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Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

Originally posted on 10/11/2019.

A document with the words At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from community service to fines, to jail or prison time is the future hardships a person experiences (read more about updates to the Expungement laws here). These hardships, sometimes called collateral consequences, can include having difficulty in getting a job or gaining government benefits.

There is hope; opportunities exist to have your criminal record expunged. This post will go over what it means to have your record expunged in Michigan, then we’ll look at who is and who is not eligible for expungement.  

What Does it Mean to Have Your Criminal Record Expunged?

Expungement, sometimes called “sealing,” is the name for having your criminal record “set aside,” or hidden from public view. Typically, after this process completes, you won’t need to tell current or potential employers that you have been convicted of a crime. However, the courts and government agencies may still have access to information that has been set aside.

Who is Eligible to Have Their Criminal Record Expunged?

Different states have individual requirements for expunging records. In Michigan, the following circumstances are available for setting your record aside:

  • If you have been convicted of only one felony and no more than two misdemeanors, you can petition the felony conviction be set aside. 
  • If convicted to two or fewer misdemeanors and no felonies, you can petition to have one or both of the misdemeanor convictions set aside. 

Both of these situations fall under the Michigan law Act 213 of 1965, section 780.621. For a digital copy of this law, click here.

To get started with the expungement process, you must wait five years after your conviction or the end of your sentence (release from prison or discharge from parole). You may only have one adult expungement. 

Who is not Eligible to Have Their Criminal Record Expunged?

The following situations disqualify a person from having their conviction set aside:

  • The conviction you wish to set aside is a traffic offense
  • You were convicted of a human trafficking offense
  • You were convicted of a fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct after January 11, 2015
  • You were convicted of committing child abuse, child sexual abuse, or criminal sexual assault
  • You were convicted of a felony domestic violence charge and have a previous misdemeanor domestic violence conviction
  • The maximum sentencing is life imprisonment for a felony you have been convicted of
  • The conviction you wish to set aside is a traffic offense

Michigan law also spells out these situations in the previously mentioned act and section.

Partner with Attorneys Who Understand Expungement Law

If you believe you may be available to have a criminal offense set aside or expunged, you need an experienced legal team on your side. Aldrich Legal Services provides insights and expertise in criminal defense that has helped protect the rights of individuals in Southeast Michigan. Give our dedicated team a call today to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.

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