On October 12, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed seven bills into law known as the “Clean Slate” initiative, which set out new rules for Michigan marijuana expungement. Now in effect, this new law can benefit thousands of Michiganders, making even more marijuana convictions eligible to be set aside (“expunged”).
While necessary, these changes made a complex law even more complex for non-lawyers. Therefore, you need representation to navigate the new rules.
While many misdemeanor and felony marijuana offenses now qualify for expungement, there are exceptions to what marijuana convictions can be set aside. The law exclude felonies that have a maximum punishment of life in prison, such as certain Drug Trafficking convictions.
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.
Below, we have outlined the highlights of the new law:
1. Misdemeanor Marijuana Offenses Are No Longer Discretionary
Before the new law, marijuana expungements in Michigan were discretionary. This means that a judge determined if you met the criteria for expungement.
Under the new law, certain misdemeanor marijuana offenses must be expunged if the application is filed. This is a huge step for people trying to clean up their record and move forward in life.
2. Multiple Misdemeanors Eligible
In the past, those seeking expungement were limited to removing one (1) felony or two (2) misdemeanors. Now, the new law effectively removes the cap on the number of marijuana related misdemeanors you can expunge.
Additionally, more felony marijuana convictions are eligible for removal.
Multiple misdemeanor marijuana offenses may also be set aside if they would not have been a criminal offense after December 6, 2018; the day of adult-use cannabis legalization in Michigan. Such offenses include possession and growing charges.
If the state doesn’t file an answer rebutting the presumption within 60 days after you file an application for expungement, the court must set the conviction aside within 21 days.
If an answer is filed, a hearing must be set within 30 days and the prosecutor must demonstrate by preponderance of the evidence that the misdemeanor would still have been criminal after December 12, 2018.