Criminal Expungements in Michigan

By: Matthew C. Shepard

Attorney & Counselor

Shepard Law Office PLC

There is no such thing as a criminal expungement in Michigan. In Michigan the proper term is a “Motion to Set Aside a Conviction”. With this said, who is eligible for an “expungement of your criminal records in Michigan”?

  1. Only have one criminal conviction on your record (the one you want set aside).
  2. Five years have passed since the last action was taken on the matter. This means that if you were on probation, five years have passed since you were taken off probation, not the date of conviction.
  3. Does not fall under one of the crimes that specifically listed as non-dismissible crime - this includes sexual offenses and drunk driving.

If you meet all the requirements then a notice would be filed with the court where the conviction occurred. You would submit fingerprints, then the Attorney General, Prosecutor and the Michigan State Police would be contacted, approximately 90 days later a hearing would be held.

Eligibility does not guarantee the motion will be approved, preparing for the hearing is as important as meeting the eligibility requirements, the hearing is the only opportunity where either you or your attorney will have the opportunity to explain to the judge not only that you are eligible but why the motion should be granted.

If the motion is granted, what affect does this have on the application?

  1. The conviction is removed from your public record, a non-public copy is maintained for law enforcement.
  2. When you are asked on a job application if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can answer “no” truthfully.
  3. If the prior conviction was for a felon, certain privileges that you were barred from doing are lifted.

In conclusion, if you want to expunge your criminal record in Michigan, filing a motion to set aside the conviction may be an option for you.


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