What Convictions are Eligible for Expungement?

What Convictions are Eligible for Expungement?

Criminal Defense Attorneys Helping Residents of Oakland County Get a Fresh Start

If you have a criminal record in Michigan, the recent passage of the Clean Slate Law may make it easier for you to get your record sealed. This would mean that employers, landlords, and anyone else other than law enforcement who looks up your record would not see you were convicted of a crime. However, determining what convictions are eligible for expungement can be challenging. At Michigan Defense Law, our knowledgeable team of Oakland County criminal defense lawyers works closely with clients to help them seal felony and misdemeanor convictions. We have extensive hands-on experience dealing with the state’s expungement law and can effectively advise you whether you qualify and help you prepare a compelling application for relief.

The Clean Slate Law

In 2021, Governor Whitmer signed the Clean Slate Law into law in response to the growing concern over the lingering effects of a felony conviction. This recognizes that people can make mistakes and that a misstep or two along the way shouldn’t impact the rest of their life. Thus, most misdemeanor and felony convictions are eligible for expungement under the new law.

However, not everyone qualifies for an expungement. The first step to determining if you qualify for expungement is to check your criminal record. There is no limit to the number of misdemeanor offenses that can be expunged. So, regardless of how many misdemeanor convictions you have on your record if you don’t have any felonies, you will likely qualify for relief.

Up to three felony convictions can be expunged. However, if you have more than three felonies on your record, you will not qualify. That said, under the new law, a conviction for multiple offenses is treated as a single conviction as long as the crimes occurred within a 24-hour period and arose out of the same series of events. For example, if you were arrested for felony use of a Financial Transaction Device for a stolen credit card and had five counts of that charge because you used the card five separate times in a 24-hour period those five felonies would likely be counted as one under this law and you would be eligible to remove all of those counts.

Once you determine that you qualify based on your record, you next need to check if the convictions you seek to expunge are eligible. In other words, even if you only have a single conviction, you might not qualify based on the nature of the crime for which you were convicted. For example, a conviction for any crime punishable by life in prison cannot be expunged. However, there are also less serious offenses that fall outside the scope of Oakland County’s expungement law, including:

  • A third assault conviction (the first two will qualify);
  • Certain child abuse offenses;
  • Possession of child pornography;
  • Certain sex offenses; and
  • Solicitation or prostitution charges (unless you were the victim of human trafficking).

Keep in mind, even if you qualify for an expungement and the conviction you seek to expunge qualifies as well, the court must still determine that you are deserving of relief. You also must meet the waiting period requirement. Depending on the seriousness of the conviction you want to expunge, you may need to wait up to seven years before filing. Having the assistance of an experienced Oakland County expungement lawyer can significantly increase your chances of success, as they will be familiar with the judge, prosecutor, and all applicable rules related to your application. Our firm knows what information the Judge cares about and how best to present you to the Court.

Convictions Eligible for Expungement Michigan's Clean Slate Law Eligibility Criteria
Misdemeanor Offenses Unlimited number of misdemeanors eligible.
Felony Offenses Up to three felony convictions, with exceptions. Multiple offenses within a 24-hour period may count as one conviction if arising from the same event.
Specific Exclusions Convictions punishable by life in prison, certain assault, child abuse, sex offenses, possession of child pornography, and some solicitation or prostitution charges (exceptions for human trafficking victims).

Do You Want to Learn More About What Convictions are Eligible for Expungement?

To be sure, Oakland County’s expungement law is complex, and it may not be easy to determine if you qualify. At Michigan Defense Law, we have extensive knowledge of the state’s expungement laws and have helped countless clients clear their records so they can move on with their lives. We offer free consultations during which we will review your record to determine what convictions are eligible for expungement. From there, we will advise you on what we think your chances of success are and give you a firm flat fee price. If retained, we advocate on your behalf, doing everything we can to get you a fresh start. To learn more, and to schedule your free consultation today, contact us online or give us a call at (248) 451-2200.

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