How to have your criminal record expunged in Michigan

New laws that went into effect earlier this month allow Michiganders to have some crimes expunged from their record.

These changes will help people who have already served time for a crime avoid some of the collateral consequences that come with having a criminal record, including struggles finding housing and employment.

MORE: How Michigan is trying to rehab prison inmates for release, help crime victims

Expungement means that the crime does not appear publicly, and you do not need to disclose it. This means that if you apply for a job, home rental, or assistance, the crime will not show up on a background check. It can still be viewed by law enforcement and other officials.

Some crimes can be immediately expunged while others have a waiting period.

When is a person eligible for expungement?

If you have a marijuana conviction that includes possession, use, or paraphernalia, you can apply for expungement now.

Other crimes have a waiting period from the most recent date sentenced, date released from prison, or date parole or probation was completed:

  • Non-serious misdemeanors -- 3 years
  • Serious misdemeanors or one felony -- 5 years
  • More than one felony -- 7 years

Which crimes cannot be expunged?

While most traffic crimes can be expunged now, some cannot, including drunken driving, incidents that caused injury or death, and traffic crimes committed in a commercial vehicle.

Additionally, felonies that have a life sentence, child abuse convictions, and most criminal sexual conduct crimes cannot be expunged. A felony domestic violence conviction is not eligible for expungement if the person has a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction as well.

Federal convictions also are not included in the new law and cannot be expunged. 

    How to request expungement 

    Fill out an application and obtain a certified order of conviction from the court where you were convicted. You also need to get fingerprinted and purchase a $50 money order for Michigan State Police.

    The application and conviction orders need to be filed with the court where you were convicted, as well as sent to the Michigan Attorney General's Office and the office of the prosecutor where you were convicted. The application, conviction order, fingerprints, and money order need to go to MSP.

    There is assistance to help you navigate the expungement process. Click here for more information.