Last updated on February 20, 2023

Who Can See Expunged Records in Michigan?

Criminal records are official documents detailing criminal offenses committed by an individual in Michigan. These records will include information regarding arrests, indictments, dispositions, and convictions collected from police records, other law enforcement agencies, the court system, and any correctional facilities. 

In the United States and the state of Michigan, criminal records are considered a matter of public record and can be accessed through many different methods. Under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, criminal records can be accessed by request to the appropriate recording body. 

Potential employers and landlords have broad access to this information through aggregate websites or directly through the Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) maintained by the Michigan State Police. However, if you have a criminal record in Michigan and have completed your sentence, you may be eligible to have your record expunged so it can no longer be accessed by the public. With the assistance of an experienced Michigan expungements attorney, you may be able to remove certain convictions from your record which can help you move forward with your life. At Michigan Defense Law, our skilled expungement attorneys can assist you in determining whether you are eligible for expungement and in filing an application. Contact (248) 451-2200 today to learn more about how we can help.

What is Expungement in Michigan?

In Michigan, laws provide for some individuals to expunge or  “set aside” a criminal record if they qualify and meet certain conditions. When a record is expunged, it is no longer accessible through the public records, and others, such as employers, landlords, and other members of the public will no longer be able to see them. 

In April 2021, Michigan laws collectively called the Clean Slate Act expanded the types of offenses that could be expunged. In addition, the Act will eventually provide for automatic expungement for certain offenses without any action by the convicting court. 

Do These Records Disappear?

Expungement does not mean that a criminal record has disappeared entirely. 

Criminal arrests and actions are kept as records on a computerized database called the Michigan Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN). This includes any individual’s criminal history, including arrests, convictions, and driving records. It also includes criminal records from other states. Michigan State Police maintain LEIN, and it is tied to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.

Upon expungement or dismissal, a record will be suppressed, but this does not erase it entirely. Suppression means that the record will not appear on public records or the ICHAT system, but a permanent record is still retained on LEIN for judicial or law enforcement purposes. A criminal record can still be seen by law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges and used for criminal justice purposes. All parties with access to LEIN are forbidden to use it for purposes outside the criminal justice system, however. 

Would You Like More Information on Expungement or Michigan’s New Clean Slate Act?

If you have a criminal record, you may already know how difficult it can be for employers and landlords to have easy access to this information. Once people know you have a criminal record, they often make up their mind about you before you even get a chance to prove yourself. 

Depending on the nature of your crime, you may qualify for an expungement so you can be free from that burden. Paul J. Tafelski and the Michigan criminal defense team at Michigan Defense Law can help you understand record expungement and review your record to see if you qualify. Call us at (248) 451-2200 or contact us through our website to schedule a free consultation to learn more about record expungement in Michigan and the new Clean Slate Act. 

Posted in: Expungements
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