What You Need to Know About Clearing Your Arrest Record

If your case was dismissed or you were arrested and never prosecuted, you should not have an arrest on your record.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

Improperly Preserved Arrest Records Create Havoc

In the United States, a person accused of a crime is presumed innocent. Unfortunately, potential employers, healthcare facilities, licensing agencies, and charitable organizations frequently assume someone committed a crime merely because that person has an arrest record. This unfair prejudicial effect is unjust because arrests should not appear in a person’s criminal history in many cases. Unfortunately, courts and law enforcement agencies frequently make mistakes, and people lose employment opportunities because an arrest wrongfully appears on their criminal history. If a prior contact with law enforcement has left you wondering “how to clear an arrest record,” you are in the right place.

Should an Arrest be on Your Record?

If the police or another law enforcement agency arrested you and the charges were dismissed, or if you were found not guilty, the arrest should NOT appear on your public criminal history. Circuit and district courts often fail to report a dismissal or acquittal to the Michigan State Police. The discrepancy results in improperly retained arrest records. Without some persuasive intervention on your behalf, the police will not show you how or help you to clear an arrest record.


A person’s public criminal history appears on Michigan’s Internet Criminal History Tool, often called ICHAT. If a court dismisses someone’s charges, the Michigan State Police (MSP) must remove the arrest from ICHAT. Even if MSP eliminates the arrest from ICHAT, it may still appear on the Law Enforcement Information Network (a nonpublic database known as LEIN).

LEIN contains a person’s nonpublic criminal history and is accessible by law enforcement personnel and courts. Michigan law requires that any record of the arrest on LEIN, including biometric data and fingerprints, shall be destroyed if a criminal defense attorney can persuade the prosecutor to agree or if the prosecutor and the judge fail to object within 60 days of the dismissal. If this happens, the Michigan State Police must remove the arrest from LEIN and ICHAT.

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Removal of an Arrest from Criminal Record

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has extensive experience filing for and winning requests to remove arrests and, in many cases, even criminal convictions. Removing an arrest record is different than the expungement process. Because we have an excellent reputation with law enforcement, including prosecutors throughout Michigan, we frequently persuade the government to agree to this relief. If you call us for a free consultation, we can help you understand how to clear an arrest from your record.

If you don’t try, the arrest will not automatically disappear. Once an arrest appears on someone’s criminal record, it is permanent unless the State Police are ordered to or voluntarily remove it. Since this type of improper record can cause terrible problems in a person’s life, any request must be made correctly, effectively, and professionally.

Although there is a standard court order to remove an arrest from law enforcement records, this does not mean it always gets filed or entered with a court. The Court Form, MC262, may be entered following a motion brought before the trial judge, with the prosecutor’s consent, or following a petition filed with the Michigan State Police.

How a Lawyer Can Help with Removing a Record of Arrest

The process and necessary steps to remove a record of arrest are often intricate, with each case presenting its unique challenges and requirements. Recognizing that no two situations are identical is fundamental in crafting a successful strategy for expunging an arrest record. A skilled lawyer, deeply versed in the nuances of criminal law and the expungement process, is invaluable in navigating this complex landscape.

The process of removing an arrest record can vary widely depending on the specifics of the case. It may involve petitioning a court, engaging with the police department that made the arrest, negotiating with the prosecutor’s office, or reaching out to the Michigan State Police Records Department, among other agencies. Each entity plays a different role in maintaining and removing arrest records, and understanding the correct avenue for petitioning is crucial. A multifaceted approach is sometimes necessary, requiring simultaneous or systematic petitions to multiple organizations or agencies to achieve the desired outcome.

With over 30 years of experience, the attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have encountered and successfully managed petitions to remove arrest records across a broad spectrum of scenarios. Our seasoned team has the expertise to evaluate each case individually, determining the most effective strategy to pursue removal. Whether it requires a focused effort targeting a single agency or a coordinated approach across multiple fronts, our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and determination to guide our clients through this process.

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is dedicated to helping individuals reclaim their lives by clearing their names. Our team stands ready, willing, and able to assist anyone seeking to have an arrest removed from their criminal history. By entrusting your case to us, you gain not just an advocate for your cause but a partner committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you. We understand the profound impact of clearing an arrest record on your life, and we are here to help you every step of the way.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

An Experienced Defense Attorney Can Help You

If you want an arrest or conviction removed from your public or private records, please call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation and confidential case evaluation. Not all records are removable, but this is too important not to try, and it can be a terrible mistake to trust your fate to the legal representation of a lawyer who is simply the lowest bidder. Our team is ready and available to help you clear your arrest record.

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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