St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Applying to Have a Conviction Expunged in Michigan

Applying to Have a Conviction Expunged in Michigan

Applying to Have a Conviction Expunged in MichiganTrying 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.

For more information or to schedule a consultation please visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com or contact us at 269.982.1100.

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The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Seeking Clarity on the EEOC’s Background Check Guidelines

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC for short, is a government organization that works to ensure employers treat potential and current employees fairly regardless of their race, gender, or age. The essential governing rules of the EEOC are born from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which designates specific classes of people and protects those classes from employment discrimination.

According to recently issued guidelines, criminal background checks executed by employers must be performed with respect to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. In other words, if an employer wishes to perform a background check on an employee, he cannot elect to pick and choose who to background check on the basis of age, race, or gender. Selectively background checking individuals based on their race would be considered profiling by the EEOC.

Many employers require that new employees and applicants submit to a background check to ensure they’re not hiding a criminal history. However, these background checks must fall within the guidelines established by the EEOC if employers want to avoid an investigation. Note: The EEOC does not create binding rules for businesses, but businesses that do not follow the EEOC’s guidelines are more likely to draw attention or legal action. Michigan criminal attorneys have been working to better understand the new guidelines and how they’re applied by employers.

The confusion occurs in enforcement; ex-offenders, which are most affected by background checks, are not considered a protected class under Title VII, which means that businesses attempting to cut ex-offenders out of their employment ranks may or may not be violating the EEOC’s guidelines depending on how exactly they go about deploying the background checks. If an employer is attempting to predict a person’s likelihood of being an ex-offender based on his race, he would be violating the EEOC’s background check guidelines. But not hiring an ex-offender doesn’t technically violate Title VII, which makes things more complicated for individuals searching for a job.

Because the rules are largely unclear and somewhat controversial, it’s not always apparent when a violation of the EEOC’s new guidelines has occurred. It’s recommended that ex-offenders consult a Michigan criminal attorney for assistance in determining how to proceed with employers trying to work under the EEOC’s new guidelines and you can do that via www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com or contact us at 269.982.1100.

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