Expungement options are expanded under new Michigan law

By David Blanchard

Nacht, Roumel, Salvatore, Blanchard and Walker

On June 23, 2011, Governor Rick Snyder signed 2011 PA 64 into effect, which allows judges in Michigan more flexibility in expunging an individual's criminal records.

Previously, the court was not able to clear an individual's criminal records if he or she had more than one offense on his or her record.

Under the new law, individuals may have up to two "minor offenses" on their record in addition to the offense for which they are applying to have removed.

A minor offense is considered a "misdemeanor or ordinance violation for which the maximum permissible imprisonment does not exceed 90 days, for which the maximum permissible fine does not exceed $1,000.00, and that is committed by a person who is not more than 21 years of age."

One must still wait for five years to pass from the sentencing or completion of imprisonment (whichever is later) of the most recent offense to apply for expungement.

But this is great news for jobseekers who previously could not pass criminal background checks due to a criminal conviction that was previously unavailable for expungement.

The new law acknowledges that a criminal record can adversely affect individuals for a lifetime and gives an opportunity for individuals to have a clean slate on which to move forward with their lives.

Published: Mon, Sep 19, 2011