As of April 11, new laws in Michigan make it easier for residents who have convictions involving non-violent crimes to have their records wiped clean. The state’s new “Clean Slate” legislation allows offenders to apply for expungement after a minimum of five years has passed following the offense.
Expunging marijuana convictions
Offenses involving possession of marijuana are expected to be the most frequently cited convictions for expungement under the new guidelines. Anyone applying for expungement will have to follow specific guidelines, fill out paperwork and possibly appear in court before a judge to have their convictions expunged. Offenses eligible for expungement are those that would have been considered legal after Dec. 6, 2018, when Michigan’s recreational marijuana law went into effect. Although information about expunged offenses will not be available to the general public, court officials will still be able to see it. You will not be eligible for expungement if you have charges currently pending, have been convicted of another crime during the expungement eligibility crime period or have more than one conviction for assault or an attempt to commit assault.
Crimes not eligible for expungement
Not all criminal law misdemeanors will be subject to expungement. Convictions not eligible include:
- Some traffic offenses, including DUI
- Charges involving child sex abuse
- Multiple instances of domestic violence
- Second- and third-degree sexual misconduct
- Terrorism-related offenses
- Using a computer to commit sex crimes
Carefully following Michigan’s guidelines and correctly filling out paperwork will increase your chance of having a minor offense expunged from your record. If you are unsure whether your offense qualifies for expungement, contacting an experienced criminal law attorney could be in your best interest. Having a minor offense removed from your record might mean an entirely new life regarding work and other opportunities available to you.