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What Rights Do People Convicted of Felonies Lose in MI?

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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. This article covers what rights are lost with a felony conviction. 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.

Michigan also has among the most progressive expungement laws in the nation. You may very well be eligible to have your criminal record expunged.

Interested in expungement? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.

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, encourage 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. This is another instance where expungement might help you.

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.

Interested in expungement? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.


Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
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