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I had two misdemeanors when I was young. Both tickets were issued by the DNR. One for crossing a road on a snowmobile to get to the snowmobile trails and one for not signing a duck stamp (I purchased one, just forgot to sign it). I paid my fines and moved on with my life.

I got married to a woman who had two kids. Her divorce was quite volatile and her ex husband was constantly turning her in for neglect or abuse (totally unsubstantiated). It got to the point where the courts told him not to come back with any more false allegations. There was peace and quiet for a while until…

I was at home with a severe back injury and dealing with a great deal of pain. My oldest stepson was yelling at his mother and being disrespectful. I went to where the commotion was and told him that he needed to stop and if he didn’t want to show respect he could leave. Tossed a box at him and told him to pack up. He swung at me. I tried to push him away (he was nearly 6ft tall. I am 5’8″). Unfortunately in the scuffle I did like some marks. I am not proud or happy about my reaction and know I should have walked away, but the swing led me to restrain him. My lawyer had a stroke the week earlier and my representation was poor. (He didn’t even remember my name through the whole hearing). I was told later that I should have requested a jury. The judge found me guilty. I couldn’t afford to fight the conviction and was told that if I took anger management and was on probation for a year all would be good with the world. (Which I did). Later we decided to try and get the conviction expunged because I had no other things on my record. Because the two previously mentioned tickets were issued by the DNR they were on my record and has prevented me from getting my record expunged. (If a policeman gave a ticket it would not be on my record in either instance.) I have no other domestics, no other crimes, no other incidences. I have three other younger boys and never had any problems with any of them. It has been at least 12 years and I have one teenage boy left in the home. I am not a violent man. My life has been permanently scarred by this one situation. My stepson and I get along perfectly fine and he would even testify for me at the age of 27. Back then the court said that younger children would lie out of fear of their assailant so they wouldn’t listen to him. He never was and is not afraid of me now.

User story by Rodney in Michigan

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