Every criminal offense has a maximum penalty which defines whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony. In Michigan, a felony is a crime that’s punishable by two years or more. If you’ve been convicted of an offense that has a maximum penalty of two years or more you’re considered a felon.

Examples of common felonies include:

There are several rights that felons don’t have. Many of them like the right to vote are misunderstood and therefore I’ll clarify them below.

Right to Vote

A felon’s right to vote in state and federal elections vary among different states. In Michigan, a felon has an absolute right to vote except when they’ve been incarcerated in jail or prison at the time of the election.

There are no election booths in jail. Despite Michigan law, many felons believe they’ve lost their right to vote so they don’t do it. A felon’s vote counts as much as anyone’s. If given a chance, encourages felons to vote in our elections.

Right to Possess a Firearm or Carry a Concealed Weapon

A person convicted of a felony cannot lawfully possess a firearm pursuant to Michigan and Federal Law. Michigan law also prohibits persons convicted of a felony from carrying a concealed weapon. Felons may, in certain circumstances, get their state firearm possession rights restored.

Right to Serve on a Jury

A person convicted of a felony cannot qualify as a juror in Michigan Judicial Courts or a Federal Grand Jury.

Felons Cannot Own a Michigan Liquor License

In Michigan to own an establishment that sells or serves liquor, beer and/or wine a person must be granted a liquor license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. They’ll probably not grant a liquor license to a felon. You don’t need a liquor license to be a bartender or waitress. Only the owner or owners of the establishment must be licensed.

Right to a sentence enhancement for conviction of a subsequent felony (habitual offender)

A person convicted of a felony can have their sentence enhanced or increased for a subsequent felony conviction pursuant to Michigan Habitual Felony Offender Laws. Generally, the more prior felony convictions, the more severe the sentence.

Felons Are Precluded from Having a Michigan Gaming (Casino) License

Most jobs working in one of Michigan’s three casinos require a gaming license from the Michigan Gaming Commission. A felony conviction will keep someone from obtaining this license. If already licensed, a felony conviction will cause a licensee to lose the license, therefore, losing their job

Felons Cannot Join the Military

In most cases, a felony conviction will preclude a person from joining the armed forces.

How to Get Rid of a Felony Conviction

Felony convictions can be removed or set aside in Michigan under certain circumstances.

Michigan has some of the most progressive expungement laws in the nation. More felonies and misdemeanors than ever are eligible for expungement.

Learn more about expungement and if you qualify. If you do qualify, or are unsure, contact us and we’ll schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.