New legislation passed by Michigan lawmakers has expanded the number of opportunities for those searching for the expungement of their criminal records. House Bill 4186 is headed to the governor’s desk after being passed near the end of the 2013-2014 legislative session, assuming it makes it back through the House one last time.
So what does this mean for you? If you have a criminal conviction on your record, the new law could provide an opportunity to have it expunged. As representative Stacy Erwin Oakes, explained, “Ultimately, this means that individuals will have a chance at having criminal offenses removed from their record, thereby giving them a second chance. That would then allow them to hopefully gain employment and even housing.” The new law is designed to lessen the burden caused by some criminal convictions.
Under current law, some individuals with a single conviction are able to request expungement five years after their release or sentencing. The new law expands this option to those with up to two misdemeanors; individuals could petition the courts five years after exiting probation or finishing parole. Certain crimes are, of course, not eligible for expungement. The best course of action is speaking with a Berrien County criminal attorney to determine how the new legislation might impact your record and your options.
It’s also worth noting that if passed the new law does not represent a guarantee of expungement. The judge is still able to make the final call, which means acquiring proper representation is critical in ensuring the best possible outcome. Thus, an experienced criminal attorney will be critical in preparing your case and presenting it to the court.
For more information or questions about getting a crime expunged or how new legislation might open new options for you, contact Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC at 269.982.1100 or visit www.attorneypeterjohnson.com.