How to Get a Felony Off Your Record in Michigan
If you have a felony conviction on your record, you may wonder what options you have for expungement. Michigan residents have opportunities to expunge misdemeanors and felonies; however, they must meet the necessary qualifications.
Being able to “set aside” felony or misdemeanor convictions offers several benefits. When your bid for expungement is successful, you essentially eliminate the prior conviction from your record. This opens new opportunities in terms of employment, where you live, and more that you may have been barred from because of your past criminal record.
It is important to know your rights and what options you have to have a criminal conviction expelled from your criminal record. If you still have questions, contact a criminal defense attorney today.
Do You Qualify for the Expungement of a Criminal Conviction in Michigan?
You cannot even apply to expunge a criminal offense in Michigan until you meet the following requirements:
- It has been five years since your conviction, completion of your imposed jail sentence, or discharge from probation or parole before you can even be considered
- It is possible for the above-mentioned waiting period to be waived if you were convicted of any Michigan prostitution offense as a human trafficking victim
- You have no more than one felony conviction and no more than two misdemeanor offenses on your criminal record
- You have no other adult criminal convictions that were set aside on your record
Michigan law states that you can only have a single adult conviction set aside or expunged from your criminal record. The law for this was changed in 2015. The guidelines will be somewhat different if you have a felony or misdemeanor conviction before this date. Suppose you are in this situation and have felony convictions before this date. In that case, it is best to contact experienced Michigan expungement attorney Nicole Blank Becker, who can answer any questions you have.
How to Get a Felony Off Your Record in Michigan
According to the law, Michigan residents could be allowed to have a single felony charge expunged or set aside from their criminal record. Meeting the above guidelines is required before having felony offenses considered for expungement.
It may be possible to remove several for a previous misdemeanor conviction and other minor offenses, such as traffic offenses. However, it is best to schedule a Michigan criminal defense attorney free consultation with someone who understands the expungement process in Michigan.
Options to Have a Conviction Cleared from Your Record
A few options exist for having your criminal record set aside based on the Michigan legal system.
Setting aside adult convictions requires you to satisfy the three-year waiting period for a misdemeanor charge and a five-year waiting period for serious misdemeanors or single felony convictions. If you have a felony conviction, you have a seven-year waiting period. You can not have over three felony convictions, and there are usually no restrictions on the number of misdemeanors that you can have.
To be eligible for expungement, the Michigan legal system states that it is possible to have offenses that were dismissed and deferred set aside if the other conviction and the above waiting period requirements have been met.
The Michigan legal system also provides for juvenile cases to be set aside. Many juvenile cases will be eligible for this. You must be over 18, and a year must have passed since you completed your sentence. Traffic offenses and felonies cannot be set aside. Also, a person cannot have over three juvenile offenses and cannot have any felony convictions as an adult.
Felony Criminal Offenses that Don’t Qualify for Expungement or Being Set Aside
Based on the Michigan legal system and state law, most felony criminal offenses can be set aside or expunged. The exception to this rule is if any of the following were involved:
- Any criminal offenses that are punishable by life imprisonment
- Cases of criminal sexual conduct; the exceptions to this include charges related to criminal sexual conduct 4th degree convictions that occurred before January 12, 2015. It is important to note that the criminal sexual conduct and sex crimes offenses you were convicted of will determine your eligibility for expungement
- Certain traffic offenses (such as drunk driving)
- 2nd degree child abuse or a charge of child abuse when another child is present
- Felony domestic violence convictions (this applies if the person has a prior charge and misdemeanor criminal conviction for the same offense or another domestic violence crime)
- Human trafficking-related offenses
- Terrorism-related offenses
Steps for Requesting to Have Your Criminal Record Expunged or Set Aside in Michigan
Based on the Michigan legal system and established expungement laws, you must complete and apply to receive a certified order of conviction. This can be accessed at the court where you received your conviction and sentence. There are a few requirements for this, including having your fingerprints taken and buying a $50 money order from the Michigan State Police.
*Important Note: The conviction and application orders must be submitted to the court where your conviction was made and sent to the Michigan Attorney General and the prosecutor’s office.
Benefits Offered by Having Your Michigan Criminal Record Expunged or Set Aside
Even a single conviction on your criminal record can affect your life in many ways. For example, depending on the conviction, it may make you unable to work in certain industries or acquire certain jobs. It may also result in you being unable to receive certain types of government assistance or loans and keep you from receiving a professional license.
For some, criminal convictions create a constant source of worry and stress. These individuals may wonder who will conduct a background check and how their past convictions may impact their future.
Understanding Michigan’s New Expungement Laws
On August 23, 2021, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer enacted new Michigan expungement laws allowing Michigan residents with just one drunk driving conviction to apply to have it eliminated from their criminal record. It is estimated that this new law will benefit over 200,000 people in the state. The new laws also apply to some misdemeanor marijuana offenses and other felonies and misdemeanors.
What is Automatic Expungement?
The laws offer automatic expungement, meaning no application is necessary. It is important to understand exactly what these laws say and the automatic expungement process to determine if you qualify for it. While this is good news for many people, the automatic expungement does not apply to all criminal convictions. So, it is smart to work with a Michigan legal professional to know if it is an option for you.
Exclusions for Automatic Expungement
If someone has more than one conviction for an assaultive crime (examples being felony domestic violence or sexual assault), they will not be eligible for automatic expungement. Also, automatic expungement for any of the following misdemeanor or felony charges is not offered:
- Assaultive crimes
- Serious misdemeanors
- Dishonesty crimes
- Any offense that can be punished by 10 or more years in prison (this includes life imprisonment assault)
- Felony violations that involve a minor, a vulnerable adult (this includes criminal sexual conduct offenses), death, serious impairment, and any human trafficking violation
Additional Provisions for Automatic Expungement
Based on the automatic expungement option, the requirement to pay restitution is not eliminated when it is owed to a victim. It does not impact the jurisdiction of the convicting court regarding restitution enforcement.
Also, convictions set aside after the application is approved, an automatic expungement, or a marijuana misdemeanor offense may be considered a previous conviction by the court, prosecuting attorney, law enforcement agencies, or the Attorney General for charging crimes as second or subsequent offenses or for sentencing someone based on a habitual offender status.
Traffic Offense Expungement Opportunities
The previous expungement laws issued by the Michigan legal system prevented any traffic offense from being considered for expungement. However, now most will be considered. The exceptions to this rule include:
- Any second or subsequent DUI conviction for OWI (operating while impaired or intoxicated (a first-time DUI conviction is eligible))
- Commercial driver’s license violations
- Any traffic violation or offense that led to serious bodily injury or death
While removing a traffic offense conviction is possible, it will not be expunged from the individual’s driving record.
Understanding Your Expungement Rights in Michigan
If you have been released by the Michigan Department of Corrections and completed your parole and probation, you may qualify to have your criminal charges expunged or set aside. However, this varies based on your situation and the charge you were convicted of.
While this is true, some qualifications apply to your situation. You must know your rights and if your case is eligible. The best way to do this is by working with the best criminal defense attorney in Michigan.
If you need help with your case to determine if you qualify for expungement, contact the law offices of Attorney Nicole Blank Becker by calling (248) 515-6583. You can contact the legal team via text or phone. You can also send an email through the law firm’s website.
While not everyone will qualify, many felonies and misdemeanors qualify for expungement. You must know your rights and if you qualify for this by contacting our experienced attorney today.