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
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
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
You can find more information and an Application to Set Aside Conviction on the website of the Michigan Courts. You must file the application with the court where you were convicted.
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.