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Lansing Expungement Lawyer

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Get expert advice from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Michigan

If you’ve been convicted of a crime in the past, those records can be accessed by a potential employer, landlord, or business partner. Without taking the steps to have your conviction expunged, you could be denied the opportunity to live the life you want to live, to be truly free.

You don’t have to keep being punished for your past mistakes. A qualified Lansing expungement lawyer can help get you back on track with your goals and plans for the future.

Charges Eligible for Expungement in Michigan

Michigan has some of the most progressive expungement laws in the country. Under the 2021 “Clean Slate” legislation, thousands of Michigan residents have the opportunity to have criminal charges set aside. This opens up a world of educational, financial, and employment opportunities. With all these legislative changes, you need a Lansing expungement lawyer who is experienced and who has also become an expert in the latest developments.

While some changes will not take effect until 2023, there has already been a massive increase in the types of felonies and misdemeanors eligible for expungement in Michigan. Under the 2021 “Clean Slate for Kids” package, juvenile offenses can be more easily sealed from public view so that teens can go into adulthood without being subjected to discrimination.

It’s now possible to have your conviction expunged for three felonies (sometimes more under the “one bad night” theory in the new Clean Slate laws) and unlimited misdemeanor offenses.

There are certain charges that cannot be sealed or expunged. But even if you have been convicted of these offenses, you are still potentially eligible for expungement of another crime.

Crimes that are not eligible for expungement in Michigan include:

  • Felonies that carry a maximum punishment of life in prison
  • Attempting to commit a felony that carries a maximum punishment of life in prison
  • Felony domestic violence (if there was a prior misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence)
  • Child abuse in any degree
  • Most sex crimes, such as rape or child molestation
  • Second- and third-offense driving under the influence (DUI) or operating while intoxicated (OWI) convictions
  • Traffic offenses that result in injury/death and commercial motor vehicle violations
  • Use of a computer to commit sex-, stalking-, or terrorism-related offenses

There are also other limitations on expungements. For instance, you can only have two assaultive crimes set aside. Or if you’re looking to get a fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction set aside, your record has to be pretty much spotless otherwise.

Benefits of Hiring a Lansing Expungement Lawyer

There’s no better feeling than a fresh start. There are countless benefits to be gained from having your Michigan criminal conviction expunged:

  • Expunging records could help you secure a job or keep the one you have. This is because most employers check criminal records when hiring, and others may fire you on account of a past conviction.
  • An expungement can safeguard your firearm rights. It’s illegal to own or possess a gun under federal law if you have certain criminal convictions, like felony or domestic violence convictions. And if your federal rights have been stripped from you, it means you can’t get a CPL or pistol purchase permit in Michigan. An expungement can cure all that.
  • Private landlords and housing authorities can lawfully refuse to rent housing to people with specific criminal convictions. When your criminal record is sealed, you can avoid this kind of discrimination.
  • Students with a criminal history may be ineligible for grants, student loans, and any other work assistance. Besides, most professional certifications check for a criminal record before allowing you to join as a member. Getting your record expunged could make the difference in receiving financial aid for your studies.

Recent Changes to Michigan Expungement Laws

Michigan enacted a new set of expungement laws in late 2020, with many regulations taking effect in April 2021. The new law has expanded the number and types of misdemeanors and felonies eligible for expungement. The latest Michigan expungement laws make the process easier for Lansing residents to have their criminal records sealed.

  • The law also sets up an automatic process of setting aside eligible misdemeanors after seven years and non-assaultive felonies after 10 years. However, this law will only come into force in the year 2023, and that’s only if the Legislature funds the systems overhaul this will require. We recommend that you don’t sit around waiting for the Government to do you any additional favors.
  • Anyone convicted of operating while impaired or DUI for the first time can file for expungement as of March 9, 2022.
  • A nonviolent misdemeanor is automatically expunged in seven years, and a nonviolent felony is expunged in 10 years. However, the person must remain conviction-free during all this time.
  • If more than one felony or misdemeanor happens within 24 hours or arises from the same transaction, they will be treated as one. However, none should carry a penalty of over 10 years or involve assaultive crimes such as weapons crimes or domestic violence charges.

Even with these developments, there are many convictions that cannot be automatically expunged. For those offenses, an application must be made to the court. We at Coontz Law have done the hard work of really coming to understand these laws. Our founder, Dustyn Coontz, has even taught other defense attorneys about the Clean Slate laws. We’ve also developed a really good process, complete with routine client check-ins and internal filing deadlines, to make sure we get your application in front of a judge as soon as possible. By hiring a competent criminal defense attorney, you’ll have expert guidance throughout the entire expungement process.

Am I Eligible for Expungement in Michigan?

If you’re a Lansing resident with a prior criminal conviction, you may be eligible for an expungement of your charges.

If you’re a Lansing resident with a prior criminal conviction, you may be eligible for an expungement of your charges.

Some convictions are eligible for expungement no matter what:

  • Misdemeanor marijuana offenses
  • A prostitution-related offense while you were a victim of human trafficking

You are potentially eligible for expungement in Michigan if:

  • You have three or fewer felony convictions (or more under the “one bad night” rule)
  • You were convicted of fourth-degree sexual conduct before January 2015, provided you have a really clean record besides the CSC-4
  • You’re not currently charged with a crime
  • You’ve been crime free for the relevant statutory period:
    – Three years for non-serious misdemeanors
    – Five years for serious misdemeanors or a single felony
    – Seven years for multiple felonies
  • A note on this last part: the clock starts from whenever you completed your sentence, whether by completing probation or parole or serving jail or prison time. So if you took a plea for a single felony 15 years ago, went to prison for 8 years, and then served 4 years on parole after that, you’re only three years removed from having completed your sentence for expungement purposes.

It’s impossible to get proper legal advice from a website, especially with how complex the Clean Slate rules are. Plus, we’ve seen some prosecutorial shenanigans in filing some of these applications, where the prosecutors’ take on the law would actually make Clean Slate more restrictive than the prior expungement laws, not less. You need to consult with a qualified Lansing expungement lawyer to determine your eligibility and the way forward. Expungement can change your life and can open up new opportunities for a more rewarding future. Call today for a free case review to discuss your options.

A Lansing Expungement Lawyer Can Strengthen Your Case

Here are three ways to strengthen your application for expungement in Michigan:

  1. File applications as soon as possible. As years go by, you can be implicated in other cases that may dent your chances of getting a clean record. Take advantage of the new laws and the expanded list of eligible offenses to expunge as many convictions as possible.
  2. Strive to remain conviction-free. A new conviction can make you ineligible for expungement for several years. If you find yourself facing new charges, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin working on your current criminal case. If you get a really great outcome, it’ll still be possible to work towards that expungement.
  3. Hire a record sealing lawyer who understands Michigan’s laws to increase your chances of a successful expungement. Working with a knowledgeable Lansing expungement lawyer guarantees that you will be receiving the most up-to-date information applicable to your case. To learn what options are available to you, call today for a free consultation.

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Yes, we’re big fans of defending people’s rights. But check out what our clients are saying...

(That's what really matters!)

"Dustyn Coontz was friendly and professional from the first meeting with him until the conclusion of my case"

I was informed and up to date through the entire process. Anytime I had questions or concerns I just contacted his office and was always answered or soon returned a call.

“Incredibly thorough and professional!”

Services rendered were above and beyond the call of duty. I can't imagine my experience with the legal system without the assistance of Coontz Law and the attorney provided to me.

“Hands down been an Excellent Lawyer!”

Never judged never looked down on my story instead gave me hope that the outcome would be better by fighting and not giving in. A lawyer thats Willing to fight for you to the end is ONE you WANT and NEED on your Team!!! I would recommend and also rate 5 Stars! I appreciate all you've done so far in my case.

“He is kind, compassionate, and cares about people.”

He even called me and texted me back a few extra times when he didn't have to. For me he went beyond. Thanks so much, Dustyn.

“If you need legal representation, I would highly recommend Coontz Law”

From my first conversation with Dustyn, he was a calm presence since this was the first time I needed any legal assistance. He truly wants the best for his clients and is truly a wonderful lawyer to have on your side. I never felt judged and he was willing to fight for the best outcome for myself & my future.
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Meet briefly to learn more ∙ Understand your specific situation ∙ Determine if we can help
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What Happens When Criminal Conviction Records Are Expunged?

When your criminal conviction records are expunged, they are no longer available to the public. This means that individuals such as employers, banks, and landlords cannot access the information when they do a search. And as the law states: “the applicant, for purposes of the law, is considered not ot have been previously convicted” once the expungement application is granted. MCL 780.622.

Do I Need to Appear in Court With My Lansing Expungement Lawyer?

Almost certainly. After you file your application with the court, a hearing will be scheduled. We’ve observed some courts who will allow an attorney to waive their client’s presence for an expungement hearing, but we think that’s a bad idea. You and your attorney will need to explain to the presiding judge why your criminal convictions should be removed. And who better to tell your story to the judge than you? Part of this explanation will include demonstrating your good conduct since your conviction. The sincerity in your voice may be the difference between a clean slate and status quo.

How Can I Have a Marijuana Conviction Expunged?

As of December 6, 2018, recreational marijuana is no longer a crime in Michigan. There are three misdemeanor marijuana charges that can now be removed from your record without a waiting period:

  • Marijuana use
  • Marijuana possession
  • Marijuana paraphernalia sales

Note that distribution of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute are not among the violations eligible for this fast-tracked removal. You can still apply to have them set aside (assuming you’re otherwise eligible), but it’s not as quick or automatic as a misdemeanor marijuana expungement. Also note that although there is no waiting period, these charges will not disappear automatically. You will still have to file an Application to Set Aside Conviction.