We all know that box when filling out a job application that reads, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony.” When you have you checked the box “yes”, it can feel discouraging and scary. What does that actually mean? Many might wonder if they can ever be hired for a job again.
Knowing the impacts of a felony is important. In Michigan, a felony is any serious crime for which the possible maximum sentence is more than one year in prison.
When a person is convicted of a felony, they can expect at a minimum to serve prison time and pay a fine as a punishment. However, these are not the only impacts of being convicted of a felony. Many might even follow you through the rest of your life. Here are six ways that you can expect to happen when you are charged with a felony.
Consequences of Being Charged With a Felony
The following are 6 consequences of being charged with a felony in Michigan according to the Michigan.gov.
- Voting Rights
The right to vote for felons can be misunderstood. The laws can vary from state to state. For those in Michigan, convicted felons can vote unless they are incarcerated in jail or prison at the time.
- Possession of Firearms
It becomes a criminal offense when a felon has possession of a firearm or electronic defense weapon. Examples of what the law considers a firearm are: “sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver, or other weapon.”It does not matter if the weapon is loaded or unloaded, a convicted felon cannot be possession. The convicted felon can transfer their weapons to someone who is eligible to possess them. If they do not, the Public Safety Commissioner will take possession.
- Student Loan and Aid
When convicted of a felony, the person is not eligible for federal assistance such as grants, loans, or work assistance for higher education when they were convicted of a crime involving possession or sale of a controlled substance.If a person was caught in possession they are ineligible for the first offense, two years for the second offense and indefinitely for the third offense. For a person who was convicted of selling illegal substances they are ineligible for two years for the first offense and indefinitely after the second offense.
- Jury Duty
In the State of Michigan, a convicted felon cannot qualify to serve as juror in the Michigan Judicial Courts or in a Federal Grand Jury.
- Servicing in The Military
In most cases, convicted felons are not allowed to join the armed forces.
When you are convicted of a felony, it is important to check the city you live in to understand the specific laws. Many states are working to remove the question of past criminal record from job applications and there is the equal rights employment act too.For example, the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan passed a new hiring policy that removed all references to past felony convictions from the city employment application, except for police and fire department applications.
Cleaning Up and Expunging Your Record
Having a felony on your record can impact your life and where you want to go. These six ways are just a few of the impacts of having a felony record can impact your future. When you want to put your past behind you, it can feel discouraging.
At the David J. Kramer Law Firm, PPC, we want you to know that it isn’t over. There is always hope.
Michigan has ways of expunging your record, and we would love to have the opportunity to talk with you about those options. The first step is to call and talk with us today.
248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000