State Offers Millions To Help Erase Criminal Convictions
The State of Michigan is doing more than just allow people to get some criminal records cleared from their public records. It’s now making $4 million available to help them through any legal barriers to get it accomplished. Michigan Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist is announcing the effort called the “Clean Slate” pilot program. It's being administered through the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).
Supporters of the idea say many Michigan residents have made mistakes in the past, but that should not get in the way of basics, like getting a job or even securing adequate housing. In some cases, that can even throw a wrench into the works when applying for some public benefits.
The process initially involves removing a specific criminal conviction from a person’s public records. Once a court order is issued to set aside the conviction, the person can legally claim they were not convicted of the crime. That also includes claiming they were not arrested for that crime.
An important element of all this is that even though public records may be cleared, the records don’t totally vanish. Police and prosecutors are still able to access those records in order to determine potential charges against someone who gets in trouble again.
Some of the components of the current expungement law include:
A person who is convicted of one or more criminal offenses may file an application with the convicting court for the entry of an order setting aside one or more convictions as follows:
-A person convicted of one or more criminal offenses, but not more than a total of three felony offenses, in Michigan, may apply to have their convictions from the State set aside.
-Up to three felonies can be expunged.
-If there are multiple convictions for the same offense (with a max sentence of 10 years) only one can be expunged.
-Unlimited misdemeanors may be expunged.
The new law is very specific about what convictions may and may not be removed from public records. Anyone interested in the process is best served by talking with an official representative of the program at any of the Michigan Works! Agencies throughout Michigan. All Michigan Works! Agencies will have localized Clean Slate Pilot Program processes in place. Go here for more information. Or you can call 800-285-9675.