Wondering about the new Michigan expungement law changes. Michigan law may now allow you to get a conviction removed from the public record? If so, you should be aware of changes to Michigan’s expungement statute.
Expungement allows a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor to set aside that conviction and take the matter off the public record. When a conviction is on the public record it allows employers to see it when doing criminal history background checks. Therefore, expungement is crucial to those with a criminal conviction who are trying to get a second chance.
Michigan’s previous law would allow a person who has one felony conviction to apply to have that conviction expunged. Further, it would allow a person with two misdemeanor convictions to apply to have both of those convictions expunged. To apply, one must have completed probation, discharged from parole or finished imprisonment. Also, the applicant would have to wait a mandatory period of time starting on the date of sentencing.
However, the new law has made this process more difficult for the applicant. The mandatory period of time an applicant must wait after sentencing remains five years. Also, convictions for several common traffic offenses are still unable to be set aside, such as Operating While Intoxicated.
The most serious change is the new laws treatment of Deferrals and Dismissals. Generally, some misdemeanor violations allow a first time offender to defer his sentencing. Upon completion of probation, the charges to the offender would be dismissed. The new treatment of this rule provides that dismissals from deferrals would still be counted as a misdemeanor conviction when eligibility for expungement is being determined. Therefore, a first time offender who receives a deferred sentence, and whose case is ultimately dismissed, will still be effected by that dismissal if ever apply for expungement of another misdemeanor or felony.
In terms of expungement, it is important to distinguish the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is any offense punishable by not more than one year imprisonment, or a fine. A felony in this state is an offense punishable by more than one year of imprisonment. Therefore, a misdemeanor carrying a punishment of more than one year is defined as a felony.
Expungment is an extremely helpful tool in giving those with past criminal convictions a second chance. Those living with a conviction on their public record know so well how difficult it can be to find employment and give back to society. However, expungment can be a risky process for the applicant, as in the event the petition is denied, now one cannot re-file for another three years.