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Screwed over 15 years ago. Any hope for me?

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Federal

I live in Illinois. 15 years ago I was named in a federal (access device fraud) case in North Carolina. Multiple people were indicted. I was in my early 20's and did not have much money. There was absolutely no evidence against me yet I was to be tried anyway in North Carolina. I was assigned a lawyer from North Carolina. I had initial contact with the lawyer and was told I needed to plead guilty. I refused and said I was not guilty and I wanted to fight it. After that months went by and multiple calls to the lawyer were never answered. I finally had to write a letter to the judge. From that letter I was assigned another lawyer. I contacted him but by this point our trial date was a couple weeks away. He gave me the same advice. Plead guilty. I also told him I did not want to plead guilty. He explained that so close to trial I would just make the judge mad and wind up in jail regardless if I did it or not. He then went on to say he would talk to the prosecutor to see what he could do. I spoke to him again a few days later and he told me he had worked it out if I pleaded guilty the prosecutor would recommend probation served. He stressed numerous times it was my ONLY option. If I did not plead guilty I would go to jail. So I plead guilty. Get to sentencing. The prosecutor made the recommendation he said he would. It didn't matter. The judge gave me 6 months of work release anyway. The kicker is when it was my turn to go my great new lawyer says "I am sorry your honor, please have patience with me. This is my first time in a criminal trial like this". When we presented our evidence at the sentencing hearing the other lawyers up at the table (different case) asked me why I plead guilty if I had a defense like I presented.

I still get sick thinking about all that. Sorry for being long but I tried to shorten as much as possible. My problem now is this. My rights are gone as a felon. I had no idea that was going to happen. Now I am out here looking and it appears my only option to get this off my back is a presidential pardon. To even get a chance at that I read I need to say I am guilty again for something I didn't do.

Is there no recourse for something like this? I have never been in trouble for anything else ever. I have a great family own a business etc. The only reason I want to do this is for my own piece of mind. I have been successful in life despite this happening. Idea's?


Queen Bee
You said that you did it. So basically you committed perjury. Look you are guilty. YOU did do whatever it is you plead guilty for.


Senior Member
The only reason I want to do this is for my own piece of mind. I have been successful in life despite this happening. Idea's?

Ranac, we've all done things in our lives that we are not proud of. None of us is perfect. You can't change what happened 15 years ago, but you can affect what happens today and what will happen tomorrow.

Look it is not like your some sex offender and detriment to society. Take what is good in your life and make it better. Focus on your business and your family. Valuable time and effort is wasted when you dwell on something that cannot be changed.

I can't answer if there is any hope for you, but you certainly can. Live each day as a person of good moral character, remember to have fun and enjoy life. I can tell you that if you live a good life you will leave a good legacy even if you weren't perfect.

take care, ana:)

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