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At the age of 18 I was arrested, charged and convicted of a Felony, Aggravated Assault Ā against a Police Officer in 1985. I was sentenced to 10 years probation in 1986 and had to pay fines during the probationary period. I complied fully and was released from probation in 1995. During the time a was on probation, I rehabilitated myself and took full advantage of an education. I enrolled in college in 1990, completed my bachelors degree in 1994, got a job in public education in 1996 and completed a masters degree in 1999. Since 1985 I have I have not been in any trouble. Today, I own and operate 2 businesses and employ many people. While my voting rights were restored shortly after being released from probation, I still do not have the right to sit on a jury trail, possess and carry a concealed hand gun in public (I can at home) or run for public office. This is unfortunate because I am a home-owner and tax payer who run several businesses and stimulate the economy through my small business, but I can’t ever be forgiven of a stupid mistake made at the tender age of 18. I am 47 now and have lived and dealt with this my entire adult-hood. Some people understand and some don’t, but there should be relief under the laws in Texas for people like me. The relief should include at minimum the chance to have my record expunged after a number of years of demonstrated growth and productivity.

User story by La Van in Texas

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