Are you interested in getting your criminal record wiped clean?
Has your criminal record been preventing you from that job you have always dreamed of?
Once an expungement has been granted in Michigan, the records can no longer be seen for any civil or general law use. Understanding what an expungement is and how to get it can be confusing, especially with so much information out there.
What is Expungement?
The process of removing your criminal record is also known under a different term in the legal system. Another term that you may see is to “set aside a conviction.” USLegal.com defines expungement as:
“Expungement is the process of legally destroying, obliterating, or striking out records or information in files, computers, and other depositories relating to criminal charges.”
Do You Know Your Criminal Record?
This might seem like a silly question, but to have your record expunged, you need to know what your record is. Knowing your official record can help you decipher if you may qualify for expungement.
Do You Qualify to Have Your Record Expunged?
In Michigan, if you have one felony or two misdemeanor offenses, you are able to apply for expungement five years after you have completed your jail sentence or monitoring by the justice system.
Now that you know what it means to have your record obliterated, what is the next step, and do you qualify?
The First Thing to Know
Even without an attorney, this process is going to cost you money. You can plan to pay at least $100. Having an experienced attorney to help you with this process may assure you that this application will get approved.
As I have said before, in other places, the legal system is a confusing bureaucracy. Hiring a defense attorney to get your record expunged is the best investment you could make in your future.
9 Steps on How to Apply to Have Your Criminal Record Expunged
With the help of the Michigan Courts, we have broken up the application process into eleven steps.
Step 1. Determine Eligibility.
The first step is to find out if you are eligible to apply to have your record expunged according to MCL 780.621.
Under current Michigan law, expungement is only eligible for those with one felony and two misdemeanors who haven’t had another offense in five years.
The expungement process is not available for certain convictions including murder or other charges punishable by life imprisonment, traffic or sex offenses.
Step 2. Obtain a copy of your conviction that is certified.
Verify the exact date of your conviction and the court’s charge. Obtain a certified copy and attach it to your application. There may be a fee of about $10 and an additional $1 for every page of the record.
Step 3. Complete the application.
The application is called Application to Set Aside Conviction, form MC 227. Make five copies of the certified copy of your conviction. Make sure to follow the directions thoroughly and do not sign the application yet.
Step 4. Fingerprints
At your local law enforcement agency, request a fingerprint card and have yourself fingerprinted on an applicant card (R 1-8). You only need one, and you do not need to make copies. A fee may be involved.
Step 5. Sign the application under oath.
Once you have completed the application, you will want to take it to a notary public and sign the application in the presence of the notary. Make sure to bring your photo ID.
Make four copies of the notarized application.
Step 6. File your application with the court.
Typically, it is a good idea to file the application in person. Make sure to file at the court at which you were convicted. Take all copies to the clerk at the courthouse.
The clerk will keep one of the copies. The clerk will write the name of the judge on all the copies of the application. The remaining will be given to the prosecuting official, Michigan State Police, and Attorney General.
The next step will be the Notice of Hearing. The clerk may be able to assign the hearing at the time of filing.
Step 7. Send out a check or money order to the State of Michigan
The application fee is $50, and in the form of a money order or check should be made out to the State of Michigan. This fee is sent to the Michigan State Police, along with the application for processing.
Step 8. Send in the application
While at the court, you can ask how to get the correct information for the prosecuting official’s address.
Send a copy of your application packet to the prosecuting official address where the conviction took place.
Send the application fee, the fingerprint card, and a copy of your application packet to the Michigan State Police at:
Michigan State Police
Criminal Justice Information Center
PO Box 30266
Lansing, Michigan 48909
Send a copy of your application packet to the Attorney General at:
Office of the Attorney General
Criminal Appellate Division
PO Box 30217
Lansing, Michigan 48909
Step 9. Complete the proof of service
On both copies of the application, fill out the Proof of Service on the back of the form, write the date that you mailed out the application to the Attorney General, Michigan State Police, and the prosecuting official. Date and sign the proof of service.
Lastly, mail or take the Proof of Service to the court.
This has been an overview about the basics of having your criminal record expunged in Michigan. However, this is a complicated process with many steps.
An experienced attorney can benefit you during the expungement process because they have the experience and know every court in many counties of this state.
Don’t wait to have your criminal record expunged. It could free you from the criminal record that has been holding you back. You do not have to go it alone.
Call my office today for your free consultation.
Let’s get started!