How to Get an Early Expungement of a Conviction
Seeking Early Expungement of a Felony or Misdemeanor Conviction
As part of Michigan’s Clean Slate legislation, certain low-level felony and misdemeanor convictions will be eligible for automatic expungement. According to the statute, the process for automatic expungement is scheduled to start on April 11, 2023.
An Application to Set Aside Conviction Can Be Used for Expungement
The automatic expungement system is different from the traditional expungement process. For automatic expungements, no application is required. The disadvantages to automatic expungement are that fewer convictions can be set aside, the waiting period is longer, and it is unavailable for many offenses. Several offenses not eligible for automatic expungement may be expunged through an Application to Set Aside Conviction. Specifically, serious misdemeanors and felony convictions with a penalty of 10 years or more can only be set aside by filing a petition in court for an expungement.
What offenses are eligible for automatic expungement?
A defendant may have unlimited “minor” misdemeanor convictions automatically set aside. A “minor” misdemeanor has a maximum penalty of 92 days or less. A maximum of four (4) common misdemeanors, ones with a maximum sentence of 93 days up to 1 year, can also be automatically set aside. Only two (2) felony convictions can be automatically removed within a person’s lifetime. Excluding serious misdemeanors and felony convictions, the public criminal record system will automatically set aside convictions as follows:
- Seven years after the imposition of sentence for a misdemeanor punishable by 92 days or less (whether the conviction was recorded and maintained in the Michigan State Police database or not).
- Seven years after the imposition of a sentence for a misdemeanor punishable by 93 days or more that is maintained in the Michigan State Police database.
- Ten years after the imposition of sentence or any term of imprisonment in the Michigan Department of Corrections (meaning prison, not jail), whichever is later.
According to an April 26, 2023, article in the Detroit News by Beth LeBlanc, automatic expungement does not result in federal firearms rights restoration.
What offenses are not eligible for an Application to Set Aside Conviction?
Certain convictions can be expunged only with a court order pursuant to an Application to Set Aside Conviction. An expungement motion or application, as opposed to an automatic expungement, must be filed to clear a conviction on any assaultive crime, a serious misdemeanor, or a felony offense punishable by 10 years or more. Additionally, any attempt to commit an assaultive crime, serious misdemeanor, or felony punishable by 10 years or more is only eligible for expungement by application. Automatic expungement is also not available for any crime against a minor or vulnerable adult, involving an injury or death, or an offense related to human trafficking.
Another exception that can disqualify a conviction from automatic expungement eligibility is the convicted individual has one or more assaultive or attempted assaultive convictions on their record. Any offense not eligible for expungement through the traditional application process is likewise ineligible for automatic expungement. Examples of ineligible offenses include to following:
- life felonies or attempted life felonies,
- felony domestic violence with a previous misdemeanor domestic violence conviction,
- child abuse,
- most criminal sexual conduct offenses (CSC),
- a second or subsequent OWI/DUI (a first OWI or DUI conviction can be expunged),
- crimes committed during the operation of a commercial vehicle,
- traffic offenses causing injury or death,
- permitting a 16-year-old or younger female to be in a house of prostitution,
- holding an individual in debt bondage,
- any offense directly or indirectly related to human trafficking for forced labor,
- or any offense related to terrorism.
If a conviction is expunged, is there any way a court can reinstate the conviction?
An expunged conviction can be reinstated if it was improperly or erroneously set aside or expunged or if the defendant has failed to make a good-faith effort to pay restitution.
How to get an early expungement?
If a felony or misdemeanor conviction is eventually subject to automatic expungement, it might be possible to seek an early expungement by filing an Application to Set Aside Conviction. The waiting periods required before seeking expungement based on an Application to Set Aside Conviction are as follows:
- three (3) years for many misdemeanors,
- five (5) years for a serious misdemeanor or up to one felony,
- and seven (7) years for multiple felony convictions.
What are serious misdemeanors?
- assault and battery
- domestic violence
- assault; infliction of serious injury
- aggravated domestic violence
- breaking and entering or illegal entry
- child abuse in the fourth degree
- contributing to the neglect or delinquency of a minor
- using the internet or a computer to make a prohibited communication
- intentionally aiming a firearm without malice
- discharge of a firearm intentionally aimed at a person
- discharge of an intentionally aimed firearm resulting in injury
- indecent exposure
- injuring a worker in a work zone
- leaving the scene of a personal injury accident
- operating a vehicle while under the influence of or impaired by intoxicating liquor if the violation involves an accident resulting in damage to another individual’s property or physical injury or death to another individual
- selling or furnishing alcoholic liquor to an individual less than 21 years of age if the violation results in physical injury or death to any individual
- operating a vessel while under the influence of or impaired if the violation involves an accident resulting in damage to another individual’s property or physical injury or death to any individual.
We can help you get an expedited, early expungement.
Suppose you have a conviction that will become eligible for automatic expungement in time; the attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN. In that case, P.L.L.C. might be able to file an Application to Set Aside conviction for expedited results. If you have a question regarding whether you are eligible to seek an early expungement or if you have a conviction that can only be removed by application, call us for a free consultation. Our lawyers will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns. If there is a way to help you clear your criminal history, we will find a way to get it done!
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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.