Michigan’s New Expungement Law Provides a Clean Slate for Drunk Driving Convictions and More
If you or a family member have a criminal conviction weighing on career advancement and housing opportunities, you may be able to make use of a recent change in law, the Clean Slate Act. The Act contains sweeping amendments to Michigan’s expungement process. Expungement is the process of removing a criminal conviction from the public record and wiping it out, as if it never happened. In April of 2021, the Act expanded the amount of and types of felonies and misdemeanors eligible to be expunged from an individual’s public record so to give Michiganders seeking opportunities for employment, housing, and more a clean slate. In February of 2022, a provision of the Act took effect allowing for expungement of first time DUI/OWI offenses. In April of 2023, a provision of the Act will take effect allowing for automatic expungement of certain offenses. You can help yourself or a family member by taking advantage of this law.
In general, an individual may have up to 3 qualifying felonies expunged and an unlimited number of qualifying misdemeanors. The Act also contains a separate process for expungement of misdemeanor marijuana offenses such as use, possession, or possession of paraphernalia. Qualification for expungement depends on several factors, including waiting a certain period of time after completion of your sentence/parole/probation. The waiting period to apply for expungement is either 3, 5, or 7 years depending on the conviction. If you have been convicted of another crime during the waiting period or have pending charges, you may be ineligible to apply for expungement. There are certain more serious crimes not eligible for expungement, but the law expanded the eligibility greatly so that most crimes are covered. The inclusion of drinking and driving offenses was a major change in policy.
The new Clean Slate Act is complex and nuanced such that one may not be able to determine eligibility on one’s own. To have the best chances for an expunged being granted, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options.