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Expanded Expungement Bill Gives Thousands of Michigan Residents a Second Chance

Michigan now has an expanded "expungement" law, which means if you have up to one felony conviction and two misdemeanor charges you can petition to clear your records five years after you complete your sentence.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed this important bill in January 2015. Before this new law went into effect, people with multiple convictions were not allowed to apply to a judge for record expungement.

Flint, MI criminal defense lawyer Michael P. Manley applauds Michigan for doing the right thing by giving more people a second chance. A felony conviction shouldn't have to follow you around for the rest of your life. You may realize you made a mistake, but want to get your life back in order. The expungement law gives you a fresh start.

When you have a criminal record, you simply lose a lot of the freedom other Americans have. Many people in Michigan with a felony on their record have struggled to find work. Even a minor conviction that goes back decades could slam the door shut on certain job opportunities. What sometimes happens is desperate people unable to find employment commit another crime because they feel they have no other options.

What is Expungement?

The term "expungement" refers to the legal process that allows a Michigan resident to petition (file an application with a court) to set aside the conviction. If the court approves the expungement, your criminal record would be permanently removed and deleted from public access. House Bill 4186 opens the door to thousands of people who previously had no choice but to live with a conviction.

The following are some key highlights of what the Bill would do:

  • Allow a person who was convicted of not more than one felony and not more than two misdemeanors to petition the convicting court to set aside the felony.
  • Allow a person who was convicted of not more than two misdemeanors to petition the court to set aside one or both of those convictions.
  • Allow an expunction for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) only if the conviction occurred before the bill's effective date (Jan. 12, 2015) and the applicant had not been convicted of another offense except one or two minor offenses.

Certain convictions that would be ineligible for expungement include capital felonies, domestic violence charges, stalking, causing death by explosives, and certain traffic offenses such as drunk driving. Under the new law, other offenses that cannot be expunged include second-degree child abuse, human trafficking, terrorism offenses, other sex crimes and domestic violence felonies for individuals who were previously convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors.

Do you need help with expunging your record in Michigan? An experienced attorney can help you present your case in the best light so you will have an opportunity to get your record cleared. Attorney Michael P. Manley knows people can and do rehabilitate themselves, which is why he wants to help if you through the process.

Contact Michigan criminal defense lawyer Michael P. Manley today at (810) 238-0500 or visit www.attorneymichaelmanley.com to schedule a consultation. Serving Flint and all of Michigan.

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