The Expungement Process in Macomb County -
This is a two part article that discusses expungement (cleaning your criminal record) under Michigan law. The previous article will help you determine if you qualify for an expungement. This article will discuss the necessary steps to obtaining an expungement.
There are many steps to setting aside your conviction. Remember, an Expungement is never “automatic.” You must go through all of the steps listed below and then a judge will still make a determination if your motion to set aside the conviction will be granted. Hiring a skilled lawyer who is experienced in Expungement law can make the process much faster, easier and improve your chances of success.
First, you will need to obtain your official, permanent criminal record from Michigan State police. This record can not be obtained online. You must get fingerprinted by a law enforcement agency (on an ROI form) and send it along with a fee to the Michigan State Police in Lansing. (Instructions for getting finger printed and requesting your record are here).
Next you or your lawyer will need to file an “application to set aside conviction” with the Court where you were convicted. If the Judge who convicted you is still “on the bench”, he or she will hear your Expungment case. If that judge has left, died or retired, the judge who has taken over his or her Courtroom will hear your Expungement case.
You need to notify the Michigan State Police, the Attorney General, the arresting police department and the prosecutor who handled your conviction by sending them each a copy of your application. If there was a “victim” in the crime, he or she will also need to be notified.
Once you have applied your application to set aside the conviction, a hearing date will be set. You and your lawyer will have to attend a hearing where a judge decides whether or not to set aside your conviction.
To help the judge make a decision to grant your Expungement (set aside your conviction) it will help considerably if you can demonstrate that you “deserve a second chance.” For example, if you were previously a drug user or alcoholic and you can show evidence of sobriety the judge will be more impressed. Similarly, if you can offer proof that you are gainfully employed, or have gone to school or do charity work, the judge will also be more likely to grant your Expungement.
You may also include statements from individuals in your application – such as pastors, teachers or employers. You may also bring witnesses to testify in support of your application to the hearing. Arresting officers, law enforcement officials and the victims of your crime may also testify at the hearing either to support your application or to object to it.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Get An Expungement in Macomb County Lawyers
You are not required by law to have a lawyer handle your Expungement. However, there are many complicated steps involved in obtaining an Expungement, and the judge has the right to deny your application of he or she feels that it doesn’t contain enough information to warrant giving you a “second chance.”
Hiring an experienced lawyer guarantees that you don’t miss any “steps” and ensures that your Expungement is presented in the best way possible.
Once the Expungement is Granted By Macomb County Lawyers
If the judge agrees that your conviction should be set aside, he or she will enter an Order to Set Aside Conviction with the court. You or your lawyer will need to send copies of this Order to the Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Corrections, and anyone else keeping a record of your convictions.
Once your conviction is set aside, your crime will not appear in employer, educational or public background searches of your criminal record. And you will not have to disclose your crime to potential employers or on job applications.
The Michigan State Police will, however, still keep a nonpublic record of your conviction that has been set aside that does not appear in a background check. So a very few employers, such as those in law enforcement, may still be able to see convictions that have been set aside.
You may want to have a conviction set aside if you are looking for a new job or a professional license. Many employers and licensing boards will hold a conviction against you or use it to disqualify you. If your conviction is set aside, most employers will not be able to see it with a background check.