Michigan Expungement Lawyers
Our attorneys can help you wipe the slate clean
A criminal record can impact your life in many ways, long after you have paid fines and served time in jail. As criminal defense attorneys, we have seen how a conviction can make it more difficult for clients to get a job or professional license or to find housing. But new laws give many the opportunity to have their records expunged. Manley & Manley can help.
On October 8, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed seven “Clean Slate” bills into law. These laws open the door for hundreds of thousands of people in Michigan to have their criminal records expunged. People who made a mistake years ago but no longer pose any threat to society get a chance at wiping the slate clean.
But state expungement laws are complicated and can be difficult to understand. Our Flint lawyers are ready to work with you. We can determine if you are eligible for expungement and help you navigate the process. Our goal is to help you get your record cleared to give you a chance for a better future.
- Am I eligible for expungement in Michigan?
- Do I need to apply for expungement?
- What crimes can’t be expunged in Michigan?
- What if there is more than one felony on my record?
- How long does it take to get my record expunged?
- How much does it cost to get my record expunged?
- Can I get a refund of fines and court costs I paid?
- Does expunged mean my criminal record will be erased?
- Do I need a lawyer for expungement?
Once a prior conviction has been set aside, legally it is considered that you were not previously convicted of that crime. But courts and law enforcement agencies still consider it a prior conviction. That means if you are arrested for committing the same crime in the future, you can be charged with a second or subsequent offense and face even harsher penalties.
Attorneys Michael P. Manley and Frank J. Manley are Flint natives who have served the people of the area for decades. We know how a conviction can make it difficult for you to move forward in your life. We know the laws and how the legal system works in Michigan. And we are ready to help you put your past behind you.
Take the first steps toward a clean slate. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced attorneys. We can help you determine if you are eligible for expungement and go over your options. We can also answer any other questions that you have about the process.
Generally, a person convicted of not more than 3 felony offenses may apply to have all of his or her convictions set aside. But there are exceptions. You are not eligible if there are charges currently pending against you, if you have been convicted of another crime within the 3, 5, or 7-year time requirement or if you have more than one conviction.
Under the new laws, certain convictions will be set aside automatically after a specific amount of time has passed. A conviction for a misdemeanor offense will be set aside automatically seven years from the sentencing. A conviction for a non-assaultive felony will be set aside automatically 10 years from the sentencing or time served in prison. This is only if other eligibility requirements have been met.
But if you don’t want to wait, you can file an application after five years to have certain convictions set aside. You can also file an application after seven years to have more than one felony conviction set aside.
While many misdemeanors and felonies can be cleared from your criminal record, many crimes can’t be expunged. These include:
- A serious misdemeanor or attempt to commit a serious misdemeanor
- A felony, or attempt to commit a felony, for which the maximum punishment is life imprisonment
- Many sex-related offenses
- Any violation related to human trafficking
- A conviction for operating while intoxicated
- Any traffic offense that causes injury or death
- A felony conviction for domestic violence, if the person has a previous misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence.
New state laws set limits on the number of crimes you can have expunged. During your lifetime, you can have no more than two felony convictions, or four misdemeanor convictions set aside. If multiple felony offenses or misdemeanor offenses occurred at the same time, they may be considered one offense in an application for expungement.
The new laws are designed to expunge records automatically when you are eligible. The state is expected to develop and operate an online program to speed up the process. Michigan courts are expected to contact law enforcement agencies to notify them of convictions eligible to be expunged. If you are applying for expungement, the process can take longer. In either case, it’s important to have an attorney verify that the expungement has been processed.
If all other conditions are met, an eligible misdemeanor will be expunged after 7 years and an eligible felony expunged after 10 years automatically, at no cost to you. If you choose to apply for expungement after 5 years, there is a $50 fee. There may also be other costs to move your application forward.
No. If a conviction is expunged from your record, you are still responsible for the fines and court costs from that conviction. You are not entitled to a refund. You are also still responsible for paying any restitution to victims of the crime as ordered by the court.
No. Your criminal record will still exist. But expungement restricts who can access it. If your record is expunged, that means employers, property owners and other members of the public will not be able to see your criminal history. But law enforcement agencies and the courts will still have access to it.
On paper, expungement laws seem simple. If you are eligible, certain crimes will be removed from your record automatically. But mistakes can be made. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. We can help guide you through the process, verify that your crimes have been expunged and take action if something goes wrong.