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Expungements in Michigan: How to Clear Your Criminal Record

Jun 30 | 2022  by

The laws regarding expungement in Michigan have changed drastically, and you may now be eligible to expunge certain convictions.

What is an Expungement?

In legal jargon, an expungement is an act of setting aside a criminal conviction, meaning it is no longer available to members of the public, including employers and anyone going to the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) maintained by the Michigan State Police.

Previously, Michigan law permitted a person with no more than one (1) felony and two (2) misdemeanors to have the conviction expunged. Under the new legislation, a person convicted of one (1) or more criminal offenses, but not more than a total of three (3) felony offenses may apply to have any or all of the convictions expunged from their record.

There is no limit to the number of misdemeanor offenses that can be removed. So, regardless of how many misdemeanor convictions you have, if there are no felonies on your record, you will likely qualify.

Clean Slate for Michigan

As of February 19th, 2022, first-time Operating While Intoxicated convictions are eligible for removal under certain circumstances:

  • Only one offense can be expunged in a person’s lifetime.
  • If a person has more than one conviction, they are ineligible to expunge any of their convictions.
  • If the OWI caused an injury or death, it is ineligible.
  • The waiting period to expunge a first-time offense is 5 years.

Additionally, as of April 11, 2021, a person convicted of one (1) or more misdemeanor(s) or local ordinance marijuana crimes may petition the court to expunge their convictions if they would not have been a crime after December 6, 2018, when a voter-passed initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use in Michigan went into effect. A person can have an unlimited number of misdemeanor marijuana convictions on their record and still be eligible. Furthermore, the presence of other criminal convictions will have no impact on the expungement of your misdemeanor marijuana conviction(s) under the new law. There is no waiting period to file an application to expunge misdemeanor marijuana convictions.

Lastly, this new legislation introduces the “one bad night rule”, which states multiple felonies or misdemeanors arising from the same 24-hour period will be treated as a single felony or as a single misdemeanor for the purpose of removal. However, none of the offenses can be assaultive, involve the use or possession of a dangerous weapon, or carry a maximum penalty of 10 or more years in prison.

Mark Mandell Can Help

Having the assistance of an experienced expungement lawyer can significantly increase your chances of success, as they will be familiar with the judge, prosecutor, and all the rules that apply to your specific case. Contact Mark Mandell at (734) 552-1449 if you need assistance with having one or more of your criminal convictions expunged in Michigan.