DEAR ABBY: I am a 31-year-old married (with children) woman. I have an embarrassing secret.
When I was 20, I was arrested on a felony charge -- transportation of pot into a prison. The charge was dropped to a misdemeanor, and I was given a one-year probation since I had never been in trouble before as an adult. I haven't been in any trouble since then.
I have noticed that on job applications certain questions are asked about "any arrests." I don't want to lie on a job application and risk being caught and later being fired -- or even being sent to jail because of lying on the application. So, my question is this: Since my arrest was so long ago, is there a way for me to have it sealed so that I can put that part of my life behind me and not worry about it following me for the rest of my life?
Please don't print my name or address. -- GOING STRAIGHT
DEAR GOING STRAIGHT: In some states, if the offender was under 21 years of age when the crime was committed and has subsequently proved to be of good character, the record can be expunged (destroyed). Consult a lawyer. It may cost a few hundred dollars, but the peace of mind would be well worth the price.