Helping You Through the Record-Sealing Process
Having a conviction on your record can expose you to several restrictions or limitations. Namely, you might find that, although you have learned from your mistakes, members of the community are quick to make negative judgments about your character. For instance, a potential employer might not hire you, a licensing board might deny your application, or a landlord might not rent to you because of what they see in your criminal history. Fortunately, there is a way to block the public from accessing your criminal information, and that is through expungement. Essentially, if you are granted an expungement, your conviction is set aside, and it is basically like it never happened (MCL 780.622). Going through the expungement process can be difficult without an attorney on your side.
At Tanis Schultz, we understand the hurdles that can arise when someone is convicted of a crime, and we want to help individuals seek to seal their records and get a second chance. If you have a mark on your criminal record, reach out to our Grand Rapids expungement attorneys to discuss your legal options for your criminal case. We will explain the record-sealing process and deliver the guidance you need.
To speak with us during a free consultation, call (616) 227-3737 or fill out an online contact form today.
What Offenses Can Be Expunged in Michigan?
Under Michigan's expungement law, convictions for most, but not all, offenses can be set aside (MCL 780.621). The statute provides that a person can apply to expunge one or more crimes, whether a felony or a misdemeanor. However, a few exceptions exist, which we will discuss shortly.
The court may grant the record-clearing request if all the following are met:
- The applicant waited the applicable period,
- The applicant does not have any pending charges, and
- The applicant was not convicted of any other offense during the waiting period.
Note that if the court denies the expungement request, the applicant must wait 3 years before submitting another petition for the same conviction.
Our expungement lawyers in Grand Rapids can review your criminal record and let you know whether you can seek to have your conviction set aside. We will be straightforward and honest with you to ensure that you understand your options.
What Offenses Can't Be Expunged in Michigan?
Although Michigan's expungement law allows for a range of crimes to be set aside, there are also several that cannot. In general, a person cannot have more than 3 felonies or more than 2 assaultive crimes cleared from their records. For the most part, if a person has multiple felonies or misdemeanors on their record, the crimes will be treated as one if they arose out of the same incident and happened within 24 hours of each other.
However, under MCL 780.621b, the aggregating of offenses does not apply to the following:
- Assaultive crimes
- Crimes involving the use of a dangerous weapon
- Crimes with a maximum prison term of 10 or more years
- Convictions in another state for offenses that would meet Michigan's definition of assaultive crimes
In addition to the general exceptions for seeking expungement, specific crimes cannot be expunged.
- Crimes punishable by life in prison;
- Assault with intent to commit sexual conduct;
- Offenses involving child sexual abusive material or activity;
- Felony domestic violence crimes when the individual has a prior misdemeanor domestic violence conviction;
- Second-, third-, and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct;
- Offenses involving human trafficking;
- Some traffic offenses, including operating while intoxicated; and
- Sex offenses involving the use of a computer
If you have questions about your eligibility for clearing your record, our attorneys for expungement in Grand Rapids are ready to assist you.
What's the Waiting Period for Seeking an Expungement in Michigan?
How long a person must wait before they can apply to have their conviction set aside depends on their situation. Different levels of crimes have different waiting periods, which begin after the individual has been sentenced, completed probation, been discharged from parole, or completed their term of incarceration, whichever comes later.
The waiting periods for expungement are as follows:
- Misdemeanors: 3 years
- Serious misdemeanors or assaultive offenses: 5 years
- Felonies: 7 years
Ready to get started on your case? Contact our expungement lawyers today. We are ready to provide the advice and counsel you need.
Get Help with Your Expungement
If you need a lawyer for expungement in Grand Rapids, Tanis Schultz is here for you. We know the legal process can be complex, which is why we will explain the different laws, complete the petition, and prepare to represent you at a hearing.
Seeking a clean slate starts with a phone call to a trusted law firm. Contact us
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