Recently, there has been a lot of news about the significant and important changes to Michigan’s criminal record expungement law. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed several bills into law in October 2020 known as the “Clean Slate” initiative.
Among the most progressive expungement laws in the nation, they dramatically expand eligibility. As a result, more people than ever are now eligible to apply to have their criminal records set aside.
However, the mention of “automatic expungement” has confused many. This article will help you understand the expectations of it versus the reality.
Part of the new law introduces the process for some criminal convictions to be automatically expunged. Why should you apply for expungement now, when automatic expungement is part of the Clean Slate legislation?
On August 23, 2021, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bills 4219 and 4220, which will allow anyone with only one (1) drunk driving conviction to seek to eliminate it from their criminal record. After going into effect on February 23, 2021, DUI expungement will benefit more than 200,000 people in the state who are carrying a criminal record that is impacting their lives in a number of ways.
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Interested in discussing how this law applies to you? Would you like to start working with our attorneys on your expungement case so you’re ready when the law is in full effect? Contact us immediately.
No Time to Wait: Reduced Waiting Periods When You Apply
Automatic expungements, though part of Clean Slate, will begin at the earliest April 2023 and as late as October 2023, depending on a number of factors only in the state’s control. On the other hand, applying for expungement under the new laws can happen immediately.
Previously, you had to wait at least five (5) years from the end of your misdemeanor sentence to apply for expungement. Under the new law, you can now apply for expungement three (3) years after your sentence ends. Similarly, you can now expunge one (1) felony five (5) years after your sentence ends, or multiple felonies seven (7) years after the end of your sentence.
When automatic expungements go into effect in 2023, you still have to wait seven (7) years from the end of your sentence to have an eligible misdemeanor removed, and 10 years for an eligible felony to be removed.
Increased Number of Convictions Can Be Expunged by Application
Under the old law, no more than one (1) felony and two (2) misdemeanors could be set aside. Now, if you apply for expungement, up to three (3) felonies and an unlimited amount of misdemeanors can be removed from your criminal record by application. Additionally, the new law allows the expungement of up to two (2) assaultive crimes and one (1) felony punishable by more than 10 years in prison.