Detroit Expungement Attorneys Explain
Michigan’s New Expungement Law
It has been almost two years to the day that Michigan’s new “expungement” – law making setting aside criminal convictions easier – went into effect. And in March of 2017 additional changes were made to the law. This easier criminal record cleaning opens up better employment and educational opportunities for many people.
However, there is still much confusion – both among the general public and even some lawyers – as to when you can get an expungement under the new laws. Part of this confusion arises from the fact that many lawyers and organizations have never bothered to take down the old requirements – and so a lot of outdated information is still floating around.
In this article our experienced Detroit area expungement lawyers explain some of the changes to the law that dramatically increase the eligibility for Michigan citizens to set aside criminal convictions, as well as to keep prior mistakes out of public records.
Requirements for Michigan Expungement
You may petition the courts for an expungement under the following circumstances:
- If you have been convicted of not more than 1 felony offense and not more than 2 misdemeanor offenses, you may petition to expunge the 1 felony offenses.
- If you have been convicted of not more than 2 misdemeanor offenses (and no other felony offense(s) you may petition to expunge either or both of the 2 misdemeanors.
This is a big change from the former law (prior to January 2015) which only allowed a person to get an expungement of they had one offense total, whether it was a misdemeanor or a felony.
Additionally, to qualify for an expungement you must wait 5 or more years after whichever of the following events occurs last:
- the sentencing for the conviction you are seeking to expunge, or
- the completion of the probation for the conviction you are seeking to expunge, or
- discharge from parole imposed for the conviction you are seeking to expunge, or
- the completion your prison term for the conviction you are seeking to expunge.
What Offenses Cannot be Expunged in Michigan
Not all felonies or misdemeanors “qualify” to be expunged – even if you meet the above requirements. The following offenses are called “disqualifying offenses” and these may NOT ever be expunged under Michigan law:
- Any felony having a maximum possible penalty of life in prison
- Any attempt to commit a felony having a maximum possible penalty of life in prison
- Second degree child abuse (or attempted child abuse) under MCL 750.136b(3), MCL 750.136d(1)(b) or MCL 750.136d(1)(c)
- Child sexually abusive activity (or attempted) under MCL 750.145c or MCL 750.145d
- Second or Third degree criminal sexual conduct second (or attempted) under MCL 750.520c or MCL 750.520d
- Fourth degree criminal sexual conduct (or attempted), if the conviction occurred on or after January 12, 2015
- Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct under MCL 750.520g
- A felony conviction of domestic violence, if the person has a previous misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence
- Violations of the Human Trafficking chapter of the Michigan Penal Code
- Violation of the Michigan Anti-terrorism Act
Unfortunately, all traffic offenses (including drunk driving) cannot be expunged at this time under Michigan law.
There are, however, some limited and complicated exceptions to these rules. For example, a person convicted of a violation or attempted violation of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct on or before January 12, 2015, may petition for an expungement if they have not been convicted of another offense – other than not more than 2 minor offenses, which means a misdemeanor or ordinance where the maximum possible imprisonment does not exceed 90 days, the maximum fine is not more than $1000, and the person who committed the offense is not more than 21 years old.
Detroit’s Best Expungement Attorney
Because these requirements are complicated and widely misunderstood, it is important to discuss your specific expungement case with an experienced attorney. Danny Kallabat would be happy to review your conviction history and help you understand if you may qualify for an expungement in Michigan.
Remember, while the requirements to qualify for an expungement have gotten easier in the last 3 years – an expungement is never, ever “automatic”. You still have to prove to the Court’s satisfaction that you have turned your life around and rehabilitated yourself to the point where you deserve a fresh start and a clean record. Additionally, if you file a petition for expungement and it is denied by the convicting court, you cannot re-file another petition for 3 more years after the denial.
For these many reasons, having an experienced Detroit area attorney assist you with your expungement is extremely important. If you would like to discuss getting convictions removed from your criminal record, call attorney Danny Kallabat today for a free consultation. He has helped hundreds of people and her can help you.