What To Expect When You’re Expunging – by Razavi Law
An expungement is a process where a criminal conviction becomes non-public. While the state keeps a hidden record, when you’re expunged your criminal record, you can honestly answer “no” when someone asks you if you have a conviction. If you’re wondering, how do I expunge my criminal record in Michigan, here’s a look at that process:
See if you qualify
First, you must qualify to have your criminal record expunged. It’s important to meet with an expungement attorney Traverse City to check the specifics of your case. Your expungement attorney Northern Michigan can review your convictions and see if you qualify.
Driving records can never be expunged. The rules have also changed in the last several years. You can expunge two misdemeanors or one felony, but not both. There are certain types of offenses that don’t qualify. However, you might be surprised to know that you can get your domestic violence conviction expunged in some circumstances. Meet with one of our attorneys to discuss your case before you file for expungement in Michigan.
Wait out the waiting period
You must wait at least five years from the date of your conviction. This is measured by the date your probation ends and the case is formally closed. The judge wants to know that you’ve done productive things during those five years to become a community contributor.
If you qualify
If you qualify to expunge your criminal record, there are a lot of things to do. When we work with clients, we give them the following check list of what to expect and what they need to do at each step in the process:
The “→” indicates a step that requires you to do something. If there is no “→,” it is a step our attorneys do for you.
→ 1. Go to the court where the conviction(s) happened and ask for a “Certified Copy of the Conviction Record.”
Be prepared to pay a fee if there is one.
Give this document to your lawyer.
→ 2. Get yourself fingerprinted.
The Grand Traverse County Jail does fingerprints on Wednesdays from 8:30-10:30 AM and 4:00-6:00 PM. You shouldn’t need an appointment.
Bring a photo ID.
If you are a Grand Traverse resident, there is no charge. If you are not, there is a fee of $20.
Give this document to your lawyer.
3. Once we have these documents, our office will prepare the Application to Set Aside Conviction.
→ 4. You will sign the Application to Set Aside Conviction under oath, in front of a notary. We have an office notary that charges a small fee, so this can be done in our office or in front of another notary .
5. We will file the signed and notarized Application to Set Aside Conviction (and 5 copies) with the appropriate court (the court where the conviction was entered).
The court will set a hearing date, usually 90-120 days later.
The court will write the hearing date on the applications and give them back to us.
6. We will mail the applications to all of the appropriate agencies, specifically the Michigan State Police, the Attorney General, and the Prosecutor’s Office. We also send the Michigan State Police a $50 fee and your fingerprint card.
7. We will file a document with the court saying that we’ve sent the police, the Attorney General, and the Prosecutor’s Office their documents.
8. We will prepare the necessary document for the hearing (MC Form 228).
→ 9. You will collect evidence of good character.
If you are in school, that means transcripts
If you work, a resume and letters of support from employers/coworkers
Proof of any substance abuse treatment or counseling you have received
Any support letters from friends, family, religious advisors, etc.
→ 10. You, along with us, will attend the expungement hearing.
11. If the expungement is granted, the court will send a copy of the order to Michigan State Police. We will send copies to the Attorney General and the Prosecutor’s Office.
12. A few months later, we will double check that the expungement process is complete.
Work with us
If you want to remove your criminal record in Northern Michigan, we’re skilled and experienced attorneys who have been there before. We can help you prepare your documents in a way that maximizes your success to win your expungement case. We represent clients in Antrim, Benzie, Big Rapids, Beulah, Cadillac, Frankfort, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Traverse City, Wexford and more. Contact us today for a free consultation.