If you’re an inmate in the state of Michigan and want to know how to expunge a conviction, this blog post is for you. In every jurisdiction, there are different ways that an individual could look to clear their name after being convicted of a crime. While most convictions rest on what is essentially falsified testimony, some criminal convictions are based on other forms of evidence, such as DNA or fingerprints. By way of example, if you were convicted of a crime based on fraudulent testimony from a witness, who later came forward to recant their testimony, you may want to consider arguing for expungement. In other instances, if you were convicted of a crime that was later made illegal by the state legislature in your state, you may be eligible to have the conviction expunged.
What Is Expunction?
Expunction is simply the process of clearing your record after being convicted of a crime. Expunging your criminal record may be beneficial in many ways, such as removing the possibility of future arrests or crimes while also eliminating an employment hurdle that could potentially come up during a background check. In addition to these benefits, an expunction may give you the right to sue for damages or file for certain financial assistance based on your previous conviction. If successful, an expunction can even help you avoid deportation proceedings and assist with applying for various jobs and financial programs.
How Can I Expunge a Conviction in Michigan?
Before you can clear your criminal record, you’ll have to be aware of the specifics surrounding the conviction. For example, if you were convicted of a felony and want to clear your conviction, you’ll need to wait until after at least five years have passed since your sentencing date. After that time period has passed, you may apply for a certificate of eligibility. Once approved by the state’s attorney general’s office or prosecutor’s office, an individual can then petition for an expungement based on their specific case.
If you have a conviction in your past, however, it may not be as simple to expunge your record. For example, if you were convicted of a crime and received probation before being convicted of another crime within five years of the first crime, you may not be eligible to petition for an expungement. If that’s the case, you’ll need to wait a minimum of five years after your sentencing date for the first conviction before applying to expunge it.
What Are Some Tips on How to Expunge a Record?
1. Requests: If you are seeking to expunge a conviction, be sure to check with the court where your initial conviction was made. That way, you can find out what kind of documentation you’ll need to prove eligibility.
2. Conditions: Many states have specific requirements in order to apply for an expungement. For example, in order to expunge a conviction based on a plea offer, you’ll have to meet the requirements of the “accelerated rehabilitation program.” This means that you must have received at least one year of probation and must have completed that term with no convictions.
3. Waiting Periods: In some instances, you’ll need to wait a certain amount of time before applying for an expungement. For example, if you were convicted in Michigan of a felony that included three years or more of incarceration and have at least five years since your finishing your sentence, you will not be eligible to petition for an expungement.
Can All Charges and Convictions Be Expunged?
As stated previously, some convictions cannot be expunged due to certain facts surrounding the case, such as prior convictions of the same crime. However, if you’re convicted of a crime that was later made illegal by state legislation, you may be eligible to petition for an expungement after five years. If you were convicted of a crime based on the false testimony of a witness, you might be able to expunge the conviction if that witness later came forward and recanted their testimony. In addition, if there was insufficient evidence to convict you of the crime due to faulty DNA or fingerprinting results, you may want to explore your options in this area as well.
What Happens if My Criminal Record Gets Expunged?
Once a criminal record is expunged, you won’t have to worry about being arrested for the same crime ever again. That said, however, it’s important to note that your criminal record is not automatically removed from every state’s centralized record repository. For example, although a criminal record that has been expunged from your state’s system can’t be used against you by the government, it will still be accessible to employers conducting background checks. Employers who conduct these checks could potentially find a criminal record that has been expunged from state records. However, employers are not required to report such information to law enforcement, and some companies may choose not to even search for expunged convictions if they believe doing so would violate the company’s policy.
If you have a conviction in your past, whether it’s related to a crime or an infraction, it’s important to know all of your options. That way, you can fully explore all possible ways to clear your record and move on with your life. If you’d like to learn more about the process of expunging a record or want help getting started, contact me for legal assistance. I would be happy to discuss your situation with you and provide my experienced legal advice regarding the best course of action.
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