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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Michigan law allows the setting aside (expungement) of convictions for any crime except those that are:

  1. Punishable by life imprisonment;
  2. Felony criminal assault or assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct;
  3. Traffic offenses; or
  4. Reportable to the Secretary of State, such as possession of a controlled substance. (This exception applies to crimes listed in the Michigan Vehicle Code, not the Code of Criminal Procedure)

Setting aside a conviction removes that conviction from the public record maintained by the Michigan State Police. This “clearing” of someone’s criminal record means that any criminal record check’with a few specific exceptions’will return nothing. It will be as though the conviction never existed.

Though Michigan uses the term “expungement,” this may be misleading: no procedure exists that will completely purge a criminal record from the justice system. While the conviction will be removed from the State Police’s records, an updated court case file will still be visible to court staff for limited purposes, such as increasing a sentence if someone is convicted of a new offense.

Despite these limitations, having a conviction expunged carries several advantages. Perhaps the most prominent one is the right to answer “no” to a critical question on many job and other applications: “Have you been convicted of a crime?” Additionally, expungement can improve a credit rating and help with applications for subsidized housing or public benefits.

However, having a criminal record set aside or expunged in Michigan is not easy, and not everyone’even those who meet the basic requirements’will succeed in having their record expunged.

To find a criminal attorney in your area that handles expungements, click http://attorneypages.com/524MI/index.htm.

For more information on Michigan’s law, click the following articles:

Expunging or Setting Aside Adult Criminal Records in Michigan: Eligibility

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?