Overview of Michigan Criminal Record Expungements
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- Punishable by life imprisonment;
- Felony criminal assault or assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct;
- Traffic offenses; or
- Reportable to the Secretary of State, such as possession of a controlled substance. (This exception applies to crimes listed in the Michigan Vehicle Code, not the Code of Criminal Procedure)
Setting aside a conviction removes that conviction from the public record maintained by the Michigan State Police. This "clearing" of someone's criminal record means that any criminal record checkwith a few specific exceptionswill return nothing. It will be as though the conviction never existed.
Though Michigan uses the term "expungement," this may be misleading: no procedure exists that will completely purge a criminal record from the justice system. While the conviction will be removed from the State Police's records, an updated court case file will still be visible to court staff for limited purposes, such as increasing a sentence if someone is convicted of a new offense.
Despite these limitations, having a conviction expunged carries several advantages. Perhaps the most prominent one is the right to answer "no" to a critical question on many job and other applications: "Have you been convicted of a crime?" Additionally, expungement can improve a credit rating and help with applications for subsidized housing or public benefits.
However, having a criminal record set aside or expunged in Michigan is not easy, and not everyoneeven those who meet the basic requirementswill succeed in having their record expunged.
To find a criminal attorney in your area that handles expungements, click http://attorneypages.com/524MI/index.htm.
For more information on Michigan's law, click the following articles: