A conviction in Michigan doesn't necessarily mean it will stay on your record. We understand that if you have a Michigan misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record, you may worry about how it may impact your future and your freedom.
Having just one conviction on your public record may affect your ability to obtain certain employment, make you ineligible for some types of government loans or assistance, or keep you from qualifying for the professional licenses you want. For some people, having a criminal conviction in their past serves as a constant source of concern and embarrassment, always wondering about who might conduct a criminal background check and how a past criminal conviction may affect their ability to reach their goals.
The good news is that Michigan law may allow you to get a criminal conviction removed from the public record, this is called an expungement. A successful “Motion to Set Aside A Conviction” will erase your public criminal record depending on the type and number of convictions on your record and if you meet certain other requirements. This means you don’t have to worry if potential employers ask you about a past criminal history or if someone performs a background check. After an expungement, your past conviction will not show up in a criminal background check.
At Grabel & Associates, our dedicated Michigan criminal defense lawyers have helped numerous clients take advantage of this rare legal opportunity to get a fresh start. By successfully seeking to set aside convictions, our expungement lawyers have been able to erase all public evidence of an individual's past criminal history. The benefits of getting a conviction expunged are tremendous it means not having to worry about what your potential employer may find or what a background check may reveal.
Getting an expungement isn't easy though Michigan law sets forth specific guidelines that must be followed. Consulting with an experienced Michigan expungement attorney who understands the complex expungement process and legal requirements is essential to winning back your second chance.
Many rules govern who is entitled to an expungement and under what circumstances. If you have questions about whether you may be able to get a conviction set aside in your particular case then you must consult with a knowledgeable Michigan expungement lawyer about your situation.
Until recently, Michigan expungement law (MCL 780.621) provided that at an expungement could only be granted to those individuals with only one criminal conviction or two "minor offenses." Remember, a single criminal complaint may have more than one charge on it. If you have been convicted of both drug possession and possession with intent to deliver you have two convictions. A conviction includes not only those circumstances where a judge or jury finds you guilty after trial, but also guilty pleas and pleas of no contest (“nolo contendere”).
Recently, Michigan expungement law has been changed to allow persons with two misdemeanor convictions to be eligible for expungement. Additionally, persons with one felony and two misdemeanors on their record are eligible to have their felony expunged.
Further, before you can file a petition to set aside your verdict, you must wait five years from the time of sentencing, or five years after serving any prison term for that conviction, completion of probation or discharge from parole (whichever occurs later).
Crimes that cannot be expunged from your record include:
Felonies where the maximum punishment is life imprisonment
An attempt to commit a felony for which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment
Certain sex crimes such as criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, criminal sexual conduct in the third degree
MCL 780.621 Setting Aside Convictions, provides a complete list of crimes that cannot be expunged.
Although the value of a getting a fresh start can’t be understated, the process of seeking an expungement is challenging. Michigan law requires specific court forms and documentation to support your petition as well as evidence demonstrating that your “circumstances and behavior” justify setting aside a criminal conviction, and do not go against the public welfare. The process is often lengthy and requires careful attention to numerous Michigan expungement rules and regulations. You must attend at least one hearing and you may face objections to your petition by the victim, the prosecutor who sought your conviction, and even the Attorney General of the state of Michigan.
As a result, working with an experienced Michigan expungement law firm is essential to ensure that you get a second chance. With thorough preparation and skilled advocacy placing the facts and circumstances of your case in the most favorable light, the criminal defense attorneys at Grabel & Associates have given numerous clients across Michigan the fresh start they deserve.
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony in the state of Michigan, and have questions concerning your eligibility for an expungement, please contact the criminal defense law firm of Grabel & Associates for a free consultation. We are dedicated to improving the lives of our clients, and minimizing the negative consequences of a prior conviction.
For a free consultation to discuss how a Michigan expungement lawyer from Grabel & Associates can help you, call us toll-free at 1-800-342-7896, or you can use the contact form on this website to email our law firm.