Last updated on February 8, 2024

How Much Does an Expungement Cost in Michigan?

If you have been convicted of a crime in Michigan, you may already understand how it adversely impacts your life even after you have completed your sentence. 

In the United States, nine out of 10 employers, four out of five landlords, and three out of five colleges screen out applicants with criminal records through publicly accessed background checks. Consequently, a criminal record can still remain a serious barrier even for those who have paid their debt, remained conviction-free, and want to move on with their lives. It is important to speak with a qualified Michigan expungement attorney before making any decisions. 

One of the Most Extensive in the Nation

In 2020, Michigan became the third state in the nation to implement clean slate laws to help more individuals move on after their convictions by getting their criminal record expunged from the public record. Michigan’s Clean Slate package is one of the most extensive of any in the country. 

Before our Clean Slate Act, there was an expungement process in place, but it was only available to individuals with very limited criminal records. Many offenses were completely excluded from being able to take advantage of the process. Even those who qualified could find the process daunting.

The new Clean Slate Act has expanded the numbers and types of offenses that an individual can have expunged and will provide for future automatic expungement of certain convictions without the need to petition or apply to the court to get one. 

What are the New Provisions?

New Michigan laws on expungement include:

  • An expanded number of convictions that can be expunged
  • Reduced waiting time in some circumstances
  • Certain traffic offenses can now be expunged
  • First-offense OWIs are now eligible
  • Misdemeanor marijuana convictions for past conduct that is now legal can be ex[unged with no waiting period
  • A “one bad night” provision combines separate but related offenses into one offense
  • Certain non-violent offenses will be eligible for automatic expungement without the need to apply if the individual has remained conviction-free for seven years for misdemeanors and ten years for felonies

The Cost of Expungement in Michigan

The actual financial cost of expungement is minimal. To have a record expunged, the individual is responsible for fingerprinting, getting a certified copy of each conviction that will be requested for expungement, and paying a $50 fee (money order or cashier’s check) payable to the State of Michigan. But expungement is a multi-layered process that needs to be completed correctly. If not, the individual may have to wait another three years to apply again. 

Making Sure the Process is Completed Correctly

While an expungement can be completed without the assistance of an attorney, it is not recommended. The court has great latitude in determining who is granted expungement and who is not. An incorrect application or lack of preparation can result in a denial by the court, and the individual will have to wait to apply again. 

If you are considering an expungement of your record, Michigan expungement lawyer Paul J. Tafelski can guide you and ensure that the application is completed correctly and you are fully prepared for your hearing. Call us at (248) 451-2200 or contact us through our website contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your expungement. 

Posted in: Criminal Defense
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