Expungement in Michigan
After an expungement is granted in Michigan, the records can no longer be accessed for civil or general law enforcement purposes. A set-aside record can be taken into account when applying for law enforcement licensing and positions. Despite the fact that expunged records are considered to be erased, they can still be accessed and used as priors in future criminal case convictions. A set-aside offense does not absolve a person of the obligation to register as a sex offender. In the case of juvenile offenders, once the individual reaches the age of seventeen, all records pertaining to diverted crimes will be destroyed within twenty-eight days.
Only certain first-time offenses are exempt. Under Michigan Law 750.520c through 750.520g, any individual who is found guilty by a judge or jury, is guilty by mental illness, or pleads no contest may have a charge set aside if the criminal offense is not a sexual offense. If the person has been convicted of a felony or attempted felony that would otherwise be punishable by life in prison or a traffic offense, the offense cannot be dismissed. There can be no other prior convictions or set-aside convictions for setting aside eligibility. According to Michigan law 722.828, juveniles with diverted sentence records are also eligible if they are over the age of seventeen.
Application for Setting Aside
Those who qualify for setting aside must apply five years after the sentence in question or five years after the completion of the prison term for the conviction in question. The application must include the individual’s full name and current address, a certified record of the conviction to be set aside, a statement claiming that the applicant has not been convicted of an offense other than the one for which the application is being made, a statement stating whether or not a previous application for setting aside or for any other conviction has been filed, and a statement stating whether or not the individual has any current criminal charges pending through a United States court.
The applicant must also submit a copy of the application, along with a $50 fee, and two complete sets of fingerprints to the state police department. The fingerprints will be compared to those on file before being forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The state police department will then notify the court where the original case was handled of the application and will verify the information contained therein. This can include having no pending charges, having no previous applications, and having proper consent. Despite having the application in hand, the court will wait for the state police department’s report before proceeding. Copies of the application must also be served on the attorney general and the prosecuting attorney’s office who prosecuted the crime. If necessary, these offices may contest the application.