According to Black’s Law Dictionary, “to expunge” means “to erase or destroy.” What this means in practical legal terms, is that sometimes certain legal convictions may be “erased or destroyed.” An expungement of a criminal record is “the removal of a conviction from a person’s criminal record.” Each different state has different rules for how this may be accomplished, and who is eligible for expungement. In Michigan, an individual is allowed to have one felony or misdemeanor conviction set aside, but it must meet certain requirements. The conviction sought to be expunged must not have a maximum possible sentence of life in prison, even if the person received a lesser offense; it must not have been a “sex crime”; the conviction may not be a “traffic conviction”; and the person seeking expungement may not have multiple convictions on his or her record, other than up to “two minor offenses.” Additionally, an applicant must wait five years after the conviction or release from prison.
These are the basic requirements for an expungement. The actual legal analysis and procedure, however, can be extremely complex. If you think you may qualify for expungement, please feel free to contact our office for a free consult to discuss your case.
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