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Detroit Legal Blog

Am I Eligible for an Expungement in Michigan?

Nov 15, 2018, by Maurice Davis in Legal Blog
expungement lawyer

Expungement is one of the best ways of moving forward with your life after you’ve been convicted of a crime. A criminal conviction on your record can make it hard for you to find a job, obtain financial aid for school, and apply for housing assistance. But if you have your criminal record expunged, it will no longer be visible in most background checks. This means that you no longer have to report your criminal conviction on employment, school, or housing applications.

If you are interested in an expungement, contact our expungement lawyer at Davis Law Group via our online contact form or at (313) 818-3238.

Who Qualifies for Expungement?

Expungement is available five years after your release from prison, discharge from parole, or the date of your conviction – whichever happened at a later point in time. Once the five-year wait is over, you can begin the process for applying for expungement, which in Michigan is called setting aside your criminal record. It’s important to note that you can only apply for this procedure once in a lifetime, so if your record has been set aside in the past, this remedy is no longer available to you.

Michigan courts may consider your application if you have been convicted of no more than one felony and two misdemeanors. For purposes of expungement, Michigan takes a broad view of what a conviction is. Although it does not include arrests in its definition of convictions, a court will consider all deferred or dismissed misdemeanor and felony charges on your record as misdemeanor convictions for the purpose of determining your eligibility for expungement.

Even if you meet the requirements for timing and the number of past convictions, any of the following factors could make you ineligible for expungement:

  • Your felony conviction involved an offense punishable by life imprisonment
  • Your felony conviction was for domestic violence, and you have a previous misdemeanor domestic violence conviction on your record
  • You were convicted of any human trafficking offense
  • You have a conviction for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct entered on or after January 12, 2015
  • Any of your past convictions were for child abuse, child sexual abuse, or criminal sexual assault

In addition to these factors, there are other reasons why a Michigan court may not be able to expunge your record. Usually, this is a question of jurisdiction. For example, any out-of-state or federal convictions cannot be expunged by a Michigan court.

How a Detroit Expungement Lawyer Can Help

It is possible to apply for expungement by yourself, but doing so with the help of an attorney at Davis Law Group will greatly enhance your chances of success. Generally, the process involves the following steps:

  • Completing the application to set aside your conviction
  • Submitting a copy of the application to the Michigan State Police, along with fingerprints and a fee
  • Sending other copies of the application to both the attorney general and the prosecutor who worked on your case
  • Attending the hearing and countering the prosecutor’s arguments if they decide to contest your application for expungement

The last step in the process is where a lawyer’s advocacy can be the most valuable. You can almost think of this hearing as a trial where the goal is to show that you are a good person deserving of a second chance. This means gathering evidence and organizing it into convincing arguments to present to the judge. If your arguments are successful, the judge will sign an order to set aside your convictions.

If you have a criminal record and want to move on with your life, it’s time to talk to an expungement lawyer. To learn more about whether expungement is an option for you, contact Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238
for a free consultation.