Applicant With Kidnapping Conviction Denied by DOHA
I ran across a rather unusual Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case involving serious criminal conduct occurring in 2007. In most cases, the time elapsed since then would have mitigated the concerns, but in this particular instance, they did not. Here are the highlights of the case.
In 2007, the applicant was working three low-paying jobs and still unable to make her mortgage payments or make ends meet. Desperate, she planned a scheme involving her posing as a buyer and set up an appointment with a realtor to view a house. Using a toy gun, the applicant forced the realtor to go to her bank and withdraw $8,000, and once in hand, drove back home. Federal investigators eventually found her and she ended up getting sentenced to eight years in prison. She got out in 2016, and served five years of supervised probation. During her trial, one of the reasons she cited for committing the crime was because she was having a mental breakdown.
Fast forward to her DOHA appeal, and the judge took into consideration the seriousness of the crime, which was a heavier than the usual burden to overcome. He noted that the recency of her being released from probation was just over two years ago. He also noted the applicant’s positive rehabilitation efforts to date. Although there were mitigating factors, in the end, the judge decided more time was needed to restore a high level of trust and good judgment. Clearance eligibility was denied. You can read the entire summary here.