UPDATE (11/6/2019): The Michigan House of Representatives on Tuesday passed this expungement legislative package (explained below) with wide bipartisan report, ranging from 97-10 to 102-6. Next, the legislation will go to the Senate. This article will be updated accordingly.
Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers proposed a legislative package aiming to reform criminal record expungement. Expungement advocates express that it will extend opportunities, remove employment barriers, and strengthen communities.
Some main changes suggested in the six bills described in further detail below:
Expand felony and misdemeanor conviction coverage
The new bill would allow for up to 3 felony records and any number of misdemeanors to be expunged. Assaultive convictions may be set aside up to two felonies and four misdemeanors. Certain convictions, like murder or criminal sexual conduct, are not eligible to be expunged convictions.
Forgiveness for multiple acts committed during the same incident
If convictions for offenses similar in nature:
- occurred within a 24-hour period,
- were non-violent,
- did not include possession of a weapon or
- carried a maximum sentence of 10 or more years,
They may be treated as a single felony.
Some traffic offenses may be expunged
Presently, Michigan law does not allow for the expungement of traffic offenses. One of the bills would allow for expungement of low-level traffic offenses. Driving under the influence and traffic crimes causing injury or death would not be eligible.
Automatic expungement after 10 years
If the convictions were:
- are not considered “serious” misdemeanors and
- carry a sentence of less than 10 years imprisonment,
Residents may be eligible for automatic expungement after restitution and their justice system monitoring has ended.
Shorter eligibility period for misdemeanors
Misdemeanors with no felony convictions
- Eligible after 3 years
Serious misdemeanors or one felony
- Eligible after 5 years
Allow for expungement of marijuana convictions if the activity is legal now
The petition for expungement would not be automatically granted. Most residents convicted of marijuana offenses that are currently allowed under state law would be immediately eligible to apply.
About 1 of 3 Americans have a criminal record. Supporters feel the reform will have widespread positive effects on public safety.
What about national expungement reform?
Certainly, the expungement process varies state to state. The amount and type of criminal charges eligible for expungement depends on the state jurisdiction and law enforcement agency. That’s why National Expungement Week happens across the country every year, and why we’re taking part in it alongside Michigan Cannabis Industry Association.
If you’re looking to expunge your criminal history… fill out this form to pre-register to have your criminal case expunged. To qualify, you currently must have:
- A valid and current photo ID
- No more than 1 felony on your public record
- No more than 2 misdemeanors
- Be discharged from jail/probation at least 5 years ago
Once you fill out the form, you will need to attend one of the following expungement clinics:
Date: Sept. 21st
Time: 12 – 3 PM
Venue: Detroit Recovery Project
Address: 1145 W Grand Blvd Detroit, MI 48208
Date: Sept. 23rd
Time: 3 – 8 PM
Venue: Union Missionary Baptist Church
Address: 500 S Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Lansing, MI 48915
Date: Sept. 24th
Time: 5 – 9 PM
Venue: Your Emerging Space
Address: 7 N Saginaw St #3A Pontiac, MI 48341
Those interested can get help from experienced criminal defense attorneys for free. We will determine your eligibility, prepare the necessary forms, and provide the instruction for what to do next.
If you’re an experienced legal professional… we need your help. In order to help as many people as possible, we need volunteers for all the clinics listed above.
If you are not available to volunteer for the time, please indicate the times you are available to assist in the form at the bottom of this page.
Expungement is necessary and long overdue in Michigan. We look forward to helping speed up this process for deserving Michigan residents.