A criminal conviction can wreak havoc on a person’s life. From professional matters to personal relationships, every aspect is affected. An employer, for example, may be reluctant to offer you a job, and your loved ones may never trust you again. Luckily, it is possible to get certain convictions removed from your record through an expungement with the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney.
What are Expungements?
Expungement involves completely removing a criminal conviction from your record. While your record will appear clear to anyone who views it, the court does keep a nonpublic record of the conviction on file. In addition, only certain misdemeanors and felonies qualify for termination. This makes it essential to understand the rules for expungement in the state of Michigan.
Who is Eligible?
According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, the state’s expungement law was amended on January 12th, 2015. Before this date, only those with one conviction and no more than two minor offenses were eligible for expungements. Since the amendment, however, more people qualify. The new law allows almost anyone to get a conviction expunged, as long as they have no more than one felony conviction and two misdemeanor convictions.
There are also restrictions related to the type of crime that can be expunged. Convictions that are ineligible for expungement include, but are not limited to:
- Crimes that have a maximum sentence of life in prison, even if you received less time
- Michigan traffic tickets
- Sex crimes, even if the crime was only attempted
If you spent time behind bars, five years must pass from the time of your release before you can have the conviction expunged. For any child who has committed a crime, any offense can be expunged as long as they have three or fewer offenses and no felony convictions.
Getting a Conviction Expunged From Your Record
The expungement process begins with turning in an application to the court where your original conviction occurred. In addition, you will also need to submit the following items: a fingerprint card (obtained at any law enforcement agency), a copy of the conviction record, and personal information, such as name and address, of the prosecutor in your case.
You will then be required to attend a court hearing. Here you will have the opportunity to convince the judge that you deserve to have the conviction expunged. The victims and police officers involved in your case have the chance to either object or support your application. At this stage, a helpful action is proving that you have been crime free since your last conviction.
Contact a Lansing Criminal Defense Attorney
While it is possible to file for expungement independently, having the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney knowledgable with the criminal state law in Michigan can be critical. The process of getting a conviction removed from your record can be complicated, and the courts are often reluctant to offer useful guidance. A Lansing defense lawyer can use their knowledge of the system to guide you through every step of the process, whether it be preparing you for your court statement or presenting your case in a way that will garner support.
If you or a loved one would like to expunge a criminal conviction, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys in Lansing. There are two sides to every story, and we are dedicated to making sure yours is told. Our team will work tirelessly to evaluate every detail of your conviction so that your case is presented in the best possible light.