Criminal Record Expungement
Having a criminal record can have lifelong negative effects on a wide range of things required for normal daily functioning, such as having gainful employment, finding quality housing and more. Oftentimes, this burden can be unfairly placed on individuals who otherwise are trying to improve their lives and function as productive members of society. In certain cases, these obstacles resulting from a criminal record can hold back individuals to the point where it plays a significant role in recidivism and pushing these individuals into a life of crime.
Luckily in Michigan there are multiple opportunities for expungements for people with previous criminal convictions. However there are several notable exceptions to when an expungement may be granted. These expungements are not automatically awarded, and working with an Michigan expungement attorney who is experienced in Michigan expungement law is required in order to achieve a successful outcome.
What is Eligible for Expungement
Both misdemeanor and felony convictions are eligible for expungement, depending on the nature of the offense. Certain offenses, such as sex crimes, criminal traffic infractions, or cases where the individual has multiple serious criminal convictions. Generally speaking, up to two minor criminal convictions are allowed before a court will bar an individual from expungement.
Additionally, individuals are ineligible for expungement if the offense in question carries with it the possibility of a life sentence. This is true even if the individual did not actually receive a life sentence. Usually these are very serious offenses, such as violent felonies and extreme white collar crimes.
Limits on Expungement
In addition to limits as to the type of charge that can be expunged, there are also time limits on when an expungement is allowed. In Michigan, this time period for individuals convicted of criminal offenses who wish to have these offenses expunged must wait a period of at least five years from either the conviction or their release from prison, whichever is later. After this time period, they are eligible to apply for their record to be expunged.
There are also limits based on the age of the offender. Adult offenders are eligible for only one prior conviction to be expunged off their record. Juveniles on the other hand may have their entire record expunged, including up to three prior convictions. However, juveniles are not eligible to have felonies expunged.
Under certain circumstances, there is the possibility that a court will consider having an adult conviction and prior juvenile convictions expunged for a single offender who has recently come of age. An attorney experienced in Michigan expungement law will be able to best advise if an individual is eligible for this.
As mentioned previously, it is important to work with an attorney specializing in Michigan expungement law in order to successfully have a record expunged. Since expungements are not automatic, it is up to the offender to convince the court that the expungement is appropriate and justified for their circumstances, and assure them that future convictions are unlikely to occur.
The attorneys at George Law have decades of combined experience working with clients on their criminal record expungement cases. Our expert expungement attorneys will analyze your case and pursue the best course of action to ensure the best possible outcome. If you are in need of an attorney to work with you regarding expunging a conviction from your record, please contact our office today to see how we can help.