Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 10, 2020

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You must file a petition to have your record expunged. From here on, the terms “expunge” and “set aside” will be used interchangeably. In Michigan, both terms refer to the same legal remedy: removing a criminal conviction from the public record maintained by the Michigan State Police, so that no one other than certain specifically allowed agencies may pull up the conviction while conducting a criminal record check.

Certain types of crimes cannot be expunged, such as:

  1. Convictions for felonies or attempted felonies which are punishable by life imprisonment
  2. Convictions for felony criminal sexual conduct in the first, second or third degree (MCL 750.520c, MCL 750.520d, MCL 750.520g ) or assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct
  3. Convictions or adjudications for traffic offenses
  4. Convictions for non-traffic offenses reportable to the Secretary of State (e.g.’ controlled substance possession, if listed under the Michigan Vehicle Code)

You would also be disqualified if you have more than one conviction’for any offense, anywhere (i.e., not just in Michigan). Only a single conviction may be set aside.

There are time constraints on applying for expungement based on imprisonment status:

  1. If you were not imprisoned for the offense, you may apply to have the conviction set aside after five years have passed since the date of sentencing.
  2. If you were imprisoned, you may apply to have the conviction set aside when five years have passed since being released from the term of imprisonment.

    Because this is paper intensive, consider hiring a criminal attorney to help you through the process.

    For more information on the expungement process in Michigan, visit the following articles:

    Overview of Michigan Criminal Record Expungements

    Process for Expunging Adult Criminal Records in Michigan

    Expunging/Setting Aside Juvenile Adjudication Records in Michigan

    Process for Expunging/Setting Aside Juvenile Records in Michigan

    Do I Need an Attorney to Expunge my Criminal Record in Michigan?