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 amount of time.
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. The Michigan legislature passed a package of laws in 2020 called the “Clean Slate Laws.” In that group of statutes, special rules were created 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 marijuana expungement in Michigan?
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 an application is filed, it creates a rebuttable presumption that the “crime” would not be illegal if committed after December 6, 2018.
After the application is filed 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 answer, the court must enter an order granting the expungement of marijuana convictions within 21 days.
If your application to set aside a marijuana conviction is denied, there is still hope.
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. When an individual is unrepresented or represented by an inferior lawyer, the prosecutor may oppose an expungement and presume that the defense will be ill-equipped to convince the judge that the conviction should be removed.
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! So long as your application is handled in the right way, it is very likely your application for expungement of marijuana convictions will be granted.
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/or Paraphernalia Convictions
If an individual’s application to set aside a use or possession of marijuana and/or paraphernalia conviction is successful, the conviction is removed from that person’s public criminal history. The set aside does not operate to reverse a prior conviction for an offense that was enhanced or sentencing guidelines that were increased 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 Laws do not permit a defendant convicted of a marijuana offense in federal court to seek expungement.
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. We are hired daily to help clients with issues such as expungement. Our attorneys will take the time to talk with you, answer all of your questions, and collaborate with you to develop a winning strategy. You can count on your calls and emails being promptly returned. We are known for excellent client communication.
If you would like to seek the expungement of one or more convictions for 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. We 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 a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.