Michigan broadens eligibility for expungement of criminal convictions

Governor Snyder approved 2011 PA 64, which amends a 46-year old Michigan law limiting courts to setting aside only one criminal conviction for one charge.

Michigan’s new law gives judges the ability to expunge a person’s criminal record even if there are up to two additional minor offenses on it. “Minor offenses” are misdemeanors or ordinance violations for which the maximum permissible punishment does not exceed 90 days and/or $1,000 in fines, and the person was at the time of conviction not more than 21 years old.

Before applying for an expungement under this law, one must wait at least 5 years from the date of sentencing or completion of confinement, whichever is later.  Certain crimes, such as murder, rape, and traffic offenses are not eligible for expungement.

The amendment is intended to help those who may have been convicted of a minor traffic or other minor offense when young and yet later is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony to still apply to have that later offense expunged.  The law recognizes that a conviction can negatively affect one for a lifetime.

Our criminal defense attorneys can help your or your family members take advantage of this new law. If you have any questions about eligibility and petitioning the court to expunge a conviction, please contact our firm.