Expungement – Who Qualifies and What Is It

By: Charlotte Doran

With Michigan’s new “Clean Slate” law, many are wondering if they are eligible to have their criminal charge(s) expunged. Expungement is the process of sealing your criminal records from public knowledge. Criminal charges can affect your life in several ways, including keeping you from getting a job, property, or education. With the expanded eligibility for expungement, many can now resume normal lives. So, who is eligible?

Misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are minor criminal charges, such as drug possession, petty theft, or vandalism. Those with one or two misdemeanors are eligible for expungement five years after their sentence. Contacting a lawyer just prior to the 5-year mark is wise to prepare your application.

Felonies. Felonies are more serious criminal charges. The more serious a crime, the less likely it is your charge will be expunged. Felonies such as drunk driving or operating under the influence, however, are more realistic expungement candidates. Those with only one felony are eligible, and this is five years after their sentence as well. 

Application. It is wise to hire a licensed attorney to assist you in applying for expungement and preparing for the expungement hearing. The application will require you to obtain certain records, including fingerprints and your history of offenses. You will need a notary for the signing of this application, which will then be filed with the court and subsequently sent to your prosecutor, Attorney General, and Michigan State Police.

Your past does not have to be your present. Call our office to learn more about expunging your criminal charge(s) today. Our fully equipped staff will walk you through the entire process and ensure you feel confident on your hearing day. 

Sources:

“Clean Slate for Michigan.” Safe & Just Michigan, 22 July 2021,
www.safeandjustmi.org/our-work/clean-slate-for-michigan/

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