What Is Expungement, and Do I Qualify?

If you’re concerned about finding work after a criminal conviction, expungement may serve as a solution. What is expungement, and do you qualify? We explore these details and more in our blog below.

Definition & Purpose of Expungement

Expungement is the process by which your criminal record is permanently sealed or removed from public view. Also known as “setting aside a conviction,” the process gives those with a criminal background the opportunity to find decent work, apply for scholarships, and even receive a professional license.

Essentially, it reverts your record back to before the crime took place, and prevents others, such as potential employers or landlords, from seeing this past conviction in a background check. You do not have to disclose any information regarding the expungement or your previous conviction to inquiring parties.

Qualifications for Expungement

Under Michigan Law, you can apply for expungement of a felony conviction if you have a history of only one felony and two or fewer misdemeanors. If you do not have a felony conviction but have two or fewer misdemeanors on your record, you can file to expunge one or both from your record.

Any previously dismissed or deferred convictions, whether felonies or misdemeanors, are classified as misdemeanors for the sake of expungement eligibility.

You must wait at least 5 years after your conviction, prison release, or parole discharge to apply for expungement. Once one of your convictions is “set aside,” you are no longer eligible to expunge any remaining or future convictions.

Expungement Ineligibility

If you are currently facing criminal charges, you cannot file a petition to seal any of your current or previous charges. Additionally, the court prohibits you from expunging any of the following crimes:

  • A felony in which the maximum penalty is life in prison
  • A domestic violence felony, if you also have a previous domestic violence misdemeanor conviction
  • A human trafficking felony or misdemeanor
  • A felony involving the sexual or physical abuse of a minor
  • A felony convicted in federal court
  • A traffic violation, whether misdemeanor or felony, such as a DUI

These restrictions do not prohibit you from sealing a different criminal record. If you have questions regarding expungement of your criminal record, talk to a local criminal defense attorney.

Want to Apply for Expungement? We Can Help!

An expungement denial makes you ineligible to file another petition for 3 years. Our Okemos expungement lawyers can help you prepare the proper documentation and present a solid case to seal your previous criminal charges. At White Law PLLC, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to live a normal life after a conviction, which is why we are dedicated to helping our clients.

We have more than 20 years of combined legal experience and offer free consultations. Schedule yours today with one of our Okemos expungement attorneys: (517) 316-1195.