Understanding the changing laws around expungements and your options may help restore your record. Many of the laws surrounding expungements have been in flux over the past few years, so having an expert in your corner is invaluable. Since the new expungement laws are being implemented over time, you should know when expungements of each type are possible. 

What is an expungement?

An expungement, in simple terms, is to “set-aside” a crime so that there is no public record of it available. However, it is only available for certain crimes and if certain preconditions are met. For example, major offenses such as murder and criminal sexual conduct may not be expunged. 

Why should I get an expungement?

An expungement removes a criminal conviction from your record which can be used against you, depending on your state of residence, affecting:

  • Employment background checks
  • Federal assistance programs
  • Credit checks and/or loan approval
  • Public records 
  • Gun ownership
  • Home rental background checks
  • Volunteer organization background checks

Expungements can have a profound effect on the trajectory of your life, allowing you many opportunities that could have previously been hidden from you.  

Do expunged records show up on background checks?

Expunged records are entirely erased from the public record so they cannot appear in background checks. Sealed records still exist, but are not available to the public. Your expunged records will not affect standard background checks that you experience in the course of employment/aid/housing applications. There are some private background-check websites that may need to be updated after your expungement is granted to ensure any background checks do not list the conviction after your expungement is granted.

What is the latest in expungement law in Michigan?

The new expungement laws are being phased in over time. There are even some offenses that get automatically expunged without any effort on your part.

  1. Expungement of “misdemeanor marijuana convictions” are available to be filed beginning April 11, 2021.
  2. There are key changes being made to the type/number of convictions that can be enacted, also going into effect April 11, 2021.
  3. The ability to set aside first-time operating while impaired offenses is available beginning February 19, 2022.
  4. The “automatic” expungement law will not go into effect before 2023 begins.

How do I start the process of getting an expungement?

If you are in Michigan, you can begin by reading the various forms and latest laws regarding expungement at the State Attorney General’s office website.

As always, these laws are subject to change and it’s always a good idea to have someone who knows the latest changes on your team. There is paperwork to complete and processes to learn if you are going to get something expunged. You can always reach out to Fran Murphy Law to discuss your options so that you can make the most informed decision about your future.  Fran Murphy Law can assist you every step of the way and represent you in your journey to an expungement.