40 Year Old Crime Still Affects Record

Back in 1972, 18-year-old Yolanda Quesada faced a dilemma that concerned paying for the clothes she needed for work at a Milwaukee department store. Because of the dire financial situation her family was in, acquiring the clothing through theft seemed to be the only option. Unfortunately, she was caught by a security guard on that attempt. Since it was her first offense, the 18-year old received a $50 fine and promised not to steal again.

Later that same year, Yolanda still faced the same situation, and found her option to be to steal again. Again she was caught, and since it was her second retail theft charge, the judge sentenced her to a yearlong probation. At this point, Yolanda vowed to never steal again.  This vow held true, but still managed to come up again in her life decades later.

In 2012, Yolanda, now 58, had a full time job answering phones in the customer service department at Wells Fargo Bank.  Earning certificates and pins for her excellent work ethic, she did well at her job during the 5+ years she worked for Wells Fargo. Recently, she came into work, and was to report to her manager’s office. Because of current Federal checks on banks, Wells Fargo had done a background check on Yolanda and discovered she had criminal offenses that occurred in 1972, 40 years ago. Yolanda was fired immediately.

As an attorney, one can see that there could be an injustice done to Yolanda’s firing, a once praised employee of Wells Fargo. Criminal defense lawyers fight every day to expunge or seal the records of retail theft cases, making these charges vanish to employers. Yolanda wants her job back, a job she has performed well for the past five years. She arguably exceeded expectations of a good employee. A situation like this can be avoided by sealing records, or an expungement.