Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower Michigan.

Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower michigan.

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Is an OWI expungable in Michigan?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2024 | OWI

In Michigan, Operating While Intoxicated, otherwise known as OWI, refers to the offense of driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08% in our state and across the country, and exceeding this 0.08% limit can lead to an OWI charge. When one is considering how to or whether to plead to such charges, the concept of expungement often comes up, but is an OWI expungable in Michigan?

Is an OWI expungable in Michigan?

Perhaps, but it depends on the specifics of your OWI conviction. Michigan law allows for the expungement of first-time OWI offenses under specific conditions. To be eligible for expungement, individuals must have only one OWI conviction on their record. Next, you must wait a minimum of 5 years after the completion of your sentence. The waiting period includes any term of probation, and you cannot have caused injury or death as a result of the OWI.

The expungement process

The process of expunging an OWI in Michigan involves several steps. First, you will need to confirm eligibility for expungement. Next, you will need to obtain a copy of your criminal record, and have your fingerprints taken at a local police station.

Once you have this information, you can prepare and file a petition for expungement with the court clerk. Serve copies of the petition to the prosecutor, attorney general and state police. Finally, attend the expungement hearing before a judge.


Expunging an OWI from your record can be a life-changing event, opening doors to employment and other opportunities. Understanding the conditions and process is the first step towards clearing your record and moving forward. And, once you have successfully completed the expungement process, you will have a fresh lease on life.