There is some good news out of Lansing, Michigan for individuals seeking to expunge past criminal convictions. On September 23, the Michigan Senate passed the “Clean Slate” legislation which is designed to expand, yet simplify, the current expungement options for individuals who have gone several years without committing a new criminal offense. The bill will be returned to the state House of Representatives before making its way to Governor Whitmer’s desk for approval.
The new law will automate the expungement process for many criminal offenses. This will allow for many less-severe, low-level criminal convictions to be dropped from an individual’s public record without the need of a formal application and hearing before a judge. This should save considerable time and cost while hopefully eliminating any confusion or complication with the expungement process. The process would begin seven years after an eligible misdemeanor and ten years after an eligible felony. Perhaps the more important update, the automatic expungement would be capped at two felony and four misdemeanor convictions total. The current law only permits the expungement of two qualifying misdemeanor or one qualifying felony. Violent crimes, serious misdemeanors, crimes of dishonesty, and convictions involved minors or vulnerable adults would not be eligible for automatic expungements.
Additionally, other bills included in this package will allow for low-level marijuana conviction expungement and the expungement of some traffic offenses. Previously, traffic offenses were excluded from consideration. Offenses that occurred within a 24-hour period will be consolidated for consideration. There are expanded options for convictions committed as a minor.
This new legislation gives many individuals who have gone a long time without any criminal conduct an opportunity for a second chance with a clean record. We are excited to see this legislation move to the Governor’s desk and we look forward to assisting clients with this new process. Call us for developments and to check on your eligibility.
Attached is a link to the Clean Slate bill: