Seeking Expungement For Past Mistakes
At Gormley Law Offices, PLC, in Livingston County, we understand that a conviction for a misdemeanor or felony crime can greatly affect your future. Employers are increasingly performing background checks on job applicants. A conviction can hinder your ability to obtain suitable employment to provide for your family. It can compromise your education and licensing in some work fields. Michigan has passed legislation that permits a person to expunge, set aside or remove from his or her record, one conviction if the person:
1. Has been convicted of only ONE criminal offense permitting expungement
2. Successfully completed any incarceration and probation conditions
3. Paid all fines and costs
4. Has had five or more years pass since discharge from probation or release from jail
5. Successfully completes the application and hearing process in the court where he or she was convicted. Some specific crimes and classes of crimes are excluded from eligibility for expungement. These crimes include:
1. Traffic offenses (drunk driving, driving while license suspended, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding, etc.)
2. Crimes carrying a maximum potential penalty of life in prison
3. Some criminal sexual conduct and related crimes
In order to obtain expungement of a conviction, a person must complete an application process including fingerprinting, a background check and persuasion of a judge that it is appropriate to set aside the conviction. The expungement process can be challenged by the prosecuting attorney of the county where convicted, the Michigan Attorney General and any recognized victim of the offense. While these parties can challenge or object to the expungement, the judge has discretion to expunge the conviction of a qualifying applicant over objections.
The time and expense of pursuing an expungement of a conviction can be greatly outweighed by removing the blockades created by convictions. By law, a person who has a conviction set aside can truthfully answer that he or she has never been convicted of a crime. The person can experience increased and better employment opportunities, financial assistance, professional licensing opportunities and reduced embarrassment. Many people simply avoid applying for any job requiring a background check. The expungement of a conviction can remove those public records of the conviction which are located in these background checks.