In Michigan, a criminal conviction may be expunged in certain circumstances. Once expunged, a conviction cannot be accessed by the general public or used in law enforcement. However, expunged records can still be considered if the person is applying for a law enforcement position. They may also be used as evidence of a prior conviction in subsequent offenses. And an expungement does not relieve a defendant if they have duty to register as a previous sex offender.
Are Juvenile and Adult Records Treated Differently?
Juvenile records wherein the sentence has been diverted (as in participation in a social rehabilitation program) must be destroyed within 28 days after the defendant reaches the age of 17.
On the other hand, adult convictions may be expunged under the following circumstances:
- The conviction is for a first-time offense.
- The person has been found guilty, or guilty but mentally ill, or has pleaded no contest.
- The conviction is not for a sexual offense.
- The conviction is not for a felony, or an attempted felony punishable by a life prison sentence, or a traffic offense.
- The defendant does not have any other prior convictions or other convictions that have been set aside.
Requirements for Expungement
To file an expungement properly, the applicant must file within the right timeframe, provide all relevant information required in the application, pay the application fee, and provide fingerprints. The applicant must apply for expungement at least 5 years after the sentencing for the conviction, or 5 years after completion of any imprisonment term, whichever comes later.
The expungement will be entered only after the court has determined that the expungement is consistent with the public welfare, and that the defendant’s behavior from the time of conviction to the time of application is favorable.
Consulting an Attorney
When you are ready to apply for expungement, you should contact a Michigan criminal lawyer. An attorney can advise you on the proper course of action.