Can I Expunge a Criminal Record In Michigan?

The honest answer is . . . maybe. Let me explain:

Effective January 2015, the Michigan legislature made some pretty significant changes to the law pertaining to the expungement of convictions; that’s right, convictions – plural. In Michigan before this modified statute took effect, an individual could only expunge (or “set aside”) a single misdemeanor conviction. And that’s only if they had nothing else on their record. Under the newly modified law, MCL 780.621, an individual could now expunge up to two misdemeanors or even a felony. That’s not say everything can be expunged. For example, certain offenses like OWI (operating while intoxicated), CSC (criminal sexual conduct), felony domestic violence, or felonies with a potential life sentence, cannot be expunged at all, regardless of circumstance. That’s the bad news. The great news is that there are a far greater number of convictions that can be expunged from your public record. Obviously, this is an incredible opportunity to essentially erase a mistake or two you’ve made in the past. And undoubtedly, a clean criminal history can be incredibly beneficial when applying for jobs, housing, etc. 

Before you jump for joy, there are a few requirements. First, the conviction date, probation or parole discharge date, whichever occurred last, must be at least five years old. As an example, if you were convicted or pleaded guilty in January 2010, were put on probation, and later discharged in January 2011, you could not apply to expunge until January 2016 – assuming the underlying offense was one you could expunge at all (briefly explained above). If the conviction is old enough and it qualifies, there’s a numbers issue to determine. That is to say you cannot have more than two misdemeanors and one felony in total; three misdemeanors disqualifies you from applying, as would two felonies. The key to remember is that this law, although pertaining to expungement of Michigan offenses, totals all convictions from all states in its equation. So, if you have two qualifying misdemeanors in Michigan, but a separate misdemeanor conviction in Ohio, you’ve exceeded the total allowed and can expunge nothing. No third misdemeanor conviction in Ohio? You can expunge both

If you check all of the boxes and the conviction(s) qualifies for expungement, you must still go through a fairly lengthy application process, including fingerprinting, background checks, and at least one court appearance. 

If you’re not certain whether you qualify or want to skip the rigamarole of going through the expungement process alone, the attorneys at Zamzow PLLC are highly skilled and knowledgable in this expungement law and can assist you in securing a successful outcome; at the very least, the attorneys at Zamzow PLLC can save you a lot of time, effort, and money by doing the necessary due diligence and letting you know early on if you do not qualify.