How to Expunge a Criminal Record in Michigan
November 14, 2020
Expunging your criminal record in Michigan means that your prior conviction is set aside. If a conviction is expunged, in most cases it is considered to have never happened. For example, with an expunged record, you can honestly tell employers that your criminal record is clean. The record may only be accessed in limited circumstances, such as increasing your sentence if you are convicted of a new offense. An expunged conviction should not appear on background checks, which may make it much easier to get a job, housing, or credit.
If you have a criminal record, you probably already know how difficult it can be to apply to jobs, seek financial assistance, or enjoy the right to own a firearm.
Fortunately, Michigan has some favorable laws for people looking to resolve their past mistakes and move forward.
The process of applying for a Michigan criminal record expungement normally involves finding your criminal records, getting fingerprinted, filing out applications, paying necessary fees, and submitting them to the original sentencing court so a hearing may be scheduled for the matter.
Michigan law also provides a means for those with felony convictions to restore their right to purchase or possess a firearm. Generally, for individuals convicted of certain felonies, a person is eligible for restoration of gun rights in Michigan three (3) years after all the following circumstances exist:
- The person has paid all fines imposed for the violation
- The person has served all terms of imprisonment imposed for the violation
- The person has successfully completed all conditions of probation or parole imposed for the violation
If the above criteria are met, then an individual may once again legally purchase, posses, or use firearms. For persons convicted of “specified felonies” in Michigan, the requirements are essentially the same, except the waiting period is extended to five (5) years. Also, the restoration is not automatic; rather, the person must petition the circuit court in the county in which he or she resides. If the court determines, by clear and convincing evidence, that the petitioner is fit for relief of a firearm disability, then they shall order the rights restored.
Whatever the case may be, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of an attorney when dealing with these matters. The procedures can be difficult to navigate and understand, and with the help of an attorney, your chances of success are much greater.
On September 2, 2021, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision on Evans v. Cook County State’s Attorney. The decision resolved two questions that have been causing delays in the lower courts of Illinois in matters of firearm rights restoration.Read More
If you have a criminal record, you could be prohibited from buying a gun. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is the federal system that federal firearms licensees (FFL) such as gun shop owners, pawn shop owners, and retailers use to determine whether a person is legally permitted to purchase a firearm.Read More