Have you ever before been convicted or pled guilty to criminal activity?
A criminal background can be devastating to your future and can affect you in the following ways: getting the job you want, being accepted to your desired college, disqualify you from college grants and many other life changing consequences. A criminal record can hurt you financially and not simply from the fines and court expenses. It is estimated that those with criminal records make 10 to 30 percent less over their lifetimes than those with comparable certifications and experience. Businesses or government are less likely to hire those with criminal records due to the fact that companies believe these applicants are untrustworthy and irresponsible. Also, employers do not wish to be exposed to possible legal liability.
Rory Mortimer and his team of attorneys at Mortimer Law Firm have offices in Traverse City, Alpena, and Petoskey Mi. Mr. Mortimer is concerned with his clients and has nearly 30 years of experience to defend their legal rights.
What is an Expungement?
An expungement allows a person to have a criminal conviction eliminated from his record. When your record is cleared, you are given the ultimate right – the right to lawfully say no to the question, “Have you ever been found guilty of a criminal offense?”
Michigan Qualification Requirements
Michigan allows most misdemeanors and felonies to be expunged from a criminal record so long as the following conditions are satisfied:
-The conviction date or date of release from incarceration was at least five years ago.
-Good Behavior throughout the five-year waiting duration (i.e., no additional convictions).
Specific criminal activities are disqualified from expungement in Michigan. These include felonies that carry life sentences, serious drug offenses, certain sex offenses, and traffic violations – including DUIs and other drunk-driving convictions.
The Expungement Process
The first step in expunging a criminal record is to file an application with the court that originally convicted you. When you submit the application, the court will set a hearing date and send out copies of your application to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, the prosecutor who managed your case and the Michigan State Police (MSP).
The prosecutor can contest your application during the hearing. If your conviction was for a significant offense, the victim also will be provided notice of your application and a chance to contest it. The MSP submit a report with the court that states any criminal charges currently pending against you. The court must receive this report before it can hold a hearing on your application to reverse the previous conviction.
It generally takes a couple of months from the time you send your application up until your hearing date. During the hearing, the court will decide if they wish to contest the application. If the application is not contested, the court will determine whether to authorize your expungement request based on the authorities report and court records. In general, the judge will likely authorize your application if she or he determines that your situation (i.e., excellent behavior because your conviction) warrants setting aside the conviction.
If the application is approved, the judge will sign an order directing the Michigan state police to eliminate your conviction from public records. This means the conviction cannot be found by anyone running a criminal background on you. Nonetheless, the authorities will still have the ability to access the record.
After the conviction has actually been removed from public data sources, you can deny the conviction ever happened – on applications and even on the witness stand.