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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Pursuant to new MCL 780.621e(7), “misdemeanor marijuana offenses” include:
    • Possession of marijuana, contrary to MCL 333.7403(2)(d);
    • Use of marijuana, contrary to MCL 333.7404(2)(d);
    • Marijuana paraphernalia violations found in the in MCL 333.7453; and
    • Violations of local ordinances substantially corresponding to the above state laws.
  • A person can have an unlimited number of misdemeanor marijuana convictions in his or her record and still be eligible to have those convictions set aside, as long as those convictions were based on conduct that would no longer be considered a crime after December 6, 2018.
  • No. All applications to expunge misdemeanor marijuana convictions must be filed in the court in which the conviction occurred.
  • In addition to filing the application to expunge the misdemeanor marijuana conviction(s) in the court in which the conviction(s) occurred, the applicant must send a copy of the application to the prosecuting agency, whether that was a county or local city or village prosecutor.

    Under this new law, there is no need to send a copy of the application to the Michigan Attorney General or to the Michigan State Police.

  • No. Just as an applicant does not need to send a copy of the application to expunge a misdemeanor marijuana conviction under the new law to the Michigan State Police, he or she does not have to send fingerprints or a fee to the Michigan State Police.

    Fingerprints and background checks are not required under the new law.

  • No. The presence of other convictions in your record will have no impact on the expungement of your misdemeanor marijuana conviction(s) under the new law.
  • Yes. A new application to expunge a misdemeanor marijuana conviction must be filed in the convicting court and mailed to the county prosecutor or city attorney that prosecuted the case.
  • No. Unlike for other criminal offenses, there is no waiting period. 

    The only requirement is that the application to expunge the misdemeanor marijuana conviction(s) must be filed after April 11, 2021.

  • Under the new law, there is a "rebuttable presumption" that a misdemeanor marijuana conviction a person is seeking to expunge was based on activity that would no longer be a crime following the legalization of recreational marijuana in Michigan beginning on December 6, 2018. MCL 780.621e(4)

    The law requires the prosecuting agency, not you, to prove otherwise. MCL 780.621e(6).

  • No. There is no requirement in MCL 780.621e that the applicant prove-or that the convicting court determine-that the circumstances and behavior of the applicant since the date of the misdemeanor marijuana conviction(s) warrant setting the conviction(s) aside or that the expungement of the conviction(s) is consistent with the public welfare.
  • The prosecuting agency has 60 days to file a written answer challenging the presumption. If it does not, the convicting court must within 21 days enter an order expunging the conviction or convictions and serve the order on the parties, including the Michigan State Police.
  • The convicting court must promptly set the matter for a hearing to be scheduled no later than 30 days after receipt of the answer and send a notice to the applicant indicating the time and place of the hearing. 

    At this hearing, the prosecuting agency must prove that the conduct underlying the conviction(s) would constitute a crime if committed after December 6, 2018. 

    The court may determine on its own whether the conviction(s) you are seeking to expunge are indeed misdemeanor marijuana convictions.

  • It might make a decision at the conclusion of the hearing and enter an order on the application. Or, under MCL 780.621e(6), it must do so within 14 days of the hearing.
  • No. MCL 780.621e(6) requires the court, not the applicant, to mail the order expunging the conviction(s) to the parties, including the Michigan State Police.
  • You may not need an attorney. Many applicants over the years have filed applications to expunge convictions on their own without the help of an attorney. 

    If you would like to hire an attorney or need legal help, please refer to the “Helpful Links” section of this website.

  • Yes. MCL 780.621f(1) provides that both the arresting agency and the Michigan State Police must maintain a non-public record, just as is done for other expunged convictions.
  • Yes. MCL 780.621f(3) allows a party "aggrieved by the ruling of the convicting court considering an application … may seek a rehearing or reconsideration under the applicable rules of the convicting court or may file an appeal with the circuit court or, if applicable, the court of appeals in accordance with the rules of those courts."

    Or consult with an attorney who has expertise in state court appeals (review the legal services section of this site).

  • No. MCL 780.621f(2) says that, if a misdemeanor marijuana conviction is set aside, "the applicant may not thereafter seek resentencing in another criminal case the applicant was sentenced for during which the conviction or convictions at issue were used in determining an appropriate sentence for the applicant, whether or not the setting aside of the conviction or convictions would have changed the scoring of a prior record variable for purposes of the sentencing guidelines or otherwise."
  • No. MCL 780.621f(4) states that if the convicting court expunges a misdemeanor marijuana conviction, the applicant is not entitled to the return of any fines, costs, or fees imposed as part of the applicant's sentence or of any money forfeited as a result of the conduct leading to the conviction or the conviction itself.