FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
If I am convicted of a felony, can I still own a firearm?
The answer is no. A felony conviction prohibits you from possessing or owning a firearm. However, once your have completed your sentence and probation, and the mandatory amount of time has passed, depending on the conviction, you can petition to have your gun rights restored. Additionally, if you currently own firearms and are then convicted of a felony, while you are not required to sell the firearms, you are not allowed to have them in your possession or under your control – which means they will have to be removed from any place, like your home, that is under your control.
What is the difference between a felony and a high court misdemeanor?
In reality, there is no true difference between the two. In the eyes of the court system, how they are treated by prosecuting attorneys and how the police view them, they are one in the same. A high court misdemeanor is essentially a lower level felony. But it is NOT a misdemeanor, despite its name.
Is there a way to keep a felony off my record?
Yes, under certain circumstances. There are a variety of “diversion” programs in the state of Michigan that you may be eligible for, depending on the felony you are convicted of. The Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (“HYTA”) can be applied to individuals between the ages of 17-23 years old for certain offenses. MCL 333.7411 (“7411”) can be used for certain drug related offenses. A diversion program works by entering a “conditional” guilty plea with the court. But the guilty plea is not entered into the system. Instead you would be placed on a period of probation (jail time is rare in diversion cases but it is possible) and as long as you complete your probation term without any probation violations, then the conditional guilty plea gets rejected, the case gets dismissed and a felony does not end up on your criminal record. Incidentally, both HYTA and 7411 can also be utilized for misdemeanor offenses.
If I am convicted of a felony will I have to go to jail or prison?
Whether you go to jail or prison depends, in large part, on the crime you are convicted of and your past criminal record, if any. The more serious the crime, the more likely you will be sent to jail or prison. It also depends on the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines, which while no longer mandatory in the state of Michigan, are still used by judges in determining the appropriate sentence. The Michigan Sentencing Guidelines calculate a sentence range