In Michigan, expunging a criminal record means having your criminal conviction “set aside.” If your conviction is set aside, it is hidden from public view. Your set-aside conviction can be seen only by courts, law enforcement agencies, and a few other government agencies specified by law. In most cases, after your conviction is set aside, you will not have to disclose -- for example, to potential employers -- that you were convicted of a crime.
Determining Whether or Not Your Conviction Can Be Set Aside
Most misdemeanors and some felonies may be set aside in Michigan. However, your conviction will not qualify to be set aside if:
- you have been convicted of a federal crime
- you have been convicted of a crime in another state
- you have more than one adult criminal conviction in Michigan (except convictions for which judgment of guilt was deferred, and excluding up to two minor offenses as defined by Michigan law)
- you were convicted of a felony or an attempt to commit a felony for which the maximum punishment is life in prison
- you were convicted of a felony sex crime or assault with intent to commit a sex crime
- the conviction you want to set aside is a traffic offense, or
- it has been fewer than five years since the date of your conviction, or fewer than five years since you were released from prison.
(Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated § 780.621.)
How to File
Getting Legal Help
Cleaning up a criminal record can be a complex process. If you are not sure whether your conviction can be set aside in Michigan -- or for advice about your personal situation -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can give you advice and assistance.