Michigan New Expungement Laws

A criminal record can adversely affect many aspects of your life, including your education, your job, and where you can live. If your criminal record is holding you back, you may want to reach out to a Detroit expungement lawyer who can help you understand your rights. I am Jonathan Jones, a criminal defense attorney with over 25 years of experience. I will carefully examine the facts of your case and help you determine whether you are a candidate for expungement under Michigan law.

The state of Michigan enacted the Clean Slate Law on April 11, 2021 which expanded opportunities to set aside or expunge convictions from your record. Petitioning for an expungement is a court-ordered process by which the legal record of an individual’s arrest or criminal conviction is “sealed” or erased in the eyes of the law. When your criminal record is expunged, the public cannot access records related to your crime.

Am I Eligible for an Expungement?

Let’s start with who is NOT eligible for expungement. If your conviction does not appear on the list below, keep reading. If it does, sorry to say you are not eligible at this time.


  • All offenses punishable by life imprisonment
  • Assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct
  • Child sexually abusive material or activity offenses
  • Felony domestic violence if the person has a previous misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence
  • Second-degree and third-degree criminal sexual conduct
  • Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct (committed after January 12, 2015)
  • Using a computer to commit sex crime offenses
  • Human-trafficking related offenses
  • Second-degree child abuse
  • Any traffic offense that caused injury or death
  • Commercial Driver License violations
  • Terrorism-related offenses – includes convictions for attempts to commit any of these
  • offenses
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) First Time

As of February 19th, 2022, first time operating while intoxicated convictions are now eligible to be set-aside (expunged) under certain circumstances.

  • Only one operating while impaired/intoxicated offense can be set-aside in a person's lifetime;
  • If a person has more than one operating while intoxicated conviction, they are ineligible to set aside any of those convictions, including their first-time operating while intoxicated conviction;
  • If the operating while intoxicated caused an injury or death it is ineligible to be set aside; and
  • The waiting period to have a first-time operating while intoxicated offense expunged from your record is 5 years.

Once you have determined that your crime does not appear on the above list, here are the guidelines for convictions that can be expunged:

  • A person convicted of 1 or more criminal offenses including felonies and misdemeanors, but not more than a total of 3 felony offenses, may file an application with the convicting court to expunge all of his or her convictions, with the following exceptions:
    • A person cannot seek to expunge more than 2 "assaultive crime" convictions during his or her lifetime, or
    • A person cannot seek to expunge more than 1 felony conviction for the same offense if it is punishable by more than 10 years' incarceration.
  • Pursuant to MCL 780.621b(1), "more than 1 felony offense or more than 1 misdemeanor offense must be treated as a single felony or misdemeanor conviction if the felony or misdemeanor convictions were contemporaneous such that all of the felony or misdemeanor offenses occurred within 24 hours and arose from the same transaction, provided that none of those felony or misdemeanor offenses constitute any of the following:
    • An assaultive crime defined by reference to other statutes.
    • A crime involving the use of a dangerous weapon.
    • A crime with a maximum penalty of 10 or more years' imprisonment
    • An out-of-state conviction for which the underlying conduct would be an assaultive crime in Michigan
  • While some traffic offenses can be expunged, an order expunging a conviction for a traffic offense cannot require that the Michigan Secretary of State remove or expunge the conviction from the person's driving record.
How Long Do I Have to Wait Before I Can File?
  • The waiting time for filing an application to expunge a felony conviction is at least 7 years from the latest of the following events: date of the sentencing, completion of a term of probation, discharge from parole, or completion of any term of imprisonment.
  • The waiting time for filing an application to expunge a misdemeanor conviction will be at least 3 years from the latest of the following events: date of the sentencing, completion of a term of probation, discharge from parole, or completion of any term of imprisonment. 
  • However, if the conviction is for a serious misdemeanor or an assaultive crime, the waiting time for filing an application to expunge the misdemeanor conviction will be at least 5 years from the latest of the events noted above.

If you were convicted of another crime during the waiting time under the new law, you will be disqualified from expunging the prior conviction.

Why is it Important to Have an Attorney File for Expungement?

The rules can be somewhat confusing, and it is critical to follow the proper procedures when seeking expungement. Once we have determined that you qualify to file for expungement, you can rest assured that we will fill out the proper paperwork and follow the statutory guidelines in your case.

Once you are granted a hearing, your attorney will guide you to highlight the accomplishments and actions you have taken in life that will demonstrate to the judge that your criminal convictions should be set aside.

If your criminal record is expunged, you can legally tell employers, educational institutions, landlords, or other parties that you have never been convicted of a crime. In addition, when a conviction is set aside, it will not show up in a background check.

Contact an Experienced Expungement Lawyer in the Detroit Metro Area

You may be able to set aside your criminal conviction and move on with your life. If you believe that you are eligible for expungement, you should consult a skilled Detroit expungement attorney as soon as possible. For over 25 years, my firm has been dedicated exclusively to criminal defense. My expungement team and I will vigorously advocate for your rights throughout the entire legal process. I represent people throughout Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties, among other areas of Michigan.

For more information about your legal rights and options, please complete the contact form below. The attorney will evaluate your case and call you to start the process. Or you may contact me directly at (248) 310-3399 to see if you are eligible.

Contact Information:
Do You Have More Than One Conviction to Expunge?

Conviction 1 You Wish to Expunge:

Conviction 2 You Wish to Expunge:

Conviction 3 You Wish to Expunge:

Do You Have Anything On Your Criminal Record After the Date of Your Last Conviction?
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