Man Who Faced 10 Years for Impersonating Police Officer Gets Second Chance in Court

One night two years ago, Charles Troutman found himself in handcuffs. He'd thought it would be funny to put a blue light in his pickup truck and drive down the highway like a cop-- well, a cop carrying some weed. But an actual police officer spotted him, and Troutman was arrested for impersonating a peace officer, a third-degree felony. At 22, the forklift driver faced anywhere from two to 10 years in prison. Lucky for him, a program started in Dallas County in February 2016 that gives second chances to nonviolent offenders who are 18 to 24 years old. On Monday, Troutman graduated along with four other young men, all clad in black gowns. Judge Brandon Birmingham, who oversees the program, signed an order dismissing their criminal cases. Their charges will be expunged -- as though they never happened. "I got very lucky," Troutman, now 24, said after the ceremony. "I could've been in prison for a very long time, just for something I thought was so minor but turned out to be so bad. I'm feeling great. I've put these things to heart."   Continue reading...

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