A couple of months ago, we blogged about the Clean Slate Bill which significantly expanded access to expungements for individuals with prior criminal convictions in Michigan. The Clean Slate Act has been signed into law and will go into effect on April 11, 2021. The automatic expungement process detailed in MCL 780.621g will begin to be implemented two years from the effective date of the Act. The series of bills involved was a great step forward for many individuals. What was notably absent from the Clean Slate legislation was any relief for Michigan citizen saddled with a prior conviction for drunk driving, also known as DUI (or OUI/OWI).
On Wednesday, December 9, 2020 the Michigan Senate passed SB-1254 which would amend the current prohibition on setting aside a DUI conviction to allow first-time offenders the opportunity for expungement. Under the proposed Senate legislation, a conviction for a first DUI may be set aside upon application. It would not be automatically set aside as other offenses detailed in the Clean Slate Act. The waiting period would be from three to seven years depending on the history of the defendant. The proposed law details the eligible OUI/OWI/DUI offenses.
The Senate Bill had bi-partisan support but must still pass through the Michigan House of Representatives before heading to Governor Whitmer for signature. We certainly hope that the Michigan Legislature will open an avenue for expungement to Michigan citizens with a prior DUI conviction and will follow this bill all the way to the Governor’s desk.
The criminal lawyers at Willey & Chamberlain will be keeping a close eye on this.
For more information about possible DUI expungements or to talk to one of the experienced DUI lawyers and criminal attorneys at Willey & Chamberlain, please contact us here or call us directly at 616.458.2212.