Why you should always fight Felony charges

Your world should you have a Felony

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Reminiscing...

You might have sat around the dining room table at one time or another listening to tails from “Dad, Grandpa or Uncle” of how they once got into trouble as a youngster. They might have done some ‘joy riding’ or ‘stealing watermelons’ and the most that happened was they got caught by the police and brought home to face Mom and Dad. They probably did get a day in court and had to face an angry Judge. They Judge gave them a good yelling at, maybe threatened them with sending them into the Army or Juvenile detention of sorts. All in all they didn’t get anything more than a slap on the wrist. Those days are long gone.

Now there is no more ‘fun’ for youngsters, if they get into trouble, they are deep in trouble. The law doesn’t take teenage ‘goofing off’ lightly anymore. Maybe the first time you get caught the charges (depending on the crime) aren’t as serious and the Judge is able to give you some leniency. Most of the charges of today that ‘back in the day’ were just a slap on the wrist have now become a Felony.

A Shadow you DON'T want

A Felony is something you don’t want to mess with. A Felony is something that will follow you the rest of your life. It’s going to be your shadow, something you just can’t get rid of.

ALWAYS plead Not Guilty!

When you are charged with a crime and you go for your arraignment, this is when you will learn the extent of the charges. The Judge will tell you if it is a Misdemeanor or a Felony. Depending on your Court system you may get the opportunity at that time to make your plea. That would mean guilty or not guilty.

No matter what the charges are Misdemeanor or Felony and I am certainly not an Attorney but I would advise ALWAYS - ALWAYS plead NOT GUILTY. Why? If you plead guilty now, and then think better of it later, it will be difficult to change your mind. Oh it can be done (you will have 21 days in most States), but always remember once you speak a word it cannot be unspoken, it will be on the court’s records.

Then before any grass grows under your feet, and you forget what happened – get yourself a good Attorney. Make paying that Attorney your first priority! If it means eating Ramen Noodles for 6 months so be it, it will make your life much better in the long run.

Jobs?

The first thing you will notice is those jobs applications. They ask questions “Have you ever been charged with a crime other than a misdemeanor”? That would mean a Felony charge. There is usually a place for explanation but it is pretty much guaranteed that you will not get the job if you check ‘yes’. What happens if you check ‘no’? Most companies are doing background checks on people, so if you have a felony they will find out. Then you won’t get the job because you lied on your application.


Hunting? Not anymore

You might be an outdoor person, someone who likes to go hunting. You will soon discover that having a felony will prevent you from owning a firearm. It will not be for just the length of time that might be a probationary period, it will be for life.

You will never be able to have a concealed weapons permit. Never.

Driving?

Sometimes the Felonies will affect your driver’s license. For instance a lot of times the charges come with losing one’s license for a period of time. Once that time is up you may then be able to go and get it back but what will you do in the mean time?

Some Felonies now days such as 'Felony child support' cause you to lose your license until you are paid up to date.

A matter of Public Record - Yep - You

You might think that getting that menial job with those questions may not seem important now but in the years to come, when that question is asked on various types of paperwork it will be like a thorn in your side. Never quite able to get rid of it, also that Felony becomes a matter of public record. Anyone with a keyboard can look it up and publish it on the Internet. Years later, you may have straightened up your life and have not gotten into any more trouble but someone with a bright idea decides to publish your past. Will it affect you? Only you can answer that question.

Will your career be down the toilet?

Getting a special license in most States will be difficult if not impossible. For instance in Florida the only license you can receive without full being excluded of Felonies is Cosmetology and Barbering. So any job that requires special licensing in Florida is out, it doesn’t say that you ‘can’t’ get a special license just that it will be a most difficult task. Each State differs in its requirements.

Medical field?

Any career that involves any type of drugs will not be permitted. Working in the medical field may be not allowed due to a Felony charge. Certainly working in a Pharmacy will be disallowed. A Dentist’s office will also fall under that umbrella because they have access to medications.

Job or career?

Working around children will not be permitted no matter what kind of Felony charge you have.

Working with the Elderly will not be permitted when you have a Felony on your record.

Even something as simple as a Janitorial position may not be permitted if either children or elderly are involved.

There are very few careers that you can have once a Felony has been attached to your name. A job is possible but having a career certainly not.

Military

Getting into the Military is completely out. The background check that is done before joining any branch of the military would astound most. Juvenile records are obtained and gone over with a fine tooth comb. So if your future plans are to join the military then you will certainly NOT want a Felony charge on your record. The military no longer wants to ‘straighten out’ juveniles, they want young people who are goal oriented.

A Felony is still a Felony

So if you’re thinking of taking a ‘plea bargain’ with a Felony attached to it, think again. If you did not commit the crime then of course you MUST plead ‘Not Guilty’ to those charges. Even if it is costing you an arm and a leg to fight these charges, you MUST do so for your future!

Even if you never go to prison for your Felony (not all Felonies require that) it will still be a matter of record. Some Felonies are dealt with swiftly in the Court system – probation and fines. A Felony is still a Felony no matter how you slice it.

Guilt by association

Even living in the same home with a person who has a Felony can affect your life. There are certain jobs that you cannot have because you live with someone who has a Felony, particularly government jobs. It’s an ‘association’ thing that they look at, if you are willing to associate with a person who has committed a Felony, what are you capable of doing yourself? It doesn’t seem quite fair but that’s just the way that it is.

It WILL affect you - no matter what

There are certainly more reasons for not taking that ‘guilty’ plea to a Felony charge, some that have probably not even been thought of yet. Some future requirements that are still in the works I am sure. For example when Dad or Uncle (anyone else that you know for that matter) may have plead guilty to a Felony charge many years ago those questions weren’t on those job applications. The Internet was just in its infancy stages so you see how it might affect you in the future?

Innocent until proven Guilty - Make them do it!

The Law states ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ if you have been charged with a Felony, make them prove your guilt! Take it every step of the way. Yes, the road is long and hard and you may get discouraged and want to give in ‘just to get it over with’. The choice of course is always yours to make, whether or not to give in. Down the road a few years from now when it is ‘all over and done with’ and you can’t find a job or there are obstacles in your way because you didn’t fight every step of the way, who will be to blame?

The Courts seem to be handing out Felonies like they are candy and ‘we the people’ keep holding our hands out to take them. Many people never once think of their future when Felony charges are brought against them. Never once thinking of what they ‘can’t’ do with their lives once a Felony is on their record. If every person that is charged with a Felony were to ‘take it to trial’ those bringing charges would have to prove the guilt of said person.

The nightmare will only grow

I cannot tell you what to do, but I can tell you it is your life and your decision to make. Fight for it, fight for your ability to have some sort of normalcy even if you did make a mistake. The fight is just a short period of your life, once that fight is over, if you are victorious then life can go on and you can have some sort of regularity. It may seem at the time that the days are long and the nights are even longer as you worry about what will happen to you, if you will face jail time or huge fines. Your life is much longer than those few months. The nightmare that you suffer from now will only grow scarier as time goes on when you cannot do anything to support yourself (or family if you have one).

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Comments 19 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Sweetsusie...Hi, how have you been? I jumped on this as soon as I read the title. Although I'm aware of the facts and info you've presented (GREAT job, btw!!!) this is another one of those issues I think requires attention, discussion, advocacy and ultimate change.

Having so much on my plate now, I can't get into this as I would like to.

My ONE BIG question in terms of the life-long monkey on the back...(which is so true)...IS. Dear Justice System, Please inform us, precisely what is meant by "paying one's debt to society?"

What? Oh, I see, that's just verbiage? the DEBT is never ever really paid, right?

UP ++


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

This is SO true!! One would think that probation, fines and yes even jail time that debt to society would be paid. But alas it is not.. and the Felonies are getting more and more numerous as the days wear on. Things that were a slap on the wrist are now Felonies. Very sad indeed...

Change is certainly what we need....


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Never get a public pretender . . . I mean defender.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Well if you must have a Public Defender you will have to do all the leg work in your own defense. This is a given.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

Even then, should it come to a trial, you may be in for a bad experience. Opt for a pro bono lawyer from the list that they don't advertise.


jenn_fisher44 profile image

jenn_fisher44 4 years ago from Omaha, NE

I think it is very hard to make a start over when it comes to background checks with jobs no days


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

By law, a company is not supposed to ask you either in person, or on a job application, if you have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor. But they can ask have you ever been convicted of a felony? And as you point out, susie, that could spell an end to your opportunity with that company. Very good advice, m'dear.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

@ jenn_fisher44 - Yes, it is. There is no 'payment in full' stamped on you when you pay your debt to society. You continue to pay on and on for a mistake. They try to tell those folks 'go to school and get an education you'll go far' with a Felony on your record you will go deep into debt with schooling costs.... and no way to pay it back.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

The job applications I have seen lately specifically ask about the criminal background of the applicant. They aren't supposed to ask your marital status either but they do that as well. Very sad - but then again there are some serious issues when job hunting these days and they truly only want the 'best of the best' in the work force.

To ease your mind the Felony... not mine!! LOL Never had one and by the Grace of God I hope I never will! But I do know a few people who have had one and the difficult times they had to go thru in life afterwards.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

There is a human bill of rights fashioned by the Human Rights movement which is made not applicable to persons convicted of a felony. Every government which endorses these human rights excludes persons convicted of a felony from the human race.

Also, each state in the USA has the power to limit or deny the right to vote to persons convicted of a felony. Several bar the right to vote for your lifetime. Most disenfranchise a convicted felon from voting for the period of incarceration, parole and probation. Many require that a once convicted felon apply to the government to have their right to vote in local, state and federal elections restored. It is a difficult process with disparate standards from state to state.

Five percent of the US population have been deprived of this right and their citizenship. The same laws make felons ineligible for jury duty. "We are all endowed with certain inalienable rights, among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" reads the preamble to our constitution. Inalienable means that these rights cannot be taken away. The government controls the laws which conduct creates felony offenses. The government controls the decision to prosecute and the plea bargaining process. The government decides whether or not a person deserves or is qualified to be a citizen entitled to constitutional rights.

"We the people" have become we the people who have not yet been prosecuted and convicted. Dissent has been effectively silenced. Civil disobedience can result in criminal prosecution and felony conviction. Who in their right mind would want to risk their life and liberty to protest against climate change, nuclear power and the corporate police state???


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

This is absolutely correct - that's a fact. When I wrote the Hub 'What happens when you go to jail' it was at the beginning of the 'occupy' movement. I was seeing on the News various people being hauled off to jail and charges with various crimes. I remembered some of the protests in the 70's reminding me of dark times in our history as well. Those people were charged with various crimes that never left them. Once their protests were quelled they were able to make a home and have jobs.

Now, the charges are getting worse and more numerous. I received a comment (on my Bench warrant Hub) about a 19 year old who was charged with domestic violence. There were 3 people involved and he is the youngest, as well as not being the one who started it, yet he is the one who is charged. That comment is what prompted me to write this Hub. If what he stated is true (he had no reason to lie to me) what happened made me angry. Why charge him when he didn't start it and no one wanted to press charges was the question to myself. Because as you say in your last paragraph ""We the people" have become we the people who have not yet been prosecuted and convicted" was the answer I came up with.

At this moment in tine I am helping with a legal matter of a friend, do I fear for my own 'legalities'? Absolutely. I still feel I must continue on with the course that has been set before me. If at the end of the day I am charged with a crime (that has been fabricated) then I too will fight those charges with every breath I have, as well all should!


sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

Great to see you with a 100 hub score. I can't commit enough time to Hub Pages to raise my score out of the low nineties and am content with that. This is an important topic which needs to become the subject of a national discourse. When one of every twenty citizens can be decitizenized by the "rule of law" and the dictatorship of the majority,there is clear momentum toward the 10percent figure. Inalienable rights clearly means not subject to removal or deprivation. The right to bear arms is a second amendment guarantee that assures the liberty of all. When did a felon's right to privacy, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness become so meaningless in this country.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I am not sure... It's been a long time coming I can say that. I will say that 'we the people' let it happen. When we demanded more and more laws for things that could have been common sense issues, we then are the ones that demanded change. We got it - in spades... How do we change it? Not a clue.. I think that by first and foremost demanding and using our Constitutional rights will we then create change. 1. free speech 2. right to bear arms (utilize it) 4. Protects against unlawful search and seizure (make a case against it if it happens to you).

Most of us know our 'Miranda' rights USE THEM!!! Even if you have not been arrested - the right to remain silent is something that is not utilized enough. People think they can 'talk' their way out of a charge. They can not. What you say CAN and WILL be used against you. Always keep that in mind when speaking to a figure in authority.

I do not feel that we should have to fear our law makers or law enforcers, but the time has come to be very wary of their motives and take every precaution to prevent and unnecessary action against us.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

The constitution says nothing about first and second class citizens but our society at the time of this nation's founding distinguished white male property owners,citizens, from the poor, blacks and women, non-citizens.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Well yes, this is very true.


Julianne Burkett profile image

Julianne Burkett 3 years ago from Dallas, TX

Great job. I will of course always plead "not guilty" from now on ;-)


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan Author

Always! Keep silent until the time you get to plead not guilty as well.


jeffreymaskel profile image

jeffreymaskel 3 years ago from Boulder, CO

Wow this is very interesting. I would only think to fight a charge if I thought I was not guilty. I guess I should just fight any felony charge for the sake of the rest of my life. Very good point. Seems obvious, but I didn't even think in that direction.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 3 years ago from Michigan Author

For you sake I hope you are never charged with a Felony - but should you be, fight it!! You also have the right to remain silent - use that! Most folks think they can talk their way out of charges - believe me when speaking, you are just digging yourself deeper. Some folks also think they are being helpful - you are just giving ammo to those doing the questioning.

It has come to pass when those who are the easiest to prosecute are prosecuted regardless of innocence or guilt. I read an article the other day that stated of the 30,000+ prosecutors in this Country 85% of them are crooked and will cheat to get a conviction even if it means sending and innocent person to prison.

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