Starting yesterday, April 11, 2023, approximately one million Michigan residents will have their criminal convictions automatically expunged under the state’s Clean Slate Law. While the law was enacted on April 11, 2021, it contained a two-year implementation period, making it effective today.
The Michigan State Police will carry out the automatic expungement program by conducting daily searches of the state’s criminal record database for eligible convictions.
Under the law, provided the resident has no current pending criminal charges, eligible convictions for automatic expungement include:
- up to two felony convictions after the later of ten years from sentencing or release from custody, and
- up to four misdemeanors after seven years from sentencing.
However, convictions for certain offenses, such as “assaultive offenses,” “serious misdemeanors,” offenses punishable by ten or more years imprisonment, offenses involving a minor, vulnerable adult, injury, serious impairment, or the death of a person, offenses that involve human trafficking, and any conviction that cannot be expunged under law are not eligible for automatic expungement. Residents with these types of convictions may still be able to apply for traditional expungement.
Impact on Access to Michigan Court Records
As a result of the law’s requirements, Michigan courts will need to update their systems to ensure that automatically expunged cases do not appear on public systems or clerks’ computers. For many of them, it will need to be done by hand and take a considerable amount of time. As such, some courts have temporarily stopped searches until their systems are fully updated.
Moving forward, standard searches will be conducted with new criteria, and delays are expected due to the slow process of comparing results to the list of automatically expunged cases.
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As always, Hire Image is here to help. Please contact us if you have any questions about how this may affect your own background screening practices