Process for Expunging Adult Criminal Records in Michigan

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Written By: Jeffrey JohnsonUPDATED: Jul 15, 2021Fact Checked

To expunge a criminal record, you have to file a motion with the court in which you were convicted. There will be hearing on the motion, which will involve presenting your case before the court—sometimes before the same judge who convicted you. You will need the items listed below for your criminal record expungement application:

1.tTwo complete sets of fingerprints.

  • Get these at your local police station, taken on an RI-8 card.

2.tA certified record of the conviction.

  • Get this from the court where you were sentenced as an adult, on the day you file the application.
  • A certified copy of the probation order, the case history (register of actions), or the judgment of sentence—all are acceptable.
  • There is a $10 fee for each certified copy of a record, plus $1.00 for every page of the record.

3.tAn “Application to Set Aside Conviction” (MC 227) form.

  • This form contains most of the information and instructions you will need to complete it.
  • You will need the exact date of both the conviction and the criminal charge (the certified record of the conviction can provide this; or call the court clerk).
  • Attach your certified record of the conviction to the application and sign it before a notary public or the clerk of the court.

Submit your application and any required copies of it to the clerk of the court. You will be given a hearing date. If your district requires you to provide the judge with the order form at your hearing, now is the time to get it. The form is called an “Order on Application to Set Aside Conviction,” or MC 228, and you will simply bring it with you to your hearing—do NOT fill this form out.

Once you have your hearing date, you must serve (via mail or personal delivery) the application and notice of the hearing date on the:

  1. Attorney General of the State of Michigan;
  2. Prosecuting official of the county or political subdivision who prosecuted your case; and
  3. Michigan State Police.

The copy going to the State Police must include your fingerprint card and any required processing fee (you can ask the State Police for the processing fee, if any).

The Attorney General reviews all applications for expungement to ensure they qualify. The prosecuting official notifies any victims of your criminal acts of the possibility that your record may be expunged—they have the right to appear at your hearing or to make a written statement. The State Police will use its copy of your application to prepare a report for the court about any pending charges against you. Your hearing cannot occur until the court has received the Michigan State Police’s report (MCL 780.621(5)). Since this can take several months, you need to be prepared for a possible delay.

The Hearing: You must attend the hearing on the scheduled hearing date. Bring your copy of the application and a copy of the record of your conviction. When the court clerk calls your case, you will need to state your request (to have your record set aside) before the judge. The way the hearing goes depends largely on who shows up. If the prosecuting official and/or the attorney general attend the hearing, the court will hear what each has to say before deciding. If neither shows up, the court will decide based on the report from the Michigan State Police and its own records. If your crime was assault or a serious misdemeanor, and any victims provide oral or written statements, the court will consider those statements before deciding. If the judge determines that your behavior – from the date of conviction to the date your application is filed – justifies expunging your criminal record, and that doing so would not threaten the public welfare, the judge will likely set aside your conviction. However, the judge is not required to do so—there is never a guarantee of expungement.

If you do not attend the hearing, your case will be dismissed. Or if you are late to the hearing, your case will be dismissed. The hearing will most likely take place in the court where you filed your application, so be sure you know how to get there. If and when the judge approves your record’s expungement, the MC 228 Order on Application to Set Aside Conviction will be filled out, and copies returned to you, the arresting agency, and the Michigan State Police. If your request is granted, the record becomes nonpublic in the Michigan State Police database. If it’s denied, nothing changes and your record remains public.

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

Overview of Michigan Criminal Record Expungements

Expunging or Setting Aside Adult Criminal Records in Michigan: Eligibility

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?

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

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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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
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