Trying to find a job or move forward with your life when you have a conviction on your record can feel impossible. Even if you’re ready to take the next step toward a better life, a public conviction can hamstring your efforts to get back into the workforce and to make positive change. Peter J. Johnson is a leading criminal defense attorney in Michigan and he knows how tough it can be to take those first steps back into regular life.
Luckily, in some cases it is possible to have a conviction expunged from your record. To do so, you’ll need to work your way through the conviction expungement process, which starts by completing a form and ends with a court determining whether the conviction will or will not be expunged. During this process it is helpful to have a criminal defense attorney at your side to assist you with correctly entering the necessary information and helping you to determine the right next step in the process.
The first step, however, is verifying your eligibility. According to current guidelines, you are not eligible to have your conviction expunged in Michigan if:
- You have a federal criminal conviction
- You have a criminal conviction from another state
- You have an additional criminal conviction in Michigan excluding up to two minor offenses
- You have been convicted of a felony for which life imprisonment is a possible punishment
- You have been convicted of felony sexual assault or assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct
- Your conviction is a misdemeanor or felony traffic offense
- It has been less than five years since you were convicted, imprisoned, or released
Once you have established that you’re eligible, the next steps in the process are relatively straightforward. You’ll need to obtain a copy of your conviction, get fingerprinted, complete the application to set aside the conviction, sign the conviction under oath, file the application with the court, serve the application to the Michigan State Police in addition to the prosecuting official, and fill out a proof of service. If at any time you need assistance, it is advisable to retain the help of an experienced and highly reputable criminal defense attorney in Michigan such as Attorney Peter Johnson who can accurately guide you through the process.