About the Michigan Clean Slate Law
The Clean Slate package and creates an automatic process for setting aside eligible misdemeanors after seven (7) years have passed from the sentence has been served and non-assaultive felonies after ten (10) years. Although the new laws took effect on April 11, 2021, the automatic set asides will not occur until April 2023. Automatic expungement applies to a narrower class of crimes, both in terms of the number that may be expunged and the types of offenses. As for the number, automatic expungements are limited to two (2) felonies and four (4) misdemeanors compared to an expungement via application which are limited to three (3) felonies and no specific misdemeanor limit.
In addition, the laws also allow marijuana-related convictions to be set aside if they would not be considered illegal if the offense occurred after December 6, 2018. Recreational cannabis became legal for adults in Michigan on that date.
However, the new laws also expand the number and types of misdemeanors and felonies eligible to be set aside by application. So, rather than wait for automatic expungement, individuals who have been convicted of a serious misdemeanor or felony can submit an application after five (5) years, while those with more than one felony conviction may do so after seven (7) years. Individuals who are looking to set aside non-serious or non-assaultive misdemeanors may do so after three (3) years.
Expungement has the effect of setting aside a criminal conviction, which permits the person to honestly tell potential employers and others that individual has not been convicted of a crime. There are two (2) important caveats. First, it is not automatic; expungement is a privilege and conditional and is not a right. Second, even an expunged criminal record can be used against a person for various purposes.
Lastly, the so called “One Bad Day Bundle” says that multiple misdemeanors or felonies arising from the same transaction will be treated as a single misdemeanor or felony conviction – so long as the offenses occurred within a 24-hour period and do not involve violence, a deadly weapon, or a crime that carries at least a 10-year prison sentence.
Check out our blog to learn about the most frequently asked questions about the new law.
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