After experiencing a criminal conviction, your life will never be the same. Even if your penalties were minimal such as fines or a month in jail followed by time spent on probation, there is a large possibility that the many years following your offense could be very difficult for you in a number of areas. One of these ways has to do with the fact that a criminal record can inhibit you from obtaining specific employment, as well as restrict your housing options, ability to travel, etc. depending on the severity of your crime.
According to the story of one Michigan man, he is a 47 year old husband and father who is entirely unable to support his family because his felony criminal conviction has scared his record making him an undesirable candidate for all places of employment. M.J. plead before the House of Criminal Justice Committee begging to have his life returned back to him, asking that he be able to support his own family rather than relying on the states assistance to do so. As a father he is feeling the burden of being unable to help his three children with a number of things because of his criminal record, as well as his lack of employment to support them financially with their childhood goals.
A bipartisan group co-sponsored by Rep. Stacy Erwin Oakes, D-Saginaw has recently introduced House Bill 4186 proposing that the criminal justice system make the process for those with criminal histories to have their records expunged. This bill also seeks that not only the process be simplified, but also that the records be made non-public, to help ex-convicts enjoy the freedoms of finding jobs down the road. They hope that this new bill offers a chance to those with a criminal past who are repentant of their ways to reenter society and play a part in the daily economy as they once did.
This man, M.J., is a poster child for those who should be given another chance. As a college graduate and a military veteran, this father and husband want to be a contributing member of not only his country but of his family, and an expunged record is the only way that he will be able to do that. In 2011 another bill was passed similar to this allow for those who committed a crime under the age of 21 to more easily have their records concealed, and Oakes seeks to have these same changes for adults. Oakes believes that by allowing the arbitrary age of 21 to be set aside, this will not only open the doors for new employment opportunities, but it will also reduce the possibility of recidivism with adults who have a criminal history.
If you have been arrested for a criminal offense or are seeking to have your record expunged, contact a trusted Michigan criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman!