Michigan Expungement Reform
Over the past decade, the requirements for getting a criminal conviction set-aside or expunged from your record has been made easier. Years ago, if you had more than one conviction, you could never get anything set aside or expunged. The law then changed allowing a person to expunge a felony even if they had two minor misdemeanors committed when the person was under eighteen years old. About five years ago, they extended this to any misdemeanor not just minor ones and removed the age requirement.
Currently there is new legislation being discussed in Lansing that would go even further. Depending on the crimes, you could have up to three felonies expunged, some low-level drug convictions like possession of marijuana would be set-aside, plus there are some other changes.
I have long thought that the requirements for getting a set-aside and cleaning up a past criminal record should have less to do with the number of crimes committed and the amount of time since the conviction but rather what the individual has done with his life since the conviction. Most of us are not the same person we were when we were young, stupid and didn’t listen to our mom when she warned you of the consequences of getting into trouble. But now, in the days of computers and instant background checks, anything you did then, even if you go on to cure cancer, will follow you. Maybe this is a good time to change this.
The Governor and Legislature are now considering several criminal justice reforms, expungements and raising the age when someone is considered an adult are just a couple of the changes.