Possession of Marijuana Expungement in Michigan Courts

Under Michigan’s Clean Slate Laws, a streamlined process has been created for the expungement of Possession of Marijuana Convictions. With our help, you stand the best chance of clearing your record in the shortest time.

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How to Get a Possession of Marijuana Expungement

The possession of recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan on December 6, 2018. Before that date, countless individuals were convicted based on conduct that would no longer be illegal. In 2020, Michigan passed a package of “Clean Slate Laws.” In that group of statutes, Michigan created special rules for setting aside possession of marijuana convictions. The marijuana expungement statute provides a process for setting aside unlimited marijuana possession convictions.

The marijuana-related convictions that can be set aside under the streamlined Clean Slate legislation, starting on April 11, 2021, include:

  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Use of Marijuana
  • Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia
  • Any local ordinance that is substantially similar to any of the above offenses

What is the process for removing a marijuana conviction?

The process for seeking expungement of one or more convictions for the possession or use of marijuana and/or the possession of marijuana paraphernalia starts with filing an Application to Set Aside Conviction in the court where the conviction was entered. Once a defendant applies for expungement, there is a rebuttable presumption that the “crime” would not be illegal if committed after December 6, 2018.

After the defendant applies with the court, the state or municipal prosecutor has 60 days to file an answer rebutting the presumption. The standard used by the court to evaluate whether the prosecutor has sufficiently rebutted the presumption is called “preponderance of the evidence” or, in other words, proof exceeding 50%. If the prosecution does file an answer seeking to rebut the presumption, the court must hold a hearing within 30 days. If the prosecutor fails to file a timely response, the court must enter an order to expunge marijuana convictions within 21 days.

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There is still hope if your application to set aside a conviction is denied.

Many Michigan judges and prosecutors are opposed to the legalization of marijuana and will fight against an expungement, even when the law favors setting aside a conviction. The prosecutor may oppose an unrepresented defendant’s application for expungement and presume they are ill-equipped to convince the judge to remove the conviction.

If the judge rules against you and denies your application to set aside the marijuana conviction, the Clean Slate laws permit you to request a rehearing or reconsideration or, in the alternative, file an appeal. Because it is difficult to change a judge’s mind, as opposed to persuading them in the first place, it is always best to have retained, experienced counsel and go for the win on the first try! The judge will likely grant your application for expungement of marijuana conviction if your lawyer handles it correctly.

Automatic Expungement of Marijuana Convictions?

The law providing for the expungement of marijuana convictions, Michigan Compiled Law 780.621e, does not provide for automatic expungement. The statute says that a person convicted of 1 or more misdemeanor marijuana convictions “may apply” to set aside the conviction(s).

Limitations on Setting Aside Use or Possession of Marijuana and Paraphernalia Convictions

If an individual’s application to set aside a use or possession of marijuana and paraphernalia conviction is successful, the court removes the conviction from that person’s public criminal history. The set aside does not reverse a prior conviction for an enhanced offense or lower sentencing guidelines due to the misdemeanor marijuana conviction.

Additionally, a defendant seeking expungement of marijuana convictions who successfully persuades a judge to set aside one or more convictions cannot seek the return of fines, costs, fees, or forfeited money/property related to that prior conviction.

The Clean Slate Expungement Laws do not permit a defendant convicted of a marijuana offense to seek expungement in federal court.

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Michigan Expungement Attorneys with Decades of Experience

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully obtaining expungements for clients on felony and misdemeanor offenses in courts throughout Michigan. Clients hire our team daily to help them with issues such as expungement. Our attorneys will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and collaborate with you to develop a winning strategy. You can count on the prompt return of your calls and emails. We are known for excellent client communication.

If you would like to seek the expungement of one or more convictions for the use or possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, or any other type of felony or misdemeanor offense, do not hesitate to call us today. Our expungement attorneys will zealously fight to clear your record as fast as possible. No stone will be left unturned in our fight to win on your behalf.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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