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Michigan Criminal Record Expungement, Sealing, Pardons, and Restoration of Rights

Michigan Criminal Record Expungement – “Set Aside” a Conviction

Going through life with a criminal record in Michigan can have various negative consequences. A criminal record can make it hard to obtain things that would normally be available such as employment opportunities, professional licenses, or financial aid, among others. Furthermore, it is rather simple for anyone with Internet access to conduct a background search for an individual’s criminal record in Michigan.

Fortunately, Michigan allows individuals to have a conviction expunged, or set aside, so that it is erased and sealed from public access. Apart from a few situations, having a conviction set aside in Michigan is as though the criminal offense never happened. Therefore, you can legally state on any employment, housing, or school application that you have never been convicted or arrested for that crime. Certain law enforcement or criminal justice agencies may, in certain circumstances, be able to access the records, but only under limited circumstances..

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Requirements to Set Aside a Michigan Conviction

Michigan state law was recently amended and expanded to further benefit those looking remove their criminal past. According to the law, a person can typically petition to set aside one felony conviction if he or she has been convicted of not more than one felony and not more than two misdemeanors. Additionally, a person can petition to set aside one or two misdemeanors if he or she has been convicted of not more than two misdemeanors and no felonies. A conviction that was deferred and dismissed, whether felony or misdemeanor, will be considered a misdemeanor for purposes of determining whether a person is eligible to have a conviction set aside.

The time-frame for filing an application to set aside a conviction requires the application be filed by a person 18 or more years old, five (5) or more years after whichever of the following events occurred last:

  • Imposition of the sentence for the conviction that the applicant seeks to set aside
  • Completion of probation imposed for the conviction that the applicant seeks to set aside
  • Discharge from parole imposed for the conviction that the applicant seeks to set aside
  • Completion of any term of imprisonment for the conviction that the applicant seeks to set aside

If an application is denied, the applicant is prohibited from filing another application for 3 years unless the court specifies an earlier date in the order denying the petition.

Requirements to Set Aside Deferred and Dismissed Offenses

Generally, to Set Aside a case which has been deferred and then dismissed, five years must pass since the completion of the sentence, and the offense is deemed a misdemeanor conviction for purposes of meeting the Set Aside eligibility requirements.

The offenses described in the statute that county as a misdemeanor conviction even though the charge was deferred and dismissed include:

  • Purchase, Possession, and Consumption by a Minor
  • Dismissals related to completion of Drug Treatment Program or Veteran’s Treatment Court Deferral
  • Offenses under the Code of Criminal Procedure dealing with (a) assignment of youthful trainees, (b) domestic violence, or (c) cases of delayed sentencing
  • First Time Drug Offenses in Section 7411 of the Public Health Code
  • Taking or Retaining Child by Adoptive or Natural Parent with the Intent to Conceal from Another with Parenting Rights
  • Prohibited Conduct by Licensed Health Care Professional
  • A dismissal under any other Michigan law or of one of its political subdivisions similar in nature and applicability to those listed.
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Convictions that Do Not Qualify

Under Michigan law, a judge shall not set aside a conviction for any of the following:

  • A Felony (or attempted felony) where the maximum punishment is life imprisonment
  • Child Sexually Abusive Activity or Material (or possession thereof), Using a Computer to Solicit a Minor, 2nd or 3rd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, Assault with Intent to Commit Child Sexual Conduct, 2nd Degree Child Abuse, and Child Abuse in the Presence of Another Child
  • 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct if the conviction occurred after the effective date of the amendment (i.e. 1/12/2015). If the conviction occurred before this date, and the person has not been convicted of more than 2 “minor offenses”, then it may be eligible.
  • Traffic Offenses (including Operating While Intoxicated)
  • Felony Conviction for Domestic Violence if the person has a previous misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence
  • Human trafficking

Setting Aside Juvenile Convictions

If convicted of a crime as a minor, it is called a juvenile adjudication. Setting aside an adjudication is the process that clears your juvenile record. To be eligible for a juvenile adjudication, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • At least one year must have passed since your sentence or release from detention
  • You may only have up to three offenses, and only one of them may be a felony
  • Cannot set aside traffic offenses, and cannot have committed a felony as an adult

If you were convicted of certain prostitution offenses committed as a victim of human trafficking, you may be eligible to have those convictions set aside. Multiple convictions of this type may be expunged, and the waiting period is more lenient.

The process for setting aside a Michigan conviction varies depending on the county where the application is filed. Generally, it consists of filling out the correct forms, obtaining certified court copies of criminal records, getting fingerprints, and paying the necessary fees. No matter what the situation, attempting to get a conviction set aside can be a complicated process without the help of an attorney. Our law firm, Eastman Meyler, PC, is equipped with the knowledge and experience to handle criminal record sealing matters. To help guide you through the process, we encourage you to take our free, confidential Eligibility Test or give us a call toll free at (844) 947-3732 to discuss your eligibility and expungement services for Michigan. Michigan courts can take up to 3-5 months to complete the process, and the sooner you contact our office, the sooner we can help you put your past mistakes behind you!

Take our FREE Michigan Expungement Eligibility Test Here

Restoring Firearm Rights in Michigan

If convicted of a Felony – defined in Michigan as an offense punishable by imprisonment for 4 years or more – your rights to purchase and possess a firearm are lost. Michigan’s gun laws categorize two different types of felony offenses, those that are “specified” and those that are not.

If convicted of a non-specified felony, your right to possess a firearm is automatically reinstated three years after the following circumstances exist:

  • The person has paid all fined 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 convicted of a specified felony, a person’s rights cannot be reinstated until 5 years after all of 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; and
  • The person has successfully completed all conditions of probation or parole imposed for the violation.

After 5 years of these requirements having been met, the individual must then apply to the circuit court in the county where he/she resides for restoration of gun rights. When considering your petition, the court will consider the following factors:

  • Whether the application for firearm restoration was properly submitted
  • Whether you successfully completed the terms of your sentence and 5 years has passed since the last condition of your sentence
  • Whether your past criminal record and current reputation are such that you are not likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to the safety of others, shown by clear and convincing evidence

“Specified felony” means a felony in which 1 or more of the following circumstances exist:

  • An element of that felony is the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.
  • An element of that felony is the unlawful manufacture, possession, importation, exportation, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance.
  • The felony is burglary of an occupied dwelling, or breaking and entering an occupied dwelling, or arson.
  • An element of that felony is the unlawful possession or distribution of a firearm.
  • An element of that felony is the unlawful use of an explosive.

The firearm appeal procedures can be quite difficult to understand. Furthermore, courts require that everything be submitted correctly to even be considered for firearm restoration. Trying to accomplish these tasks without the representation of an attorney might seriously lessen your chances of success. The best option is to consult a law firm with experience handling such matters. If you have lost the right to possess a firearm and would like your privileges restored, contact our law firm today for a consultation.

Take our FREE Michigan Expungement Eligibility Test Here

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The Benefits of a Clean Record

  • Get the job you want and make more money
  • Travel internationally without worrying
  • Reduce the cost of loans and insurance
  • Quit worrying about what people will find in a background check
  • Truthfully tell employers that you have not been convicted
  • Put your past mistakes behind you

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