Recreate Your Future Through Expungement
A criminal record can hold you back in many ways, including getting an education, finding employment and housing. In Michigan, you may be eligible to have certain charges expunged, or set aside, from your record if you meet the qualifications. Many misdemeanors, and even some felony charges, are eligible for expungement.
Expungement does not mean that the court wipes your record clean as if the conviction never existed. It does mean that members of the general public, including most potential employers and lenders, will not see the conviction on your record and you will not be required to disclose it to them under the law. Only the judicial system will still have access to the charges.
Are You Eligible For Expungement?
You may be able to expunge your conviction if you:
- Have no felonies and no more than two misdemeanors, you may apply to set aside one or both of your misdemeanors
- Have only one felony and no more than two misdemeanors, you may apply to set aside the felony
You must wait five years from your conviction, release from prison or parole discharge to apply. In addition, victims of human trafficking may petition to remove any prostitution charges from their record, and they do not need to wait five years to do so.
Some convictions are ineligible for expungement, including:
- Felony domestic violence convictions where you had a prior conviction
- Certain child abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking convictions
- Any felony conviction where life imprisonment was a possible sentence
- Traffic offenses, including DUI
You may only apply for one adult criminal conviction expungement in your life. You will not be eligible for future expungements.
Steps To A Successful Expungement
If you decide to apply for expungement, here is what you must do:
- Fill out an application to set aside a conviction and file it with the court where your conviction happened.
- Send the Michigan State Police a copy of your application and fingerprints, along with the necessary fee.
- Send another copy to the attorney general and the prosecutor in charge of your initial case.
- Attend the court hearing on your application and explain to the judge why he or she should set aside your conviction.
The judge will decide whether to grant your expungement, and sign the appropriate order setting aside your conviction. Most employers will no longer be able to access this conviction, but be aware that law enforcement still can. If you apply for a job with law enforcement, the conviction will still appear.