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 some cases, be able to access the records, but only under limited circumstances.
How to Remove Your Michigan Record
Michigan recently expanded their laws to allow for the set-aside of many criminal records. Michigan also allows for those convicted of certain felonies to petition the court for a restoration of firearm rights. Our firm offers the following legal services in Michigan:
- Michigan Conviction Set Aside: Michigan State law allows for expungement, or “set aside”, of criminal records for many types of misdemeanor or felony convictions. The set aside fully seals the conviction records held by state and local criminal record databases, making them inaccessible to potential employers, landlords, the general public, and most government agencies.
- Michigan Firearm Rights Restoration: Michigan State law allows a person to petition to have their firearm rights restored. Michigan restricts firearm ownership and possession for those convicted of a felony offense. The law allows a person to petition the court in the county where they reside for restoration of this right. The court makes the decision based on a good showing of rehabilitation. Once the court issues an order restoring firearm rights, you can legally own and possess firearm again under Michigan Law.
Why You Should Hire WipeRecord
If you have a Michigan criminal record that is causing you trouble, contact our firm to see if we can help out. There are many potential benefits to setting aside a criminal record, some of which include:
- Being able to legally state that you have not been arrested or convicted of a criminal offense to employers and landlords
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
- Eliminating the concern and potential embarrassment of failing a background check by removing public access to sensitive personal information
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. This 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 3-6 months to complete the process, so contact our office now to begin putting your criminal record behind you.
Michigan Criminal Record Removal Services
Michigan Conviction Set Aside
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 up to 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 law requires a person who is 18 or more years old to file a court application 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.
Michigan Set Aside of Deferred and Dismissed Cases
Generally, to set aside a case which has been deferred and then dismissed, five years must pass since the completion of the sentence. Furthermore, the offense is deemed a misdemeanor conviction for purposes of meeting the set aside eligibility requirements.
The offenses described in the statute that count 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.
Convictions that DO NOT Qualify for a Set Aside
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
Juvenile Conviction Set Aside
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.
Michigan Firearm Rights Restoration
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 felonies into two types, 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 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. Or, if you have a Michigan criminal record that you would like to be set aside, we can assist with that as well. The first step is to take our free, confidential eligibility test.