Getting a criminal conviction expunged

Michigan residents with a criminal conviction on their record may be able to have the conviction expunged from their public record if they meet certain criteria. Expungement of a criminal conviction means the conviction cannot be found during a criminal record check. However, the conviction will still be available for viewing by the court, law enforcement agencies and certain licensing and government agencies.

An individual may apply to have a criminal conviction taken off their public record when five years have gone by since the date of conviction. If the person was imprisoned, they must wait until five years have gone by since they were released from prison. Convictions for certain offenses, such as criminal sexual conduct or traffic violations, cannot be expunged.

A person who meets the criteria to have their criminal record expunged must file an application with the court where they were convicted. In addition to the completed application, the applicant must submit a certified copy of their conviction record and a fingerprint card. When all the necessary documents are submitted, a court hearing will be scheduled at the court where the application was submitted.

Although having a criminal conviction made nonpublic does not hide the conviction from law enforcement officials, the expungement can allow an individual to pass a criminal background check when they apply for a job or an apartment, for example. A person who would like to get their criminal convictions expunged may want to seek help from a criminal defense attorney to ensure that the process is completed correctly.

Source: Michigan Courts, “​How Can I Make My Michigan Adult Criminal Conviction Nonpublic?”, November 30, 2014



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