Clean Up Your Criminal Record

Michigan law permits a person who is convicted of a crime to clean his criminal record in certain circumstances. MCL 780.621 provides that if a person waits five years after conviction or the conclusion of punishment for that conviction and is crime-free for that period, he MAY petition a court for expungement of the conviction from his record. There are some caveats, however. The law provides that this can only be done for offenses that are not capital in nature and offenses that are not prosecuted under the traffic code. The law further suggests that this only applies to persons who have only the one offense on their record. Recent amendments to Michigan’s expungement statute create the possibility of expunging a crime even if there is another offense on the record which happens to be minor in nature. The statute does not specify the definition of minor, and that will be up to any judge to determine before granting the relief. Persons who would like to expunge a conviction should contact this office for assistance. Not all judges grant expungement just because the petitioner is eligible for it. Presentation is still key. Judges are much more likely to grant expungement if the petitioner’s good deeds can be highlighted to counter-balance the bad deeds that he seeks to expunge. In addition, it may be helpful to explain the particular need for expungement. Remember, judges have the job of protecting the petitioner in the case, but also to protect society at large. Some judges take the position that the public has a right to know of all convictions that a person has received. By asking a judge to expunge a conviction, we are really asking a judge to hide from the public something that we all know once happened. As such, an aggressive approach must be taken to highlight the petitioner’s positives. It would be my pleasure to do that for you.