Post # 1
My fiance was given a diferred adjudication when he was 18 years old for posession of marijuana. He came clean about this with me before we got engaged, and explained that he pleaded no contest as per his lawyer’s recommendations. He was put on probation and was dismissed after 3 years because he completed it successfully.
He is now almost 31 years old and has never gotten into trouble again, and is a very decent, hard working man with a respectable position in a large company who has learned from his mistakes. In fact, his background has never come up in job applications, apartments applications, etc.. Until today.
We applied for our first apartment together early this week and he received a call today saying we were denied because he falsified information regarding his arrest. He says he’s never checked off having a criminal background, as its what his lawyer told him to do back then when, and its never come up before, not even at his jobs.
I am sooo bummed! I fell in love with the apartments and now we can’t move in because of something from 12 years ago! Is being upset justified? Any suggestions on how to work through this and not resent him? Am I making a mistake marrying someone with diferred adjudication???
Post # 3
It’s perfectly reasonable to be upset about the situation, but I don’t think it’s fair to resent him for something stupid that he did when he was so young. It definitely sucks that it’s affecting things now, but I really don’t see how it’s a mistake to marry him. Marrying him is more than living in a certain apartment.
The thing is, only you can decide whether this is enough to throw away a man you’re in love with, a man you say is good and hard working and who learns from his mistakes, and the future you both want. There are plenty of very nice places out there where his history won’t affect your living situation. But if you’re already thinking about giving up on things now, after one setback, then what about the “good times and bad” ideal that is behind marriage?
Post # 4
@ellisrobertson: I love this man and know I would never be able to find someone as good as him–even if they didn’t have a criminal record. My question was more so along the lines of what kind of repercusions does marrying someone with a differed bring?
I agree with you and definitely think something he did 12 years ago doesn’t define in any way who he is today. Thanks so much for helping me calm down!
Post # 5
When I read your title, I thought “criminal history”? Hell no! I thought you were talking about something really serious, like armed robbery, or selling heroin, or something. I was preparing myself for a long discourse along the lines of “he fell into bad company… had to start selling to fund his crack cocaine addiction… found The Lord in prison… is now a changed man…”
Then I found out that he got busted with weed when he was a kid. Maybe it’s a US/UK thing, but who didn’t smoke a bit of pot as a teenager? There but for the grace of God go I! There’s nothing wrong with this guy… but there is something wrong with a system which doesn’t forgive a simple childish lapse in judgement, or whatever you want to call it. I am outraged on your behalf that the apartment rental people treated you both like this. I usually have excellent control over my temper, but if this happened to me then I would be driving straight over to those people and giving them a few Choice Words, shall we say.
Unfortunately I cannot advise you as to how the system works in the US, but in the UK then this would be counted as a spent conviction, in which case he would never have to declare it again (and quite right too, in my opinion). If I were you, would brush up on the legal aspects of things and start some political campaigning against this state of affairs, because to me then this is an outrageous state of things!
Post # 6
Well, to be honest, I don’t think that you should have any more difficulties with his background than he did on his own. If it hasn’t caused problems at any point in the past 12 years, then this was kind of a fluke. It absolutely sucks, I’m not denyiing that at all. I’d be incredibly disappointed not to get the home I love based on something that has never been a problem before, so I never considered that it would crop up now. But if he’s lived for 12 years without it causing problems, then I think that is what you need to think about as you move forward. Hell, you guys could have been denied for any number of reasons (theoretically, I mean; I’m not saying that there ARE other reasons in your situation, only that there could have been, even if his history didn’t exist), it just happened that this was what stood in the way this time.
Let yourself have a little private pity party. 🙂 When he’s not around (because you don’t want to make him feel bad or worse about something like this, not when he has worked hard to turn his life around), be sad that you don’t get the apartment, don’t deny the disappointment that you feel. But then pick yourself back up and start looking at new places. You’ll find something great, and you’ll be with the love of your life. Those apartments don’t mean a thing, I promise.
Post # 7
@Rachel631: He was charged with marijuana posession while hanging out with some friends who stopped to get weed somewhere and the cops were waiting for them, apparently knowing there was something going on. The friends had about 50lbs of marijuana in the trunk of a car. Apparently the fiance knew what his friends were going to pick up, he just didn’t think much of it since he wasn’t gonna be involved. He grew up in a border city with Mexico, where there’s lots of drug trade going on. He was with the wrong people at the wrong time.
I guess I’m angry, not so much at him, but at the situation. He pleaded no contest but the weed wasn’t even his! The system can be so unfair 🙁
Post # 8
@sparklepony: My genius brother took the blame for his friend on what was supposed to be a minor charge but would have been his friend’s second strike and would have landed him with a fair amount of jail time. Instead, my brother was charged with a felony and sentenced to 60 days in jail, Phoenix’s tent city. Now he has a felony on his record and has to pay restitution. Nobody expected it to turn out that way, and now my brother is paying for it.
Post # 9
If he pleaded “no contest,” he told the judge that the weed was his and he had no defense. I don’t see how that makes the system unfair.
Maybe you guys should consult a lawyer to check why this happened. What information did he falsify? Does he not understand the implications of his charge? Did he not tell you the whole story?
Post # 10
I don’t know what state you live in…. and Deferred Adjudication laws will vary by state. However……
I wouldn’t have a problem marrying someone with a criminal history – depending on what the history is. If he’s told you the full story, his would in no way be a deal breaker for me.
BUT it does sound like he was given poor legal advice when his lawyer told him not to disclose (again, depends on the state). It would depend on what question the application asks…. if it asked if he had a conviction – the answer is no, and that is probably what the lawyer intended to advise him. But, if the application asks if he has ever plead guilty or no contest (basically the same as deferred adjudication) for a drug related offense and he says no – then he is falsifiying his application. THAT would bother me.
He DOES have a criminal background. He IS NOT a convicted felon. So, it depends on the question. It also depends on if you believe him that he isn’t lying to cover it up and really thought it was ok to not disclose. it sounds like you believe him and from all accounts has “done his time” so to speak. So, based on what you post I wouldn’t worry.
However…. yes, I would say this is something that can potentially follow you forever. That’s the exchange for no chance of potentially serving time in jail. A quick google search revealed that Texas, especially, is having trouble with people not being able to find jobs / rent appartments / get home loans because of this.
However – I think if he drafts a letter indicating what he did, what he’s learned and who he is now that he can attach to anything where he is asked to disclose if he has pled no contest….. you won’t have a problem from MOST people in the future.
Post # 11
Yeah I can get that you are uppset at the situation, I mean it sucks to not be able to move in where you want because of something as small as mariujana possesion, but to take it out on him would probablly just hurt your relationship… And you seem to have figured that out for yourself in later posts. So good luck in finding another good place to stay:)
Post # 12
@3xaCharm: As luck would have it… We live in Texas! Lol I’m sure he didn’t think he needed to list the deferred adjudication since it wasn’t a conviction. We’re going to the apartments tomorrow and bringing the letter he received saying he was dismissed of his probation and apologizing about misunderstanding the question on the application. I doubt this will work, but hopefully they might reconsider. Its also really upsetting that his lawyer didn’t seem to give him very good advice 🙁
Post # 13
For me, it would really depend on the nature of the criminal activities, the reasoning they committed them and how they learned from it. Petty crime, like having some marijuana on you is much more different than being convicted of something like rape or grevious bodily harm.
Post # 14
I kind of see this situation like those of men that get charged with rape or child sex offences when they have consensual sex with their girlfriends when they are 17/18 and the girl is 16/17. A lot of he couples even go on to get married but the charges stick.
The system is pretty black and white unfortunately and in your case he did plead no contest. I think the systems that allow people like landlords to check a history do not state what the charges were for just what the charges are. Could you maybe speak to the rental agency and bring a copy of the full charges so they can see how long ago and what for?
Post # 15
@j_jaye: We are doing what you suggested, we’re going tomorrow and apologizing, explaining we really did not mean to falsify anything, but instead were advised not to list anything on applications. We’re also bringing the letter he got saying his probation was dimissed. I’m not very hopeful, but I guess its better than not trying. Wish us luck!
Post # 16
It seems to me that the people to be upset at are the apartments who are discriminating against your Fiance for his conviction. It sounds like he made a mistake, got caught, did his sentence, and is now a valuable and productive member of society. (Of course they won’t admit they’re discriminating. They’ll claim it was denied because he lied, not because of his record.)
Good luck with your apology.
I guess marrying your Fiance with his criminal past (hehe) might be a mistake, but only if you want that apartment more than you want him.