Expunging a Felony

Why Expunge a Felony?

Felony convictions can affect many areas of one’s life, such as one’s ability to get a job, enter a profession, get a loan, find an apartment, etc.  Whether you were charged as a juvenile or as an adult a felony on one’s record can negatively impact one’s life.  As such, people are often more motivated to remove a felony from their record.

 Michigan Law

In Michigan, one can petition the court to set aside one adult conviction at a time.  This can include a felony.  However, one cannot apply to have set aside certain convictions.  These include:

  1. A felony for which the maximum penalty is life;
  2. An attempt to commit a felony for which the maximum penalty is life;
  3. A violation or attempted violation of
    1. MCL 750.145c (Child sexually abusive activity or material)
    2. MCL 750.145d (Using a computer to solicit or commit a listed crime)
    3. MCL 750.520c (Criminal Sexual Conduct 2nd Degree)
    4. MCL 750.520d (Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd Degree)
    5. MCL 750.520g (Assault with the intent to commit Criminal Sexual Conduct)
    6. A traffic offense (misdemeanor or felony)

If you have a conviction for a listed offense, that does not necessarily mean you cannot clean up your record.  What that means is that the listed offense cannot be expunged, but in the case of traffic offenses, the other offenses may be.  Also, you may be able to get a pardon or commutation of the offense.

Additionally, if the crime was an Assaultive Crime (MCL 770.9a) or a Serious Misdemeanor (MCL 780.811), the prosecuting attorney shall notify the victim.  For a list of some crimes that are considered Assaultive Crimes or Serious Misdemeanors look for the posts entitled “What Is A Serious Misdemeanor?” and “What Is An Assaultive Crime Under MCL 770.9A?”