Is it Possible to Remove a Violent Crime Charge From My Criminal Record?

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Is it Possible to Remove a Violent Crime Charge From My Criminal Record?

If you have been charged with or convicted of a violent crime in Michigan, you are likely concerned about whether this violent crime charge will affect your ability to obtain certain types of employment or your eligibility for living in a specific neighborhood or obtaining a particular form of credit. As such, you may be wondering: is it possible to remove a violent crime charge from my criminal record? The process for removing or sealing a criminal record is known as expungement, or expunging a charge from the record. In Michigan, the process is often described as setting aside a conviction. Some violent crime convictions are eligible to be expunged in Michigan once certain conditions are met. Our Michigan criminal defense attorneys can provide you with more information. 

How Expungement Works

Under the Michigan law for setting aside convictions, criminal charges for which you have been convicted could be eligible for expungement. It is important to understand that some states distinguish between record sealing and expungement, where record sealing prevents the public from accessing the records (but the records still exist if a court needs to see them) and expungement results in the criminal record being erased altogether. This is not a distinction that is made in Michigan. In Michigan, certain criminal convictions can be sealed or “set aside,” which is often described in terms of expungement or expunction, but the record is not erased. 

In Michigan, when a conviction is expunged or “set aside,” it will not show up in a public search, but it can still be accessed by a court or a law enforcement official, for example. When a record is expunged, you do not need to report the offense when you are applying for a job, housing, or credit. 

When Violent Offenses Can be Expunged

Michigan law changed relatively recently in terms of expungement, and many more offenses can now be expunged under the Clean Slate Act, which took effect in 2021. Which violent offenses are eligible for expungement? The following explains how expungement now works in Michigan:

  • Some offenses will be automatically expunged from a person’s criminal record, including up to two felony offenses and four misdemeanor offenses (misdemeanors after seven years from sentencing and felonies after 10 years from sentencing);
  • Up to three felonies can be expunged, and an unlimited number of misdemeanors can be expunged from a person’s record;
  • Assaultive crimes are not automatically eligible for expungement but may still be expunged depending upon the circumstances; and
  • Maximum of two “assaultive” criminal convictions can be expunged from a person’s record in their lifetime. 

Certain types of violent offenses cannot be expunged. Any felony offenses that have a maximum punishment of life in prison cannot be expunged. In addition, felony domestic violence charges typically are ineligible for expungement, as are violent charges involving child abuse and most types of violent sex crimes. Contact Lucido & Manzella, P.C. for more information.

Contact Our Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers for Assistance with Expungement

If you have questions about whether your violent criminal offense is eligible for expungement, you should seek advice from a Michigan criminal defense lawyer today. 

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