Michigan drivers with an Operating While Intoxicated conviction will soon have the ability to have that conviction wiped away. A conviction on a person’s record can have several negative effects that can make it difficult to provide for your family. It can make it harder to find work or even find housing. Until now, a drunk driving conviction would stay on a person’s criminal record for life.
Expungement bill signed into law
On August 24, 2021, after initially vetoing similar legislation, Governor Whitmer signed into law an Act that will allow drivers with a single conviction for one of the following offenses to apply to have that conviction expunged:
- Operating While Intoxicated
- Allowing an Intoxicated Person to Operate a Motor Vehicle
- Operating While Visibly Impaired
- Person Under 21 Operating with the Presence of Any Alcohol (Zero Tolerance)
- Operating With the Presence of Drugs
An application for expungement will be reviewed by a judge to determine if the applicant’s behavior, from the time of the conviction until the time of the application, justifies setting aside the conviction. In doing so, the court may consider whether or not the applicant has benefited from rehabilitative or educational programs. The reviewing court may deny the petition if it is not convinced that the petitioner has either availed himself or herself of rehabilitative or educational programming or benefited from rehabilitative or educational programming he or she has completed.
If the application is granted, the conviction will be set aside and a non-public record of the case will be maintained by the Court. Setting aside the conviction does not remove the violation from a person’s driving record or negate the requirement to pay any court-ordered restitution.
Before submitting an application, a petitioner must wait 5 years from whichever of the following occurs last:
- Imposition of the sentence for the conviction or convictions that the applicant seeks to set aside.
- Completion of probation imposed for the conviction or convictions that the applicant seeks to set aside.
- Completion of any term of imprisonment imposed for the conviction or convictions that the applicant seeks to set aside.
Legal help is available
If you would like to expunge a drunk driving conviction in the State of Michigan, the attorneys at Manley & Manley PLLC can help. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to put you in the best possible position to clear your record. Call us today at (810) 238-0500.