Stacey M. Washington, Attorney and CounselorAttorney and Counselor
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Can You Get That Conviction Expunged or Set Aside?

In looking at possible collateral consequences of your conviction, you may ask - can you get the conviction expunged or set aside? Maybe.

Only certain individuals can apply to expunge or set aside convictions. If you have been convicted of a felony or attempt to commit a felony punishable by life imprisonment, you are not eligible. If you have been convicted of criminal sexual conduct or attempted criminal sexual conduct in certain categories, you are not eligible. If you have been convicted of a traffic offense (i.e., DUI/drunk driving), you are not eligible.

Let's assume you have either one felony or misdemeanor conviction that doesn't make you ineligible to apply for expungement; no more than 2 other minor offenses that were committed before your 22nd birthday; and you have no currently pending criminal charges. If at least 5 years have passed since you were sentenced but nor imprisoned, or 5 years have passed since you were released from imprisonment for the conviction, you may apply to have the conviction expunged.

Of course, some legwork will be necessary to compile the required paperwork for the application and hearing. But, if you have stayed out of trouble, can demonstrate to the judge that you are a good, productive citizen and the prosecutor or Michigan Attorney General don't object, you should have no great difficulty having the conviction set aside. The beauty of an expungement is that you no longer have to worry about a public conviction popping up in a background check that could keep you from getting a job or otherwise hold you back.

A non-traffic related conviction that is reported to the Secretary of State will remain on your driving record. And, if you were convicted of a crime requiring registration under the Sex Offenders Registration Act, you will still be considered convicted of the crime and required to comply with the registration requirements.

Always consult with a qualified, criminal defense attorney about the specific facts of your case.

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