Expungements

In Michigan a petition must be filed in order to have a record expunged. To have a record "expunged" is the same as having it "set aside," there is no distinction made. Petitioning the state for an expungement, if granted, means that agencies running criminal background checks will not be able to pull up a history of this conviction when they search you (i.e. the record is made nonpublic). Certain types of crimes cannot be expunged, such as: * Convictions for felonies or attempted felonies which are punishable by life imprisonment * Convictions for felony criminal sexual conduct in the first, second or third degree (MCL 750.520c, MCL 750.520d, MCL 750.520g ) or assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct * Convictions or adjudications for traffic offenses * Convictions for non-traffic offenses reportable to the Secretary of State (e.g. – controlled substance possession, if listed under the Michigan Vehicle Code)

In Michigan a person that has been convicted of a crime may apply for an expungement so long as they have no more than one felony and two misdemeanor convictions on their record.

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions below you are, unfortunately, not eligible to petition the state of Michigan for a criminal expungement.

However, if your answer to all the questions below is “no” you may be eligible for an expungement in the state of Michigan.

  1. Do you have a federal conviction?
  2. Do you have a criminal conviction in another state?
  3. Were you convicted of a felony or an attempt to commit a felony for which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment?
  4. Were you convicted of felony criminal sexual conduct (first, second, or third degree), or assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct?
  5. Is the conviction you want to have set aside a traffic offense? A traffic offense is a conviction for violating the Michigan Vehicle Code or a local ordinance substantially corresponding to that act, which violation involves the operation of a vehicle.
  6. Has it been less than five years since the date of your conviction, or if you were imprisoned, has it been less than five years since you were released, discharged from parole or completed probation (whichever occurred last)?

Other considerations to keep in mind:

  • The Attorney General and county prosecutor will be given an opportunity to contest the application.
  • If the conviction was for an assaultive crime or serious misdemeanor, the prosecuting attorney is obligated to notify the victim of the application. The victim has the right to appear at the expungement proceeding and to make an oral or written statement. MCL 780.621 (7).
  • Multiple convictions or counts stemming from one incident or one court case count as multiple convictions.
  • Even if you meet all of the criteria for expungement, the court still has discretion on whether to grant an expungement.
  • The MDOC will expunge records if it receives a TRUE COPY of the expungement order.

If you need any assistance determining whether or not you are eligible, or if you have any further questions regarding expungements, please feel free to call us at (248) 358-6995.