Michigan laws have relaxed in 2015 regarding criminal expungement. You may be eligible in certain cases to have a criminal conviction erased from public records. Having a clean slate on your public arrest record can be very beneficial for a number of reasons. Many applications for work, college, public assistance and even grant money, will ask about criminal records and make it hard for you to qualify.
An expungement is sealing a record and means that the public will not be able to access the records related to a crime you committed. An expungement will destroy the records, as opposed to sealing the records which means the records cannot be seen without a court order. However in reality, expungement records may be kept without destroying them. They are just not available to the public.
The new law is limited, but many people who were not eligible are able to apply to have their convictions removed. The state now allows you to have one conviction, for a felony or misdemeanor, removed or set aside but there are certain restrictions. Your conviction may not be expunged if it was for committing or attempting to commit a sex crime, or if the maximum sentence for the crime is life in prison, even if you did not receive the maximum sentence.
Traffic related convictions are also not eligible and you are not eligible if you have additional convictions, other than two minor offenses. If you are able to have an adult conviction expunged, you will not be eligible for any expungements in the future and you cannot apply for an expungement until five years after the original conviction or five years after your release from prison. Juveniles may have convictions set aside if they have three or less offenses on their record, but they cannot be for felony convictions.
As many as one in four Michigan residents have misdemeanor convictions and one in six have a felony conviction. If you are eligible to have these convictions expunged, it’s a good idea to apply. You will need to fill out the appropriate application which is different for adults and juveniles. You will also need to supply some additional information and documents such as a fingerprint card for the state police, a certified copy of your conviction record and the name and address of the prosecutor for your case.
If the court allows your expungement, the criminal conviction will be removed from your public criminal history. Governmental agencies will still have access to records but it’s still important to have convictions expunged. If you have a felony on your record and it gets expunged, you will no longer need to let a potential employer know you had a felony.
Expungements can be complicated and vary by ages, convictions, and other factors. To ensure that you get the best outcome, be sure to contact a skilled and well versed expungement attorney before proceeding. Harris Law can assist with expungements in Gaylord MI.