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Michigan Expungement Laws

If you use a computer for any length of time then you're familiar with the delete button. A simple tap of the delete key can wipe out not only the file you're working on, but basically every file on your hard drive. On some level, that is what happens when you are granted an expungement in Michigan.

In this case, the files that "disappear" are those pertaining to an arrest or conviction. Depending on the circumstances you can have your record cleared up as if the incident never happened. You might not think this is important, especially if your case was dismissed or you were found not guilty. However, anyone doing a background check on you will discover those files and know you were once arrested. Will they look through all the transcripts to see your innocence? Probably not. The mere mention of an arrest is enough to stop a potential employer from hiring you. That's why you should clear up your record if given the chance.

Michigan expungement laws decree that a person who has a conviction for a first time offense can apply to have those records expunged if the crime wasn't sexual in nature or a traffic offense. These offenses need to be misdemeanor charges only. If you have been convicted of a felony or give a lifetime sentence in jail you won't be eligible for an expungement. And you can only have one crime set aside. In other words, if you get in trouble once you might be in luck, but a repeat offense won't be allowed to be expunged. The time frame for applying for an expungement in Michigan is five years. That means five years of a spotless record. If you were convicted of a crime and served any jail time, the five years begins once you have been released.

In order to proceed with the expungement filing, you must gather together several documents. You need to have a certified record that the matter involving you before the court has been resolved. There is also the need for proof that you have a clean record and that you haven't filed for an expungement previous to the current filing. In some ways, navigating through these applications can be as frustrating and confusing as filling out your tax returns. That's what you need to have an experience lawyer on your side. A Michigan attorney, who is well versed in the expungement laws of the state, will be in the best position to help you.

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