Qualifying for An Expungement in Macomb County –
This is a two part article that discusses expungement (cleaning your criminal record) under Michigan law. This article will help you determine if you qualify for an expungement. The second article will discuss the necessary steps to obtaining an expungement.
In Michigan, the process of cleaning up your criminal record is commonly referred to as an “Expungement.” The actual, correct legal term for removing a misdemeanor or felony from your criminal record is called “Setting Aside a Conviction.”
Removing a criminal conviction from your record never happens automatically. Very specific steps must be taken to “set aside” a criminal conviction. This article discusses the steps that must be taken to remove a misdemeanor or felony from your adult criminal record. (The steps to set aside a juvenile conviction are different and are discussed in a separate article.)
Before we begin, it is important to understand that a “conviction” refers to being convicted of a crime by a judge or jury as well as “pleading guilt.” In other words, voluntarily entering a guilty plea is considered a “conviction” just as much as being found guilty by a judge or jury.
Do I Qualify for An Expungement? By Macomb County Lawyers
Michigan law only allows an expungement (setting aside a conviction) under a very limited set of circumstances. Use this checklist to see if you meet the three criteria for Expungement:
(1.) Number of Convictions
As a general rule, to have a conviction set aside (get an expungement) in Michigan, you must have only one conviction on your record.
This means that if you have two felony convictions, a felony and a misdemeanor conviction, or even two misdemeanor convictions, you will not be allowed to get an Expungement.
Even if your other conviction was in another state or in a federal court, you still are not eligible for an Expungement under Michigan law.
Additionally, even if you were convicted (including pleading guilty) of two “counts” related to the same incident or arrest you can not obtain an Expungement. For example, if you were arrested during a fight and you plead guilty to both assault and disorderly conducted, that counts a stwo convictions and you do not qualify for an Expungement.
There is one very limited exception to this “only one conviction” rule. If you have one or two other convictions that are considered “minor offenses” you may still qualify for an Expungement. A “minor offense” is one with a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail or a fine of $1000 and that happened when you were 21 or younger.
(2.) The Type of Offense
Convictions for some types of criminal offenses can’t be set aside under Michigan law.
The following crimes can <u>not</u> ever be “set aside” or Expunged under Michigan Law:
- Traffic offenses, including Drunk Driving, OWI, DUI, DUIL and Driving on a Suspended License;
- Criminal Sexual Conduct ( first, second, or third degree);
- Any felony that is punishable by life in prison (even if your sentence was shorter).
(3.) The Time Since the Conviction
Your conviction (including a guilty plea) must have been at least five years . If you were not imprisoned, this is calculated from the date of your sentencing. If you were imprisoned, you can’t file to set aside your conviction until five years from the date you were released from imprisonment.
If you satisfy all three of these elements, you may qualify for an expungement in Macomb County, under Michigan Law.