Did you know that reports indicate that 1 in 4 Americans have a criminal record? This translates into millions of people who are having trouble finding jobs, getting an education or receiving training. These challenges can be very real obstacles for people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in Michigan.
When young people are in college, many of them end up making some mistakes that they wish they could take back. Unfortunately, some of these mistakes can follow a person around for years in the form of a criminal record. Most people would not want to be defined as an adult by the poor decisions they made as a student, which is why it can be crucial for a young person to work with an attorney if he or she is facing criminal charges.
Facing criminal charges can be very scary for people, but not everyone realizes the actual damage that can be done to a person's family, career and reputation. In many cases, a person does not understand the penalties they are faced with and some people may assume that certain charges are not a big deal. However, any charges of criminal misconduct, whether they are misdemeanors or felonies, can significantly alter a person's life.
One of the most difficult consequences of being convicted of a crime is having that conviction follow you for years after you have completed a sentence. In terms of reintroduction into society, a felony conviction can make it very difficult for people to find jobs and work to become contributing members of a community. Without a job, people may have few options in terms of earning a living and providing for themselves and their families.
College can be a crucial turning point for many people. Many students discover what career path they'd like to pursue during college, and they attend classes and choose majors that can have a significant impact on what they will do after graduation. However, the choices that a student makes outside the classroom can end up being just as important. This may be especially true for those students in Michigan and elsewhere who find themselves in legal trouble for alleged criminal misconduct.
Last fall, voters in Grand Rapids approved a measure that would decriminalize the use and possession of marijuana within city limits. Since that time, the ballot measure has been challenged in court by Kent County law enforcement officials, but city officials say that the plan to roll out decriminalization is imminent. This news comes just as federal officials took a stance on medicinal marijuana use in Michigan.
People make many mistakes in their teenage years. If these mistakes are punished, it may be no more than a weekend grounding or detention after class. Other times, the mistakes are their own lessons and a young person is given the chance to grow and learn from the experience, rather than be disciplined. There are few times when one mistake made as a teen can upset the rest of a person's life.
There are many people who have found themselves in the unfortunate situation of standing in front of a camera at a police station having their mug shot taken. However, just because a person has been arrested and has a mug shot taken does not mean that he or she is guilty of a crime. In fact, many people who are arrested for a particular violation of the law are ultimately found not guilty of a crime or the charges eventually get dismissed.
Car accidents happen every day in Michigan. Some of these crashes are caused by a dangerous driver while others are simply the result of bad decision. But the fact is that people get into accidents because everyone makes mistakes and a mistake made behind the wheel can affect others on the road. However, not all drivers who are involved in an accident should be penalized by being criminally charged with a felony or misdemeanor.
One of the most difficult aspects of a criminal conviction for juveniles can be dealing with the consequences of having a criminal record. Many young people make a mistake and serve their time, but they have difficulty reengaging in their community and finding a job afterwards. Instead of supporting these juveniles in their attempts to learn from their mistakes and move on, the system seemed to be working against them.