It's always heartening when people learn from their mistakes and change their lives for the better. While a conviction for fraud may disqualify people from being teachers, doctors or lawyers, it is possible to run for public office. Indeed a number of senators have convictions ranging from bribery and fraud to DUI and assault.

One man who fits this description is currently hoping to be the next state representative for Michigan's 1st House District. The 35-year-old from Detroit is running as the Democrat for the area. He faces his Republican opponent on the ballots on Nov. 6.

Banks has a history of writing bad checks and credit card fraud, however. He was first arrested in 1998 and was convicted of a misdemeanor. His last court case was in June 2005, where he pleaded guilty to passing bad checks. In all, he has eight convictions spanning a period of seven years.

Banks acknowledges his past, however, and is very open about it, discussing it with audiences in his district. He reportedly has made efforts to correct his mistakes. He has since graduated from college, earned a master's degree, completed law school, and is currently working on his PhD.

While having a convicted felon as a state representative may make some think twice, many people in the United States have convictions on their records. Regardless of their mistakes in the past, everyone should be given another chance to show they're on the right track. Those who are facing prosecution for white-collar crimes should know their rights and what they can do to fight or reduce the repercussions of a conviction.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "8-time felon running for seat in Michigan House," John Wisely, Sept. 28, 2012