Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Ann Arbor

Does The Label 'Felon' Come With A Life Sentence?

When a person is charged with a felony, what exactly does that mean? A felony is an offense that is considered more serious than a misdemeanor and can range from tax evasion to gambling to homicide. If convicted, the individual is then labeled a felon and typically faces severe penalties, such as time in prison.

Suppose that a person has been convicted, served his or her sentence, and is released. What happens then? More often than not, people who have been incarcerated will face many hardships upon reentering society. Some may find it difficult to secure proper housing, others will be unable to find a job. Many of the basic necessities for leading a productive life will seem out of reach.

The Lasting Impact Of A Felony Conviction

Part of the problem, as discussed in a recent article in The New York Times, is with rhetoric. Labeling people "felons" or "convicts" works in essence as a life sentence, branding people with mistakes that they have made in the past and have since corrected with their time in prison. They paid their debt to society and are still being punished for who they were in the past, regardless of who they have become.

For this reason, more than half of the people who have entered the prison system, whether state or federal, end up returning not long after their release. While the Obama administration is making strides to combat prison-related problems and to get rid of many government-related barriers to reentry into society, the road ahead remains long and bumpy.

Felony Charges Must Be Fought

During this time of change and uncertainty, it is imperative for people who are accused of felonies to hire an attorney. The right attorney will fight against the charges. The right attorney may be able to seek a reduction in charges, possibly to misdemeanor level, or to minimize the negative impact in the event of a conviction. The right attorney will seek the best possible outcome so that a label does not have to mean a life sentence.

At Dawid & Gatti, PLLC, the fight against felony charges begins with a free consultation.