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Lansing Law Firm Handling Expungements

MCL Section 780.621 – Motion to Set Aside Convictions – Expungement

Expungement (motion to set aside a conviction) is the course of action that clears your public criminal record. In Michigan, there is one course of action to set aside a conviction on your record. There is a different method to set aside a juvenile conviction; this motion is referred to as an adjudication.
MCL 780.621 (application for order setting aside conviction; misdemeanor convictions) states that an individual who has been convicted of no more than one or two qualifying offenses can file an application with the court for an order setting aside one or more convictions. To expunge a felony, the following must be true: the individual has been convicted of not more than one felony, and no more than two misdemeanor charges may petition the court to set aside the felony offense.
To expunge a misdemeanor, an individual who is charged and convicted of no more than two misdemeanors, with no other felony or misdemeanor charges, may petition the court to set aside one or both misdemeanor convictions.
The following must also be true regarding the minor offenses:
  • The utmost permissible time of imprisonment does not exceed 90 days
  • The greatest permissible fine is no more than $1,000
  • The individual who committed the crime is no more than 21 years of age
A list of qualifying offenses is contained within the statute found here. It is a relatively complicated statute, so contact Bahrie Law today if you are unsure if your offense qualifies under the statute. We will be happy to provide you a free evaluation of the statute.

The Rewards of a Clean Criminal Background

If you are looking to get a professional license, certification or approval from a board, a motion to set aside a conviction is a very smart move. Companies and licensing boards tend to hold a conviction as evidence to keep you from getting qualified or approved. If you need a security clearance at any time, they review your records, and certain convictions will result in a denial of the necessary level or certification/clearance. This can halt any career related to the state of Michigan, or military or government work.

Steps to Setting Aside a Conviction

The first step is filing an application with the convicting court for your motion to set aside the conviction. After applying, report to the police station to get fingerprinted, and then acquire a certified copy of your order of conviction. Next, notify the attorney general, the state police and the prosecutor who handled your case. You will need to send copies of your application to each of them.
After the court has received your application, a hearing will be scheduled where you demonstrate to a judge why your conviction should be considered and set aside. You will need to show the court and the judge that you are not and have not been involved in criminal acts and that you desire a clean record.
Officials and witnesses are likely to testify at this hearing; they may testify in favor of or against your position. Bringing witnesses or a trusted individual to the court to testify for your side of the case helps greatly. If it is concluded that your conviction should be set aside, the court will issue an order to set aside the conviction. Michigan State Police, the attorney general and the Michigan Department of Corrections will need to receive a copy of the motion to set aside the conviction.
Once this is all complete, you will need to check your background records. If the motion was approved and the conviction is set aside, your background report should be clear and free of any signs of the conviction. The state of Michigan will hold records of the case and conviction, but it will not be a publicly held conviction or information. Making sure this process is closed and complete is critical; verifying with the state that the conviction is removed is crucial.
We recommend consulting with an attorney prior to filling out and applying for expungement. Due to the nature of expungement, any information that is missed or overlooked can cause a denial. This is going to make a second request very unlikely. Making sure an attorney has helped you prepare for your appearance in front of a judge and advised you how to fill out the application prior to filing is extremely critical.
Bahrie Law will work for you, helping provide the best methods and approach to successfully apply for a motion to set aside a conviction. We are here to help. Use our more than 40 years of knowledge and expertise to successfully apply for a motion to set aside your convictions. Contact Bahrie Law today for a free evaluation.