and wanted to be with my family and take care of them so I took the deal which gave me my class 3 felony for life and I had to spend 6 more months on work furlough and 1 year probation. Now I read cases and my lawyer presented cases that were way worse then what I did and probation and a class 6 misdemeanor was all they got. I have made a good life for myself and am a good citizen happily married and raised my children right, but still carry this burden forever. I know what I did was wrong and scared the victims. But haven’t I done everything that was asked of me, why must I continue to be punished? I pay my taxes; I help my community. Now I’m not saying I want to run out and buy a gun I hate guns at this point, however I would like to vote and have my record cleared. I’ve only gotten 2 speeding tickets in the 12 years since this happened. Laws should exist to help with certain situations like this people should be given a second chance. Thank you.

User story by Matt in Arizona

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