Having a criminal record can make your life difficult. If you apply for a job or housing, your potential employer or landlord may want to perform a background check. Moreover, you do not want a reputation as a criminal or substance abuser. You may want to find a way to clear your record through the process of expungement.
An expungement is called a “set aside” in Michigan. A conviction that has been set aside is no longer available for the public to view. It will not show up on a background check for most job and housing purposes. The Michigan State Police will still retain a copy of the record, but it cannot be viewed by the public.
Limits on set asides
Not every criminal conviction can be set aside. In general, you can only get a conviction set aside if your criminal record contains a single felony and/or two misdemeanors.
If you are only asking for one felony conviction to be set aside, five years must have gone by since you were released from prison, probation or parole and you cannot have been convicted of another crime within that time span. If you are asking for more than one felony to be set aside, that time span is increased to seven years.
If you are asking for your first DWI to be set aside, a minimum of five years must have gone by since you were released from prison, probation or parole and you cannot have been convicted of another crime within that time span. Also, you cannot have applied to have a DWI set aside in the past.
Most misdemeanors can be set aside after three years since the sentence was handed down or you were released from prison or probation, and you have not been convicted of another crime within that time span.
Set asides are important
Set asides are important. Having a criminal record can impact what job you can get and where you can live following your conviction. One study found that there was a significant uptick in a person’s salary and success in the workplace if their conviction were set aside.
Because so much as at stake with a set aside and applying for one is a process you may not be familiar with, you may want to start off by consulting a professional familiar with set asides.