What Exactly Is An “Expungement” In Michigan’s Clean Slate Law?

Concept of clean slate. Image is a hand on an erased black board. Criminal Record Expungement.

In 2020, Michigan passed a series of “clean slate laws” that expand a person’s eligibility to have their criminal record expunged. Michigan’s clean slate law is the most expansive in the country and allows people to set aside up to two felony and four misdemeanor convictions. The law also expanded the number and type of crimes that are eligible for expungement.

The passage of the new law has generated many questions, like what exactly is an expungement, what crimes are eligible for expungement, and how does the process work?

What Is Expungement?

Michigan’s expungement statute refers to “setting aside” a conviction; however, the legal process of seeking a set aside is called expungement.

Expungement shields a criminal conviction from public view during a criminal background check. Once your criminal record has been expunged, you can truthfully answer, in all but a few circumstances, that you do not have a criminal record.

Who Is Eligible for Expungement?

Under Michigan’s new clean slate laws, people who have been convicted of up to two felonies and four misdemeanors will automatically have their criminal record expunged. Misdemeanors will be expunged seven years after sentencing, while felonies will be expunged ten years after sentencing or the date a person is released from prison, whichever is later.

Certain crimes are not eligible for expungement, including:

  • Offenses punishable by life imprisonment
  • Terrorism-related offenses
  • Human-trafficking offenses
  • Felony domestic violence if the person has a previous misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence
  • Offenses involving child sexual activity or child sexual abuse
  • Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct
  • Second-degree child abuse
  • Second-degree criminal sexual conduct
  • Third-degree criminal sexual conduct
  • Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct (committed after January 12, 2015)
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Traffic offenses that cause injury or death
  • Commercial Driver License violations
  • Using a computer to commit sex crimes

You are not eligible to apply for an expungement if:

  • You currently have charges pending
  • You have been convicted of another crime during the 7 to 10-year requirement for expungement eligibility
  • You have more than one conviction for assault or attempt to commit assault

While Michigan’s clean slate law takes effect on April 11, 2021, courts and law enforcement agencies were granted two years to secure funding and coordinate plans to allow for the automatic set aside of some offenses. This means that the automatic set asides will begin in April of 2023, at the earliest.

Benefits of Having Your Record Expunged

A criminal record includes more than just court documents and information about convictions. It also includes arrest records, even if the criminal charges were eventually dismissed.

A criminal background check can be used for many different purposes. A background check is often requested by potential employers when you apply for a job, by landlords when you rent an apartment, and as part of an application for college or trade school. A criminal record can make it more difficult to get hired, find an apartment, or be accepted into the school of your choice. By having your criminal record expunged, no one other than law enforcement can see your record. This makes it easier to put your criminal record behind you and move forward with your future.

Elmen Legal can review your criminal record to determine whether you are eligible for expungement and help you with the expungement process.

Do I Need a Lawyer for an Expungement?

You can handle your own expungement; however, expungement is a complicated process, and working with an experienced criminal defense attorney will improve the likelihood of a successful result.

When you hire Elmen Legal to handle your criminal record expungement, I will review your criminal record to ensure you are eligible. Then, I will guide you through the process, file the appropriate documents, and represent you in any court proceedings.

Contact Elmen Legal for Criminal Record Expungement

At Elmen Legal, I am proud to help my clients with any criminal law need. I have dedicated my career to representing people who have been charged with a crime and to helping them to get back on their feet.

Learn more about the services I offer, read reviews from other people I’ve helped, and get answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Then call (734) 707-8915 or contact me today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss how I can help.

Elmen Legal proudly represents people in Ann Arbor, Saline, Pittsfield Township, Chelsea, or Ypsilanti, in Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Jackson, Ingham, Livingston, and Oakland Counties.

Categories: Record Expungement