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AG Nessel Continues to Raise Awareness of Expungement Laws
October 11, 2022
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today released a video of highlights from the expungement events she has visited around the state since Michigan’s Clean Slate Law took effect.
“The enthusiasm around expungements resonates across Michigan and I am always happy to help raise awareness and assist residents in accessing the process,” said Nessel. “A clean slate can help workers advance in their chosen field; it can be the reason parents are better able to support their children; and it can be the difference between simply getting by and truly succeeding.”
While there are a number of steps involved in requesting an expungement, residents should not be deterred. For this reason, the Department of Attorney General expungement webpage provides resources to explain the details of the law, clarify eligibility, and provide checklists for necessary application steps and materials. The webpage also lists upcoming public expungement events.
In Michigan, a person convicted of one or more criminal offenses including felonies but not more than a total of three felonies, may petition the convicting court to set aside the convictions. The process for review of applications includes the Michigan State Police, the Department of Attorney General, the local court and the prosecutor where the conviction occurred.
The Department has seen a significant increase in the number of people seeking expungements, which in turn increases the time it takes to review and provide information to the appropriate court. In 2019, the Department received 3,325 applications to set aside a conviction. That number jumped to 7,037 in 2021. To date, more than 7,000 applications have been submitted to the Department in 2022.
Under Nessel, a specific unit was created to address the demand for review of expungements. That expungement unit continues to grow with the addition of staff devoted to answering inquiries.
A person convicted of one or more misdemeanor or local ordinance marijuana crimes may petition the convicting court to set aside the convictions if they were based on activity that would not have been a crime after December 6, 2018 – when a 2018 voter-passed initiative to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Michigan went into effect. By visiting the webpage, Michiganders can access the filing and service requirements, a checklist specifically designated for misdemeanor marijuana offenses, and frequently asked questions.
The role of the Department of Attorney General is to review applications to set aside a conviction once paperwork has been submitted via the expungement process. The Department is prohibited from providing legal counsel to individuals or acting as the attorney for a resident seeking a conviction.