Articles Posted in Expungements

Marijuana is now legal for Michigan residents, regardless of whether they have a qualifying health condition. While the state initially legalized medicinal marijuana back in 2008, it wasn’t until 2018 when recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan. However, despite the legalization of marijuana, thousands of people still have convictions on their records for marijuana-related offenses.

As we noted in a previous blog post, Michigan lawmakers recently passed the Clean Slate law, revamping the state’s outdated expungement laws. While the Clean Slate legislation impacts those with many types of criminal convictions, one of the most notable aspects of the law is how it treats marijuana offenses.

Under Michigan’s new expungement law, anyone convicted of a marijuana-related offense involving conduct that would not be illegal after December 6, 2018, can ask the court to set aside their conviction. In other words, if you were convicted of any of the following, you can seek an expungement under the new laws:

In 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed landmark legislation known as the “Clean Slate” initiative. The Clean Slate initiative vastly changed Michigan’s expungement laws, allowing more people to obtain a clean criminal record. This can make getting a job, purchasing a gun, or getting into college or a professional trade school much easier. However, at the time, those who had a Michigan OWI conviction were among the few who could not get their record expunged. Last week, that changed when Governor Whitmer signed two new bills into law.

On August 23, 2021, Governor Whitmer House Bills 4219 and 4220. Collectively, these bills allow some who have only one OWI conviction to get their record expunged. According to a recent press release from the Governor’s office, “The bills are expected to allow an estimated 200,000 non-repeat OWI offenders to have the opportunity for a second chance at a clean record.” Those who qualify for an OWI expungement must wait at least five years from the end of their probationary period.

Under the new Michigan OWI expungement laws, it does not matter whether you were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs. Similarly, for alcohol OWIs, your blood-alcohol content is not a factor in your eligibility. However, while the new laws open up the possibility of relief to many, not all OWI convictions are eligible for expungement. For example, those with more than one conviction for an OWI offense cannot get an expungement for any of their convictions. Similarly, any OWI conviction involving death or serious bodily injury cannot be expunged.

A criminal conviction—even for a minor offense—can have a dramatic impact on your life. Not only that, but by default, a conviction will stay on your record forever, unless you seek an expungement. Expungement is the legal process by which a court sets aside a conviction, making it outside the reach of the public record. While Michigan has had an expungement law on the books for quite some time, the law recently changed as of April 2021.

How Does Michigan’s New Expungement Law Work?

Recently, Michigan lawmakers made some significant changes to the state’s expungement laws, making the process available to more people than ever before. Under the new law, expungements are broken down into two categories: marijuana misdemeanor offenses and other misdemeanor and felony offenses.

Contact Information