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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27747
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was convicted of "uttering & publishing" in Oakland County,MI

Customer Question

I was convicted of "uttering & publishing" in Oakland County,MI in August 2009. Iwas told by my attorney that I could have been sentenced to 14 years in prison.The Judge had placed me on probation which I didn't complete due to my work hours then and ordered to pay $2500 in restitution which I did. I was finally able to pay the rest just last year October 2011. I would like to go to college for nursing and also for paralegal. When would I be able to get this expunged or how long do I have to wait? Also, am I able to work in both or one those? Can you help me? Corrina
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

Unfortunately, Michigan will not expunge your conviction. Rather, 5 years from the completion of your sentence, you would be eligible to get your offense set aside. You can read the expungement law for your state here. As you can see, while a set aside constitutes a dismissal it is not erased from your record which can be seen by potential employers and licensing agencies.

Nursing is a highly restrictive. While you can get a nursing license with a misdemeanor, a felony conviction on this type of an offense would likely make you unable to get a nursing license or a job in the profession. You should be able to become a paralegal with a felony conviction, but whether a law firm would wish to hire you would be another story. Of course as a paralegal, you could become self employed and the felony would then be no bar.

But it's important for you to first find out whether you have a felony or a misdemeanor because your options will be widened or narrowed accordingly, no matter what you go on to train for. To do that you can call the clerk of the court where you were convicted and ask him. He can find out what you pled to on his computer and tell you whether you were convicted of a felony. You can get an official copy by getting your RAP sheet from the FBI. The FBI data base is what licensing agencies and government employers use when they run a background check. You are entitled to your own RAPS, and it is useful to know what you're up against and what your employers and prospective landlords will see. You can do this by mail for a very small fee, or submit your prints electronically for quicker results. You can read about this here.

Apart from that, while a criminal conviction will be an impediment no matter what the profession, the most restrictive fields are medical, legal, financial, and education. You might also want to know that a handful of states have seven-year rules, meaning that employers cannot go back more than 7 years on a background check. Michigan is not yet among them, but the 7 year rule is presently in effect in CA, CO, KS, MD, MA, MT, NV, NH, NM, NY, TX, and in WA