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Expungement Lawyers in Rochester Hills

Helping Clients Start Fresh in Michigan

Michigan’s Clean Slate legislation enables more criminal convictions to be removed from an individual’s public record. The laws make that possible in two ways. Previously ineligible crimes have become eligible plus the number of offenses that can be expunged has also been increased.

With the passing of the Clean Slate Act in October 2020 and subsequent amendments of H.B. 4219 and 4220 in August 2021, more individuals have the opportunity to remove their crimes from the public record. When a record is expunged, or set aside, prospective employers and others cannot locate them. An expunged record is only accessible by law enforcement agencies.

Criminal Convictions Newly Eligible for Clearance

The laws are being phased in over three years. Some elements went into effect in April 2021 while others were implemented in February 2022. A process for automatic expungement will go into effect in April 2023.

Many first-time OWI (operating while impaired) convictions and some marijuana convictions are now eligible to be set aside.

First-time OWI offenses can now be expunged for the following:

  • Any person operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more
  • Any person operating a vehicle while visibly impaired by alcohol or other controlled substance
  • A person under 21 years old operating a vehicle with a BAC of .02 or more
  • Any person from operating a vehicle with any bodily amount of cocaine or a Schedule 1 controlled substance

Other rules regarding expunging OWI include the following:

  • Only one OWI can be set aside in a person’s lifetime
  • First-time OWI cannot be expunged if they have any additional OWI convictions
  • The offense is ineligible if the OWI caused an injury or death

Prior to this law, no traffic offenses were eligible. With exceptions, most traffic convictions may be set aside.

Some marijuana convictions are now eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • The offense would not have been a crime if committed after the use of recreational marijuana by adults became legal in the state

Individuals Can Expunge More Misdemeanors and Felonies

Under the older petition-based system, expungements were available for those with only one felony and two misdemeanors. That’s no longer true.

The number of offenses that can be set aside in a person’s lifetime has been expanded:

  • No limit to the number of misdemeanors
  • Up to three felonies (with exceptions)
  • Up to two convictions for assaultive crimes
  • Only one felony conviction for the same offense if that crime is punishable by 10 or more years in prison

Michigan’s expungement laws also include the “One Bad Night” rule. The rule applies if an individual has two or more felony convictions that were part of the same incident and committed within 24 hours of one another.

Multiple convictions arising from the same event may count as one for purposes of the new conviction limits if all the following are true:

  • The convictions were not assaultive
  • The convictions did not involve the use of a dangerous weapon
  • The convictions are not punishable by more than 10 years in prison

Changes to the Required Waiting Period

The waiting period before an application can be made to set aside a conviction has been reduced for many crimes. The waiting period begins either after the date you were convicted/sentenced, the date you completed probation, the date you were discharged from parole, or the date you were released from prison, whichever happens last. Your expungement application will not be approved if you are convicted of another crime during the waiting period.

The waiting period depends on the type of conviction:

  • Multiple felonies: 7 years
  • One felony: 5 years
  • One or more serious misdemeanors: 5 years
  • One or more non-serious, non-assaultive misdemeanors: 3 years

There is no waiting period for misdemeanor marijuana convictions that would not have been a crime after Dec. 6, 2018, when adult recreational marijuana use became legal.

Understanding Which Crimes Cannot Be Expunged in Michigan

While more offenses can be set aside with the legislative changes, some criminal convictions remain ineligible for expungement.

Cases that are ineligible for expungement include:

  • Crimes punishable by life in prison, even if you received a lesser sentence
  • Sex crime convictions
  • Most child abuse convictions
  • Human trafficking convictions
  • Second and subsequent OWI
  • Any traffic offense that causes injury or death
  • Felony domestic violence if there is a previous domestic violence misdemeanor
  • Any violent felony

To see if you are eligible for expungement in Michigan, please call us at (248) 809-1402 or contact us online.

Contact Us Today

A criminal record can wreak havoc on your life. After a criminal conviction, you may be unable to find a job, get into school, and secure a loan. If your job requires you to have a professional license, your conviction could preclude you from acquiring it. Those who wish to work in certain professions are not able to do so with a criminal record.

A criminal record will follow you through your life for many years. The best way to resolve this problem is to have your criminal record expunged with help from an experienced Rochester Hills criminal defense attorney at Little & Boylan, PLLC. An expungement will allow you to remove harmful convictions from your record so that you can move on with your life. Our team can advocate aggressively on your behalf to ensure that your record is cleared.

To further understand your Michigan expungement eligibility, contact us today at (248) 809-1402 for a consultation.


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