An expungement is a hearing that allows a judge to “clean” the record of someone who has only be convicted of one crime in their life. Michigan puts some pretty harsh limits on those who can apply for an expungement.
In order to petition the court for an expungement in Michigan, you have to meet all of these criteria:
- Only have one adult conviction or juvenile adjudication. One conviction means one conviction. If you were convicted of two crimes, but they both stemmed from the same event, you are not eligible for an expungement.
- If the conviction is a felony, it cannot be punishable by up to life imprisonment. Crimes like first degree murder, second degree murder, armed robbery, and bank robbery cannot be expunged.
- If the conviction is a felony, it cannot be any degree of criminal sexual conduct or assault with attempt to commit criminal sexual conduct.
The conviction cannot be a traffic offense or any other offense reportable to the Secretary of State. Crimes like Operating while Intoxicated , reckless driving, and speeding tickets cannot be expunged.
- Five years have had to pass since your conviction, or your release from prison. Whichever date is later.
- If you have a juvenile adjudication, you must be at least 24 years old.
If you meet all of these criteria, you must file a Motion to Set Aside Conviction in the court you were convicted in. There is also a laundry list of paperwork requirements that go along with it. The motion is usually scheduled for a hearing with the judge that sentenced you, or another judge if the original judge is unavailable.
At your hearing you are at the mercy of the court. Judges are not required to set aside convictions, and most will only do so with good cause. Having an attorney attend the hearing with you, or help prepare you for the hearing will increase your chances of being able to set aside your conviction. If your Motion is granted, be sure to pick up a copy of the Order that sets aside your conviction and get it to the State Police Central Records Division. Once they receive and process it, you will officially have a clean record again.
Expungements are time consuming and require strict compliance with the law and court rules. For expungement advice or representation contact Ambrose Law Group at 248-624-5500