Political hopeful isn't letting his criminal record stop him

A local Michigan man with a criminal record is doing his best to overcome the stigma. Although he can’t vote because of his criminal record, the young man hopes others will vote for him this coming November for Michigan’s 95th District House seat.

Notably, the 24-year-old is still on parole. However, the young man claims that he has turned his life around and learned from the mistakes in his past. By being honest and open about his criminal history, he hopes to gain voter trust. In fact, the young man hopes his past might actually help his political leadership. For example, he believes that he can add insight into the problem of high recidivism rates among criminal defendants. The young hopeful also wants to address the difficulty that many convicted offenders face in finding employment upon their release.

The specifics of the young man's criminal record include serving time in state prison after being convicted on charges arising from alleged trespassing. He also allegedly violated the terms of his parole from a prior conviction by committing subsequent criminal offenses.

The young man’s troubles may have started at a young age: He has a juvenile record arising from an alleged break-in incident. However, the man claims that his unlawful behavior started because he was in an emotionally and mentally unstable place. The thrill-seeking aspect of the trespassing and break-ins were an unhealthy outlet for that confusion.

An attorney who focuses on criminal defense understands the life-changing consequences that can follow a criminal conviction. A conviction that becomes part of an individual’s permanent criminal record might negatively impact employment and business opportunities, including eligibility for certain professional licenses. A criminal conviction may also result in denied participation in certain government benefits or programs, such as housing or student loans. Even seemingly little things, like owning a firearm or voting and serving on a jury, might be denied after a criminal conviction. All of these potential consequences underscore the importance of preparing a strong criminal defense.

Source: MLive, "Felony convictions linked to sexual fetish 'haunt me,' Saginaw state House candidate says," Mark Tower, June 27, 2014