Armando Aguilar was tired of living in the shadow of his rap sheet. Six years expelled from his conviction – for second-degree business thievery, under impact of meth and ownership of a stolen check – and after he cleaned up his life, Aguilar graduated from San Jose City College in 2009 as a trained drug and alcohol counselor. He soon discovered an occupation working with adults. However when he applied for the job, his criminal history diminished his chances.
Not long after that, Aguilar found out about a free program at San Jose State that helps individuals who have turned their lives around remove certain offenses from public record. With the assistance of SJSU justice studies learners, Aguilar’s criminal history was wiped clean by a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge.
“The reality I got everything erased was a help for me,” said Aguilar, 38, who was contracted in October to work with at-danger youth in the East Bay and has educated his superintendent about his past. “I could close a part on that some piece of my life.”
Aguilar is one of about 200 individuals whose criminal histories have been released through SJSU’s Record Clearance Project, made in 2008. Justice studies learners have talked with many prospective customers and looked into their rap sheets to check whether they fit the bill for record expungement, somewhat known and minimal utilized lawful process within which certain offense and crime offenses, basically less genuine unlawful acts that did not bring about a jail sentence, might be deleted from open record.
The lion’s share, if not all, of the customers were doing combating dependence at the time they perpetrated their nonviolent crimes.
“Individuals have a tendency to come to us when they feel they truly have rolled out an improvement in their lives,” said Peggy Stevenson, a SJSU educator and chief of the Record Clearance Project. “Practically everybody has truly officially showed they have turned their lives around.”
While it may sound to some like the expungement procedure permits criminals to escape obligation regarding their crimes, those included in the project say it is situated to remove terrible on-screen characters, with a lot of balanced governance.
The individuals who did jail time for genuine or vicious crimes – in California, most sentences of longer than one year must be served in jail – are not qualified. Indeed certain feelings bringing about penitentiary time, for example, child pornography and sexual assault, can’t be erased.
What’s more any individual who has had a resulting negative experience with law implementation or did not effectively finish probation must go in the eyes of a judge before expungement is allowed.
After expungement, an individual’s criminal history does not appear on an open personal verification yet it stays obvious to law enforcement offices, the courts and authorizing sheets. Stevenson empowers members in the SJSU system to recognize their criminal history in the event that they are asked, and to clarify that the conviction was released by the state.