Over the course of the past few months, Governor Whitmer has signed many new laws aimed at reducing the harshness of our criminal justice system related to the expungement of criminal offenses, treatment of juveniles, and using convictions and civil actions in professional licensing decisions by state and regulatory authorities.

In part, these new or amended laws provide the following:

  1. Revise the waiting periods before being eligible to apply for expungement.
  2. Expands expungement eligibility to various traffic offenses.
  3. Expand the number and revises the types of felonies and misdemeanors eligible to be set aside by application.
  4. Treat multiple felonies or misdemeanor offenses arising from the same transaction as a single felony or misdemeanor conviction, provided the offenses happened within 24 hours of one another and are not assaultive crimes, or involves possession or use of a dangerous weapon, or is a crime that carries penalty of 10 or more years in prison.
  5. Allow a person to petition to set aside one or more marijuana offenses if the offense would not have been a crime if committed after the use of recreational marijuana by adults became legal in the state.
  6. Reform occupational licensing to expand opportunities for Michiganders post-conviction or post-judgment. The bipartisan bill package would place limits on a Board or Agency responsible for reviewing license applications from considering criminal convictions and civil judgments when determining if an applicant is of “good moral character” so that past convictions and civil judgments would be less likely to serve as a barrier to entry to licensed professions.
  7. Reform Michigan’s juvenile criminal justice laws to seal juvenile court records from public view and create a process to automatically expunge juvenile records for those who don’t commit future offenses.
  8. Create an automatic process for setting aside eligible misdemeanors after seven years and eligible non-assaultive felonies after 10 years.

The signed-into laws become effective at different times. Contact our office today for questions related to your specific circumstance.

Source:  Governor Whitmer Press Release, January 4, 2021 (https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90487-548712–,00.html)

Source:  Governor Whitmer Press Release, October 12, 2020  (https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499-542110–,00.html)


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