Summary of Michigan’s Clean Slate Law
Michigan’s expungement law has been broadened to allow for more offenses to be expunged on an individual’s criminal record than at any other time in history. MCL 780.621 contains the provisions of Michigan’s expungement law. The following is a summary of this law:
- Individuals will be able to get up to 2 felonies and 4 misdemeanors automatically cleared. Crimes punishable by more than 10 years in prison, violent crimes, “crimes of dishonesty” such as forgery, human trafficking and other serious crimes that carry a sentence of life in prison, domestic violence, traffic offenses where someone was seriously injured or died, child abuse, sexual assault, and operating while intoxicated aren’t eligible.
- Allows misdemeanors to be automatically expunged after 3 years, felonies after 7 years, and serious misdemeanors or a single felony to 5 years, shortening the waiting time to apply for expungement.
- Up to 3 felonies and an unlimited number of misdemeanors may be expunged, but no more than 2 assaultive crimes and no more than 1 felony if it’s punishable by more than 10 years in prison.
- Allows felonies or misdemeanors from the same 24-hour period — to be treated as one conviction for expungement. Assaultive crimes, crimes involving a dangerous weapon and crimes punishable by 10 or more years in person can’t be included.
- Effective February 19, 2022, a first and only offense for driving under the influence, impaired or with a High BAC (.17 or more) may be expunged!
- Allows those with marijuana misdemeanor convictions to apply for expungement if their offenses would have been legal for recreational use if the crime occurred after cannabis was legalized in 2018.
- Allows a conviction for 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct that occurred before January 12, 2015 to be expunged if the individual has not been convicted of another offense other than 2 minor offenses.
- Minor offenses are a misdemeanor or ordinance violation with a maximum term of imprisonment of 90 days or less.
The Clean Slate Law makes Michigan a nationwide leader in expungement reform. To date, only Utah, California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey allow low-level offenses to be automatically cleared from records, and Michigan will now be the first to include low-level felonies in the automatic process. For thousands of Michiganders, this is an opportunity for a better life. Michigan’s Clean Slate Law creates a more just, equitable, and inclusive expungement process.
Expungement of Drunk and Impaired Driving
Effective in February 2022, an individual will be able to get 1 lifetime offense for driving under the influence expunged. Eligibility to expunge an OWI won’t come easy. First of all, the individual can have one offense expunged if that individual has only one DUI offense on his or her record. The DUI expungement law will allow for expungement of any 1 of the following offenses:
- Operating While Intoxicated
- Operating Under the Influence of Drugs
- Operating While Impaired
- Operating with a High BAC .17 or greater
- Zero tolerance/minor with any BAC
Operating under the influence causing an injury or death are not eligible for expungement. One of the rules for anyone seeking to expunge an DUI will require the applicant to prove that he or she has resolved any underlying alcohol or substance abuse problem. This may require getting a current substance abuse evaluation and other documentation of sobriety.
The Expungement Process in Michigan
Expungement proceedings are complex and doing it yourself can be a daunting undertaking. If you fail to notify required parties (Attorney General, prosecutor, Michigan State Police) or fail to obtain a record clearance , the case will be dismissed. There are several required involved when it comes to getting an expungement. The proceeding for expungement has The DUI expungement Michigan process is very rigorous and time-consuming.
While every case varies, our format for successfully setting aside and expunging convictions typically involves the following steps:
- Preparation of all documents.
- Obtaining a certified copy of your conviction.
- Correctly filing documents with the court.
- Obtaining supporting documentation and character letters when necessary/
- Notifying all parties including the prosecutor and Michigan Attorney General.
- Submission of fingerprints to the Michigan State Police for a record clearance.
- Scheduling the required court hearing.
- Preparing our client for the hearing.
- Appearing at the hearing.
- Providing an Order to Set Aside Conviction.
Do I have to say I was convicted of a crime after it is expunged?
Once you are granted an expungement of a crime, you are not required to ever list it on a job application or mention it in an interview. In fact, if you are asked, you can say:
I DO NOT HAVE ANY CRIMINAL RECORD.
How to Obtain a Copy of Your Record
The Michigan State Police maintains a central registry of criminal records in a system known as the Law Enforcement Information Network. Access to LEIN is restricted to criminal justice agencies or those agencies statutorily granted authorization. However, an individual can obtain of his or her own criminal record by following the instructions on the Michigan State Police ICHAT link: http://apps.michigan.gov.